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The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross (2001)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (5)

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6,16579661 (4.12)139



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Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
In all honesty, this book wasn't one of my favorites in the series, at least in the beginning. Don't get me wrong, it is still superb storytelling, but for some reason, it just didn't grab me like the rest have. I suppose it's because I sometimes resent the Roger and Brianna story line, almost like they are upstaging Jamie and Claire. It could also be that I have four young children, the youngest of whom is nursing, so the story line didn't allow me to "escape" much because of Jemmy, although Gabaldon certainly knows about how children behave, and most of the scenes involving dear Jem were spot on, and utterly hilarious. And since I had taken a break between this book and the last, the flood of characters seemed a bit much. But all minor grousing aside, Gabaldon can weave a tale like nobody's business. Attempted hangings, villainous Stephen Bonnet, young Ian, a desperate woman driven to shocking behavior, crimes against settlers, murder, treasure, and more, all came together to tell this portion of the story, as a fledgling nation prepares to take its stand against the British. Jamie and Claire are pulled along with the tide of events, but with an especial sense of dread, as they wonder if the clipping regarding their deaths will prove to be accurate. ( )
  silva_44 | Oct 30, 2015 |
Summarizing this entry in the series is a bit tough, so I'm just going to jump right into my review. As always, Jamie and Claire and they're growing clan remain as engrossing as ever. While the novel starts out with a slow-build, there's plenty of action to be had and I spent several chunks of the novel being less than pleased that I had to put it down to do grown up things like work and sleep. Jamie and Claire remain my favourites but I also really enjoy the opportunity to continue to explore Roger and Bree's characters. There are several loose ends at the end of this novel and some minor moments I'm hoping get further explanations so as ever when I come to the end of a Gabaldon novel, I'm eagerly looking forward to picking up the next one. ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 27, 2015 |
It's now been over two decades since I discovered and read Outlander (the first book of the series) for the first time, and in all that time, no other pair have been able to supplant Jamie and Claire as my all-time favorite romantic couple. I love them and their relationship so much, I would literally read anything that their creator deigns to write about them, and I'm never disappointed with their stories. That said, though, the narrative of The Fiery Cross tends to ebb and flow between more exciting action and mystery and the quieter moments of their lives. For this reason, there were times I wasn't quite as anxious to get back to reading it as I was with some of the earlier books of the series. I wasn't bored, just not as engrossed as I might have been. Throughout reading it, I went back and forth between a 4.5 and a 5 star rating, and eventually settled on 5 stars simply because, even though it took me three weeks to read it (I'm a very slow reader), I was still sorry to see it end. I closed the book on another chapter of Jamie and Claire's lives, but I still want more. That, to me, is one of the main hallmarks of a perfect read, even if the story did have some slower parts.

In this installment of the series, we see Jamie and Claire comfortably settled in their big house on Fraser's Ridge, surrounded by their loved ones and friends. I really enjoy stories about the Colonial period of American history, but don't find ones set in this time all that often. As with all her books, Ms. Gabaldon goes into great detail regarding what life was like in that time, and it isn't always a pretty picture. She doesn't shy away from the harsh, sometimes brutal, realities of living in that era, but it's also balanced out with the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness and wildlife, as well as day-to-day living. There are also some events that are precursors to the rapidly approaching War for Independence, which Jamie and Claire are trying to avoid, but sometimes can't help being dragged into. Wherever they are though, the setting comes alive and basically becomes a character unto itself. In addition to their life on the Ridge, Jamie and Claire experience lots of adventures away from home, some good, some bad, some humorous, and some life-threatening. But no matter what they're doing, they support one another and take joy in each other's company and in their growing family. Almost from the beginning some mysteries start to develop too, which aren't fully untangled until the final chapters of the book, and even then, we're left with additional intrigue that I'm sure will carry over into the next book.

