Publication Order of Lord John Books
|Lord John and the Private Matter||(2003)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Lord John and the Hand of Devils||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Scottish Prisoner||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Lord John Short Stories
About Lord John:
Diana Galbadana first published the Outlander series in 1991. The series is a historical fiction tale filled with warfare, sex, time travel, honor, betrayal, and gambling that was a near immediate hit in both the U.K. (where Galbadana is from) as well as in the U.S.
To date there are eight novels in the (main) Outlander series: Outlander (1991), Dragonfly in Amber (1992), Voyager (1993), Drums of Autumn (1996), The Fiery Cross (2001), A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005), An Echo in the Bone (2009), and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (2014).
Galbadana has also released a graphic novel called The Exile (2010), which is a retelling of the events in Outlander, but from two different characters’ points of view than the ones shown in Outlander.
THE BIRTH OF A (SUB-)SERIES
Several years ago, Galbadana had the opportunity to write a short story for an anthology of historical crime stories. After some consideration, she decided to write one with one of her minor characters in the Outlander series, Lord John Grey, as the main character. This short story later turned into full-length novel, titled Lord John and the Private Matter. She has since also published two more novels and a series of novellas that also center Lord John as the main character: Lord John and the Hand of Devils (a collection of novellas), Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (a novel), “Lord John and the Custom of the Army” (a novella), The Scottish Prisoner (a novel), and “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” (a novella).
WHO IS LORD JOHN?
One of the recurring characters in the series is Lord John Grey, a minor character in the novels mentioned above, although he has since received his own series of novels in which he is the main character. Galbadana has said that these in the “Lord John Grey series” may be written and structured a bit differently, but they are still part of the Outlander series; she considers them to be less of a spin-off and more of a sub-series, taking place during the time period covered in Voyager, book three of the Outlander series.
Many agree that Lord John is one of the most likeable and most complex of Galbadana’s large cast of characters in the Outlander series. It’s made clear to the reader that Lord John is a homosexual man although, because the series takes place in the late 1700’s, he has to be incredibly discreet about his sexuality—or be sentenced to death.
When the reader is first introduced to Lord John, he is a sixteen year old soldier in the English army. Therefore as both a soldier and as a member of a noble family, Lord John has much to lose if the truths of his sexuality were discovered.
Part of what makes him such a likeable character is that, even though he has to go to great lengths to hide his sexuality from almost everyone, he’s completely comfortable with his sexuality in a society that is so determined to condemn such feelings.
Lord John, unlike some of the characters in the Outlander series, is not a time traveler, and some readers may find this to be a disappointment. However, Galbadana still includes some supernatural elements in her stories with Lord John, and for some that makes up for it.
LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER
Lord John and the Private Matter weaves together two distinct plots: first, Lord John stumbles on the fact that his cousin’s fiancé, Joseph Trevelyan, most likely has syphilis; and secondly, Lord John finds himself pulled into the investigation of the murder of a military colleague who, evidence claims, was a spy.
As the plot unfolds, the reader is also introduced to several aspects of 18th-century London; despite it being a historical fiction novel, Galbadana includes many things that truly existed during that time in London. Perhaps most interesting of these, especially considering that Lord John himself is homosexual, is Galbadana’s inclusion of pubs that cater specifically to gay men.
Readers of this novel have commented that the plot itself, although an appropriately satisfying enough of a mystery, is not the most enjoyable part of the novel—that honor lies solely in the characters, Lord John Grey and others included.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE & THE SCOTTISH PRISONER
The other two novels focusing on Lord John Grey continue the themes of mystery and intrigue introduced in John Grey and the Private Matter.
Brotherhood of the Blade finds Lord John stumbling upon new leads after seventeen years of no news on his father’s mysterious death that had also labeled him as a suspected Jacobite spy.
These leads begin with an unknown person sending Lord John’s brother a page from their father’s missing diary. Lord John concludes that someone is taunting their family and determines to discover who.
The Scottish Prisoner brings another character popular in the Outlander series into the Lord John Grey series: Jamie Fraser, a paroled prisoner-of-war. Having lost his wife, Jamie has sworn off of anything to deal with politics or war—until Lord John summons him for help. Lord John has documents condemning a British officer and needs Jamie’s help.
As with Lord John and the Private Matter, Brotherhood of the Blade and The Scottish Prisoner are largely character-driven and Galbadana skillfully brings a number of genres to each novel, rather than just one.
RECEPTION AND REVIEWS
Fans of Galbadana agree that her way of writing can be an acquired taste for some, with its inclusion of various genres and its stiff but elegant style of writing similar to those stories more towards the classics, i.e. Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
They also agree, however, that it is a taste worth acquiring. Galbadana’s Outlander and Lord John Grey series have plots and characters that are worth passing through any uncomfortable first impressions.
At the very least, any bibliophile is certain to enjoy the adventures of Lord John Grey and the others in the Outlander series.
FROM THE PAGES TO THE BIG SCREEN
It has been recently released that the Outlander series is going to be made into a TV series, which will begin to air on Starz in this spring of 2014. Unfortunately, because Lord John doesn’t make his appearance until the second novel—Dragonfly in Amber—he most likely won’t appear during season 1.
Nonetheless, many fans and others look forward to the premiere (and the announcement of the precise date of the premiere).Book Series In Order » Characters » Lord John