A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th-century nurse Claire Randall and her 18th-century Scottish Highland warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.
Claire is the wife of Jamie Fraser, her 18th century husband, and facing the politics and turmoil of the forthcoming American Revolution. The preceding novel, The Fiery Cross, concluded with political unrest in the colonies beginning to boil over and the Frasers trying to peacefully live on their isolated homestead in the foothills of North Carolina. Jamie is suddenly faced with walking between the fires of loyalty to the oath he swore to the British crown and following his hope for freedom in the new world.
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser - Laird of Fraser's Ridge, North Carolina. Former inmate of Ardsmuir Prison. Claire's 18th century husband who was a Scottish Jacobite leader, later printer & smuggler, and foster father of Fergus-Claudel Fraser, step-father of Marsali MacKimmie Fraser, and biological father of Brianna and William (although William was conceived out of wedlock and does not know that Jamie is his real father).
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser - Main female character whom the series revolves around. Claire was a British nurse during World War II who traveled back through time and originally met Jamie in 1743 Scotland. Married to Jamie and mother of Brianna, foster mother of Fergus, and step-mother to Marsali.
Brianna Ellen MacKenzie - Jamie and Claire's daughter born in the 20th century and raised by Claire and Franklin Randall. She marries Roger and they have two children: a son, Jeremiah, known as "Jemmy", and a daughter, Amanda.
Roger MacKenzie Wakefield - Jamie and Claire's son-in-law who like Brianna was born in the 20th century. Married to Brianna and father of Jemmy and Mandy.
Jeremiah "Jemmie" MacKenzie - Roger and Brianna's son (there was some doubt about his paternity but this is now resolved).
Fergus Claudel Fraser - One-time French pickpocket and spy. Jamie and Claire's foster son. First appears in Dragonfly in Amber. Married to Marsali.
Marsali Mackenzie Fraser - Laoghaire's daughter and Jamie and Claire's step-daughter. First appears in Voyager. Married to Fergus and mother to Germain, Joan, Felicitie and Henri Christian.
Germain Fraser - Fergus and Marsali's oldest son.
Ian Murray - Jenny and Ian Murray's son and Jamie's nephew. Was married to 'Emily' Works With Her Hands of the Mohawk, but returns to the Ridge with only Rollo, his half-wolf canine companion.
Lizzie Wemyss - Brianna's bond servant. Joseph Wemyss' daughter. 'Married' to the Beardsley twins, and pregnant by one of them but unsure which one.
Joseph Wemyss - Jamie and Claire's bond servant. Lizzie's father.
Malva Christie - Tom Christie's daughter. Arrives at the Ridge at the end of Fiery Cross.
Allan Christie - Tom Christie's son. Arrives at the Ridge at the end of Fiery Cross.
Tom Christie - A former inmate of Ardsmuir Prison. Malva and Alan's Father. In love with Claire. Arrives at the Ridge at the end of Fiery Cross.
Colonel Lord John William Grey - The former governor of Ardsmuir Prison. Jamie's long time friend, they first met in 1745 during the Jacobite rising. Stepfather of William Ransom, 9th Earl of Ellesmere.
Jocasta MacKenzie Cameron Innes - Sister of Ellen MacKenzie Fraser, Colum and Dougal MacKenzie. Jamie's blind aunt who owns River Run Plantation.
Duncan Innes - A former inmate of Ardsmuir Prison. Jocasta's husband.
Stephen Bonnet - An outlaw thief, trader, rapist and smuggler who first appears in Drums of Autumn. Smuggles goods along the Carolina coastlines. He was by shot by Brianna at the end of "Fiery Cross". Fate unknown.
A Breath of Snow and Ashes debuted at #1 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List in 2005 and won the Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.