The Fiery Cross

Outlander, Book #5

By Diana Gabaldon

ISBN# 9780440221661

Author’s website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Life continues to go on at Fraser’s Ridge as more tenants arrive to make a life there.  Jamie is always willing to give a helping hand to start up new homes, and often taking people into his own house until theirs can be built.

Roger and Brianna are adapting to the time as they make a home for themselves in the cabin with wee Jemmy.  They are still struggling with all they’ve gone through courtesy of Stephen Bonnet.  They both have their struggles to work through and they can’t help, but wonder who Jemmy’s biological father actually is.

Claire, Roger, and Bree all know that war is coming.  They are just years away from the American Revolution and they all must decide how best to survive it.  However, the history books never mentioned the current disturbance that is taking place.  A group of men known as the Regulators are fighting against the unfairness of the Crown.  And, Jamie has been called upon to gather and lead a group of men to stop the riotous behavior.  Never hearing of these battles, Claire doesn’t know how to prepare Jamie for what lies ahead, but she can only hope that nothing will come of it.  However, the family could never be prepared for the personal hardships that lie ahead of them as a result of this small conflict as they inch closer to all-out war in the years to come.

I never know what to expect going into one of these books.  I like the characters and for someone who never cared much for history, I do find these books somewhat interesting.  The one thing I can always bank on though is the length of these books!  They are quite massive and I feel that Gabaldon gets too thorough at times.  She can detail every conversation each character has for weeks on end until you’re dying of the monotony.  Then, when something interesting happens you get a small snippet and suddenly the story advances to months later and you feel a bit jipped.

This book in particular was a bit strange to me.  The plot didn’t feel fully fleshed out.  The synopsis seemed to be more about the fight with the Regulators, but that was only a small portion of the book.  A lot of things happened afterwards, including their hunt to eradicate Stephen Bonnet.  However, nothing seemed to get resolved in this novel beyond the battle.

I found myself more engaged with this story than the previous installment though.  However, it still took me a good three weeks to read it; that goes back to the book being massive in size!

I did figure one character would re-emerge in this series … at least I had hoped so.  And, I was super happy when it happened!  I think I even pumped my fist in joy! YES!  There is a lot we don’t know about what lead this person to coming back, but I have to think it will be a big focus in the next book.  At least, I hope so!  I can’t wait to learn more and I’m happy the author didn’t delay this reunion for another book!  I needed the happiness it brought to my heart, although I’m sure there is plenty of heartache involved that we will learn about soon.

And, can Roger please start to become a man?  I do so tire of people having to save him!  Not, to mention I hated his broodiness that was present throughout so much of this book.  I understand it, but it did get rather obnoxious.  At least he did start to come out of it later in the book.

I did rather enjoy both Jemmy and Germain in this novel as their personalities really started to show.  You can definitely see Fergus’s influence on his son!  And, I loved Jamie’s interaction with his grandchildren.

Overall this was an okay read, I just wish it had more of a finished feel and that it didn’t drag on so at times.