As you all know I’ve been reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series for the past two months. So far I have to say this is one of my all-time favorite series I’ve ever read, and they’ve brought me much joy. Having said that, however, I must say that her fifth novel in the series, The Fiery Cross, did not meet my standards. Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel, but at 1443 pages the book could have stood a lot of editing. As much as I love Claire, Jamie, Briana, Roger and the others, the book lacked the amount of action that made the first three book in the series a hit for me. Instead, the book was loaded down with a lot of mundane details like diaper changes and laundry. Since I do really love these characters I didn’t mind so much as I hoped this book would be a bridge to something even more exciting and riveting in the next two books. I’ve just started reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes, so I don’t know if my prediction was right. As much as I love this series, I do believe someone could read the first four books, skip five, and not miss a damn thing.
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.
As the synopsis states The Fiery Cross is about Claire and Jamie preparing for the upcoming American Revolution. When I say preparing, it’s mostly them mentally fortifying themselves at the possibility that their lives will once again become unsettled by war. If the upcoming war wasn’t enough to worry about, Claire and Jamie also have to worry about the dreaded newspaper clipping Bree showed them. In between a wedding that went on for over a hundred pages, a reunion with a scoundrel, accidental hanging, and the return of a prodigal son, nothing much else happened. The sad thing is that the sex scenes that were featured prominently in the previous books were also few and far between. Basically, readers got a glimpse of what living in the 18th century backwoods pre-Revolutionary War would have been like.
While somewhat interesting, I can’t say this book was difficult to put down. In fact, the main thing I found interesting was learning the origins of why the KKK burns crosses when rallying, which is what the title of the book alludes to – Cross burning, not the KKK – as Jaime rallies men to join the militia in an upcoming skirmish. If you are a fan of this series you will undoubtedly enjoy this book, but it may take a while to get through. I’ve read the others within 3-5 days, but this one took me two weeks since I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to read it for long lengths of time like its predecessors. Overall I recommend it as a nice addition to the series, but don’t be surprised if you fall asleep while reading it. Lord knows I sure did.