I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
It is part of the Outlander #0.5, Outlander #07.5, , , Outlander #8.5, , Outlander #0.75, series and is a historical fiction, historical mystery, military that was published by Delacorte Press on June 27, 2017 and has 526 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books in this series include The Scottish Prisoner, MatchUp
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Lord John and the Hand of Devils, The Scottish Prisoner, Dangerous Women, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination
An anthology of seven short stories in the Outlander / Lord John Gray series. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Outlander and Lord John Grey books on my website.
On the whole, they’re excellent stories with a few niggles here and there.
“A Fugitive Green” (Lord John #0.25, Outlander #0.75; 1744)
“The Custom of the Army” (Lord John #2.75; 1759)
“A Plague of Zombies” (Lord John #3.5; 1761)
“Besieged” (Lord John #3.75; 1762)
“Virgins” (Outlander #0.5; 1740)
“The Space Between” (Outlander #07.5; 1778)
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” (Outlander #8.5)
“The Custom of the Army” is an excellent mini-adventure for Lord John Grey from the electric eel attack to his brief Indian affair to General Wolfe’s successful attack on Quebec, all with the purpose of upholding his old friend’s, Charlie Carruther’s, honor when he is accused of not preventing a mutiny…with cause.
My one niggle with this is the duel that takes place immediately after the party AND in London. From everything I’ve read, this simply wasn’t on. Take note of Malcolm Stubbs in this, as he appears again in “Besieged”. This short story can also be found in George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois’ Warriors.
“The Space Between” was a curious (and excellent!) peek into what Joan MacKimmie, Jamie’s stepdaughter, is off to, joining a nunnery in Paris, and how it collides with Michael Murray, Jamie’s nephew; the Comte St. Germain; and, Maître Raymond. There’s an interesting historical bit about the cemeteries around Paris in this. Niggle-wise, I wish we’d learned more about Raymond’s and the comte’s plans as well as what the comte had intended with Joan.
This short story can also be found in John Joseph Adams’ The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius.
“A Plague of Zombies” is another exciting tale with the horrible truth about making zombies and how corruption can steal one’s soul when Lieutenant Colonel Lord John Grey is sent to Jamaica to quell a maroon uprising. I absolutely adored how unusual Grey was/is in this compared to his compatriots’ usual behavior.
Originally titled “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” in George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’ Down These Strange Streets.
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” will make you cry in this encounter with Roger MacKenzie Wakefield’s father, Jerry, a fighter pilot in World War II when Captain Frank Randall volunteers him for a secret mission. Finally, we learn why Roger’s father wasn’t there for him.
This short story can be found as a standalone or in George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’ Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love.
“Virgins” is both sad and rather funny when Jamie Fraser is sent to France to join up with the mercenary group of which Ian Murray, his best friend, is a member. Yep, it’s all about two virgins, and how they deal.
This short story can also be found in George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’ Dangerous Women.
“A Fugitive Green“, a new story, starts out so horribly sad and then turns sweet. It’s Hal, John’s older brother, who is struggling to survive events in his life that have destroyed him emotionally. Enter Minnie, the young French spy, hired to finish the job, who turns out to have compassion galore.
I love how supportive her odd father is at the end, although Hal and Harry’s luck seems pretty amazing. As for the library floor action, how does this prove her as a good guy?
“Besieged“, a new story, follows on from Lord John’s adventures in “A Plague of Zombies” when his stepfather shows up and begs John to rescue Benedicta, John’s mother, before she’s taken hostage.
This includes previous characters: Azeel and Rodrigo (“A Plague of Zombies”) and Malcolm Stubbs (“The Custom of the Army”).
The Cover and Title
The cover has a golden yellow background with a slight radial gradient. A deep gold banner spans the top with a note that this is a collection from the Outlander series. The author’s name is directly below it in an embossed metallic red and her New York Times status. The title is in a deeper embossed red and takes up the whole bottom half. In between author and title is a a round bronze shield with the hilt of a sword in its center.
The title is a reference to the number of stories within Seven Stones to Stand or Fall and how people deal with adversity.