Book Review | The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross
Title: The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publish Date: November 6, 2001 by Dell
# of Pages: 1,443
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Buy it*: Amazon


Description

(From Goodreads) 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.


Rating

Rating (1-5, 5 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 5
Pace – 3
Plot Development – 4
Ending – 4
Characters – 5
Enjoyability – 4
Ease of Reading – 4

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Review
(spoiler-free)

The Fiery Cross is book five in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and it’s an absolute beast of a book! Picking up where Drums of Autumn left off, The Fiery Cross takes the cast of characters closer to war.

I’m a huge fan of this series, so I was excited to pick up the next book in the series. It was quite the commitment, and you need to commit to a book this large! The paperback copy is just over 1,440 pages long, so it’s a slog (but an enjoyable one!)

As with all of the books in the Outlander series, The Fiery Cross was beautifully written. Gabaldon has a knack for the written word. The depth of historical knowledge she has is breathtaking. I’m thankful I read these books on my Kindle, because I’m constantly stumbling across new words I want to look up.

The pacing of the book is somewhat slow, which is to be expected with a book this size. There are a lot of details and mundane events that take place. I find them all interesting, but I could see how people might get bored while reading through the seemingly trivial parts of the story. For me, it helps shape the world. You get to know the characters in The Fiery Cross intimately, which I appreciate in a book.

I won’t even attempt to summarize the plot points in the book, but suffice to say the plot development was well-executed. There were weddings and babies, fighting and near-death experiences. So many wonderful things happened in this book! That said, there were a couple things in the book I didn’t necessarily enjoy:

First, poor Roger. Why is stuff always happening to Roger? It’s like he has a perpetual target on his back. At this rate, I don’t foresee him living through the entire series!

Second, everyone’s reaction to Roger and the fire seemed anticlimactic. I thought the event was a big deal, but it was rarely discussed again after it happened. That seemed a bit odd to me, and it really tripped me up while reading that part of the book. I would have expected a bit more feeling behind the event.

The ending of the book was good. Obviously, it leaves itself open to the next book. I’m already anticipating what’s going to happen next.

The characters in The Fiery Cross, as with the earlier Outlander books, are ridiculously well-written. I feel as though I know them inside and out. The depth and breath of character development is seriously impressive.

It was so fun stepping back into the Outlander world! I can’t read these books back to back, but I’m always happy to jump back into Claire and Jamie’s lives. I’ll probably wait a couple months before I pick up the next book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but I plan on reading it this year.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I highly recommend it!

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Quotes

  • “Honor and courage are matters of the bone, and what a man will kill for, he will sometimes die for, too.”
  • “But the speech of the heart is louder than the words of any oath spoken by lips alone.”
  • “’ . . . the point of hunting is to kill something. The point of going to war is to come back alive.’”
  • “Everyone makes choices, and no one knows what may be the end of any of them. If my own was to blame for many things, it was not to blame for everything. Nor was harm all that had come of it.”
  • “’The world and each day in it is a gift, mo chridhe—no matter what tomorrow may be.’”
  • “I understood very well just then, why it is that men measure time. They wish to fix a moment, in the vain hope that so doing will keep it from departing.”
  • “’To see the years touch ye gives me joy, Sassenach,’ he whispered, ‘—for it means that ye live.’”
  • “’A little learning is a dangerous thing—a fool wi’ a blade by his side in a scabbard is safer than a fool who thinks he kens what to do with it.’”
  • “’The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.’”
  • “’When the day shall come, that we do part,’ he said softly, and turned to look at me, ‘if my last words are not ‘I love you’—ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.’”

Let’s Talk!

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