Jamie never ceases to amaze me with his sheer perfection. If he has any flaws, I'd be hard-pressed to say what they are. Claire would probably say it's his stubbornness, but even that can be endearing and has served him well on many occasions. IMHO, he's everything a man (and a romantic hero) should be and more: strong, protective, loyal, determined, responsible, honorable, intelligent, open-minded, a good father and husband, a tender lover. Need I go on?:-) I honestly can't imagine anyone reading these book and not falling in love with him. He's also a born leader who inspires loyalty, and while he holds no official title, he's in essence become the laird of Fraser's Ridge. Jamie bears a heavy weight of responsibility for his tenants and grieves deeply if anything happens to any of them on his watch. He's a strong warrior and skilled fighter, who isn't afraid of battle, but is diplomatic enough to try to avoid it whenever possible. He's also a man of the land, skilled in farming and animal husbandry. I love how intelligent Jamie is and how even though it's sometimes difficult for an 18th century man to wrap his head around many of the things Claire tells and shows him, he's still fascinated by them and enjoys learning about them. I also adore Jamie's sense of humor. He has a boyishly mischievous side that's utterly charming, and he often make me laugh at his jokes and his reactions to certain things. Jamie's family is everything to him. He adores his children and grandchildren, even the ones who don't share his blood and the ones who can't be with him, and he welcomes his new son-in-law into the fold, even if he does test him a bit in the process. Best of all, Jamie's love for Claire is breathtaking in its intensity and the kind of love I think everyone wishes for at least once in their lives. It's also very heartwarming to see that he's not only still madly in love with her after nearly thirty years, but still desires her more than his next breath. It's no wonder that in all this time, no other romantic hero has been able to knock him out of that top spot on my list of favorites.

I've always admired Claire for her strength, determination, and tenacity. She's a woman who knows who she is and isn't afraid to be who she was born to be. She also knows what she wants and goes after it with single-minded intent. She's a born healer, who instinctively understands the human body, including all its frailties. While we've seen Claire in this role throughout the series, I think it's perhaps even more pronounced in this book. She's able to bring to bear her twentieth-century knowledge of medicine, but is often frustrated by her eighteenth-century limitations. It doesn't stop her, though, from doing everything she possibly can to heal or cure every person who steps into her surgery, and much like Jamie, she deeply feels the weight of responsibility for every death, even when she knows there was nothing she could do to prevent it. As she herself muses, she has that “odd mixture of empathy and ruthlessness needed to be a great doctor.” She has a dry wit and a wry sense of humor that makes me smile. Also like Jamie, family comes first in her world, and she would do anything to keep those she loves safe. Although she often worries for Jamie's safety, she is strong enough to recognize when he needs to do something and support his endeavors even if she doesn't like it. She's always been Jamie's rock and sometimes even his lifeline, both physically and emotionally. She loves him with the same all-consuming passion that he loves her and can't bear to think of a time when they might not be together.

At this point in the Outlander series, the books are no longer just about Jamie and Claire, but also their daughter, Brianna, and the love of her life, Roger Mackenzie. Roger probably gets nearly as many scenes from his third-person POV as Claire does from her first-person POV, with a smattering of Jamie's and Brianna's perspectives thrown in here and there for good measure. Roger is a keen observer of human nature, and he often watches Jamie and Claire, wishing to emulate the love and deep connection they share in his own marriage. While Roger's and Brianna's romance isn't quite the grand affair that her parents' is, it's still obvious that they love one another deeply and IMHO are well-matched. Both of them have an artistic side, Roger's leans toward music, while Brianna has a talent for drawing and painting. Much like her parents, they are both highly intelligent. Bree nearly became an engineer, and Roger is a historian, like Bree's adoptive father, Frank. Having grown up in the relative safety of the twentieth century, both of them face difficulties in adjusting to life in the past. Bree is more independent and adaptable like her mother, while also being strong and stubborn like her father. She's a crack shot and has little trouble facing the realities of the past head on. Roger, however, is a bookish sort and a musician, who is much more at home singing than fighting or shooting things. He struggles with a sense of inadequacy, feeling like he can't quite measure up to the almost legendary Jamie Fraser. Throughout the story Roger grows and changes as he admirably faces life-altering challenges of his own, the type that can make or break a man. Both of them, to some degree, must also face what was done to Bree by the villainous Stephen Bonnet in the previous book. I greatly admire them both for their handling of the situation, Roger for his protectiveness of his wife and Bree for standing up for herself. I also enjoyed watching them be parents to their baby boy, Jemmy, who is a real cutie-pie. He behaves exactly like I would expect a miniature red-headed Fraser descendant to – intrepid, mischievous, and full of curiosity.

Like I said before, I just can't get enough of Jamie and Claire. Their love is the kind that I aspire to have. No matter how long they're together, they still have an easy rapport that melts my heart. It's like they're the missing piece of the other, always knowing and sensing things about one another that no one else would notice. Even though they're now middle-aged, they're still madly in love and desire each other to the depth of their being. It's nice to see Roger and Brianna at least trying to follow in her parents' footsteps, even if they have some very big shoes to fill. I truly can't wait to see what else might be in store for all of them in future books of the series. ( )
  mom2lnb | Aug 7, 2015 |
This installment in the Outlander series is definitely slower-paced than the preceding four, and perhaps if I had begun reading the novels as they were released, I would have been disappointed to wait three or four years for more breathless Jamie-Claire adventures only to be find them nearly collapsing into the rocking chairs on the porch of their 1770s Appalachian homestead. There's still plenty of drama and passion to be had wherever this duo finds themselves, but in this novel, their creator gives them a little time to enjoy the ordinary pleasures of home and community, and after reading the previous four novels in the span of eight weeks, I was happy to catch my breath as well.

Ms. Gabaldon is such a fine storyteller and writes her characters so vividly that even the details of potty training on the frontier can charm and engage the reader. And this particular novel is an exemplary exercise in storytelling. Many of the supporting characters -- and there are legions of them -- get a chance to tell their own stories by campfire or hearthside. I can imagine this novel being serialized in a 19th century newspaper or magazine, or being read by Mrs. March to her daughters as was "Pilgrim's Progress" in Little Women. This is a novel for people who enjoy stories that unfold slowly.

( )
  Sharon.Flesher | Jul 13, 2015 |
I am still drawn to these books, even though they are rather long and tedious. War is approaching, but not yet here. This book takes place entirely in the past, so there is no time travel in this one, which was a nice breather - to catch up. As with most of the books, there are multiple story lines. ( )
  hoosgracie | Jun 17, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnell, Barbarasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ik heb oorlog meegemaakt, en veel verloren. Ik weet wat het waard is om voor te vechten, en wat niet.
Eer en moed zijn essentiële zaken, en voor datgene waarvoor een man bereid is te doden, zal hij soms ook willen sterven.
En dat, o verwanten, is waarom een vrouw brede heupen heeft: dat benige bekken is zowel het toevluchtsoord van een man als zijn kind. Het leven van een man ontspringt aan het lichaam van zijn vrouw, en in haar bloed vindt zijn eer zijn oorsprong.
Voor de liefde alleen, zal ik mij wederom door het vuur begeven.
This book is for my Sister, Theresa Gabaldon, with whom I told the first Stories.
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I woke to the patter of rain on canvas, with the feel of my first husband's kiss on my lips.
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The French translations of the Outlander series have been split in different ways by different publishers. Also, the same titles have been used for different splits. You can find information about the splits here: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chard... Please do not combine French translations with each other or with other language versions without checking that the content is the same. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440221668, Mass Market Paperback)

The fiery cross, once used to summon Highland clans to war, now beckons readers to take up Diana Gabaldon's fifth installment in the Outlander series featuring the time-traveling Frasers. Historical fiction fans who have waited four long years since the publication of Drums of Autumn will thrill to Gabaldon's trademark detail and sensuality, both displayed liberally throughout the nearly 1,000 pages of The Fiery Cross. In this pre-Revolutionary War period, Claire Fraser and her husband, Jamie, have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in the bucolic beauty of North Carolina. But tensions both ancient and recent threaten not only Claire and James, but their daughter, Brianna, her new husband, Roger, and their infant son, Jemmy, as well as members of their clan. Gabaldon delivers on what she does best: poignant storylines, empathetic characters, meticulous detail, and searing passion. Savor every carefully chosen word, readers; it may be a long time until the next installment! --Alison Trinkle

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:38 -0400)

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The year is 1771, and war is approaching. Jamie Fraser's wife has told 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. To break his oath to the Crown will brand him a traitor; to keep it is certain doom. Jamie Fraser stands in the shadow of the fiery cross - a standard that leads nowhere but to the bloody brink of war. In 1771, Scotman Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveler wife, Claire Randall, become caught between a loyalty to the Crown and the changing times, as the American Revolution draws inevitably closer, in a new volume from the Outlander saga.… (more)

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