Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 1443
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: November 6, 2001
Publisher: Dell
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge. Claire’s unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes."

In 1771, we find Jamie and Claire Fraser still living in North Carolina along with Brianna, Roger, and their son.  But things aren't simply peaceful in the mountains of North Carolina. It's the years before the American Revolution and the governor seeks Jamie out to raise a militia.  This is all well and good, but because of Claire, Jamie knows what actually happens in the American Revolution. Could more war and drama be heading their way and will they be able to keep everyone safe? Diana Gabaldon's fifth installment in the Outlander series, despite its gargantuan size, is a compusilvely readable epic saga that fans of Outlander will continue to enjoy.

In The Fiery Cross, Gabaldon continues to develop her much beloved characters, but to be honest, not a whole lot happens the first portion of the book. It was a really slow start, but I knew that I should enjoy the relatively quiet start, because Gabaldon always puts her characters through the ringer at some point!

The Fiery Cross starts off at the Gathering and there's to be two weddings in the family; plus, there's always the usual excitement surrounding Claire and her profession. Someone is always injured, or sick, or needs her help, so there's always her medicine playing a role in the story.  Of course, the weddings don't go off without a hitch and there's the constant impending Revolution looming over the horizon, reminding the Frasers of the upcoming (and unavoidable) crisis.  

Readers get a glimpse into a more stable married life between Claire and Jamie, just like in Drums of Autumn. I love them even more in The Fiery Cross, if that is even possible. Also, things start to become more "normal" between Roger and Brianna. I have to say they both grew on me in The Fiery Cross and I ended up enjoying their relationship more and more, which is ironic, because I was very resistant to them at first. In this novel, I liked Brianna as a mother and could relate to some of her delights with motherhood as well as issues when raising a young boy.  If you have read Gabaldon before, you know that drama always ensues amongst the characters, so be sure to buckle in when reading The Fiery Cross, because there's a lot of ups and downs for the Fraser/MacKenzie clan an many moments that made my heart pound. Plus, we have Jamie not so subtlely inquiring about Stephen Bonnet's whereabouts. So, that sub plot definitely comes to a head in The Fiery Cross.

As always, I have a love hate relationship with Gabaldon's writing. It's so evocative and detailed and lush, but that can be a burden at times as well. I swear I felt like I was reading three novels when I sat down to read The Fiery Cross. I think some of the story could have been cut or condensed as not all of it was essential to the plot, but I will admit some of the more mundane parts developed the characters quite nicely.  

It should also be noted that The Fiery Cross alternates from Claire's point of view, to Jamie's, Roger's and even Brianna's.  I thought this was helpful at times as SO MUCH happens in the second half of the novel that getting the different character's perspectives was helpful. 

So, once The Fiery Cross gets going a lot does happen and quickly, which appears to be Gabaldon's M.O.  Once the action picked up it was at an almost breathless pace.  But what can I say? I am hooked. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, but once I have more time to commit to it.  It's another mammoth tome, but I'm sure it will be worth it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs