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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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6,05377687 (4.12)135



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English (76)  German (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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 |
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, this one took a whole month! That is NOT what you think, though. Realizing that soon I might be out of Outlander books, I now limit my reading. True story. I do not think I will survive without the hot Scottish accent you cannot help hearing in your head while reading, without extensive Fraser family drama, their adventures, travels, and their daily lives, full of work from sunrise to sunset, raising children, providing for ones family and changing history. Easy-peasy. ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
Jamie and Claire, along with Roger and Brianna, have settled into a routine of living at Fraser's Ridge. With her knowledge from the future, Claire is all to aware how close they are to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Still, having committed herself to this life and her marriage with Jamie, Claire is determined to do her best to weather storm in front of her, no matter what may come.

This review is a tough one to write to be perfectly honest. The other books in The Outlander series are filled with horrendous tropes, gratuitous rapes, homophobia, child abuse, and of course racism. The Fiery Cross is the least offensive book in this series to date; however, it is also the most boring book to date. Absolutely nothing happens. There is no plot to speak of and in fact, instead of a plot we are given:
adventure's in changing Jemmy's diaper (for the women at least because men don't do diaper duty) and Jemmy gets potty trained
Medical procedures which Claire must perform
Claire makes penicillin from mold
A brief run in with the Regulators
Jamie gets bitten by a poisonous snake (pointless because Himself's life is never actually in jeopardy)
Ian comes back
Roger is almost hung as a traitor but of course lives, though he does lose his voice
I kept waiting for some plot to arise and for the story to somewhere. You would think that since this novel is 1326 pages long and covers about a year in time that eventually, Gabaldon would get around to have the characters actually do something. For as much as the other books were offensive, at least they has some sort of discernible plot. Had I not determined to read the entire Outlander series, this is a book I would most certainly have DNF'd, as calling it tortuous is being kind.

I suppose the best I can stay is that at least the characters remained the same horrendous people I have gotten to know. Claire, who made such a big deal about not approving of slavery, certainly has no problem with the noxious idea that if the slaves quarter are good and the slaves were owned by someone she likes, this horrible institution is not so bad.
She frowned at Jamie’s back, as he paused at the foot of the stair, listening before stepping onto the landing. It was easy enough to think that the misery of slavery might dispose one to suicide. At the same time, honesty compelled her to admit that Jocasta’s house servants lived reasonably well; better than any number of free individuals—black or white—that she’d seen in Wilmington and Cross Creek.

The servants’ room was clean, the beds rough but comfortable. The house servants had decent clothes, even to shoes and stockings, and more than enough to eat. As for the sorts of emotional complications that could lead one to contemplate suicide—well, those weren’t limited to slaves. (page 600)
Keep in mind that Claire was alive in 1968, and as such, has a full idea of exactly the deprivations of slavery. This is after all her reason for not wanting to own slaves in the first place and yet since she cannot possibly condemn Jacosta, suddenly slavery isn't so bad. I suppose part of her turn around is the fact that having slaves around is just so convenient. They are there after all at the beck and call of a White person and cannot, if they fear for their lives, reject an order or even fight back. Claire is not even remotely reflective enough to recognize the lengths that she has gone to in not only her acceptance of an institution she had heretofore claimed to hate, but her easy justification of it by stating that it's not so bad.

It was Bree who first discovered the comfort of having slaves, though she like her mother, apparently believes that slavery is wrong. Bree, being from 1968 might lead one to believe that she would have a more enlightened point of view because Bree would have lived through, or at least had occasion to witness via media:
Non violent civil disobedience in the form of sit-ins and boycotts (Montgomery Bus Boycott, Greensboro sit-ins, Selma to Montgomery marches )
1964 Civil Rights Act
1965 Voting Rights Act
The Rise of the Black Power Movement
Mississippi Freedom Summer
Freedom Rides
March on Washington
The list of things that both Bree and Claire would have witnessed is immense and still yet, when it comes to Black people, though they have interacted and even claimed some as friends, at least in this per-Revolutionary period, they both espouse some extremely harmful rhetoric .
I wasn’t sure it was a matter for democratic process, but I was inclined to agree with her.

“Here’s another thought,” she said, looking round. “What if it’s this little black man who’s responsible for some of the half-eaten people? Aren’t some of the African slaves cannibals?”

Peter Bewlie’s eyes popped at that; so did the Beardsleys’. Kezzie cast an uneasy look over his shoulder and edged closer to Josiah.

Jamie appeared amused at this suggestion, though. “Well, I suppose ye might get the odd cannibal here and there in Africa,” he agreed. “Though I canna say I’ve heard of one amongst the slaves. I shouldna think they’d be verra desirable as house-servants, aye? Ye'd be afraid to turn your back, for fear of being bitten in the backside."(pg 956 -957)

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Apr 18, 2015 |
I read the first four Outlander books eighteen years ago. That's all there were then, and it's probably a good thing since I completely devoured them in the space of three solid days of reading. (Yes, I really do mean three days, not three weeks.) I ignored my infant son and my husband to utterly lose myself in the eighteenth century world that Diana Gabaldon had created. I bought myself a copy of the Outlandish Companion. I was obsessed. And when new books in the series started being released, I bought them too. But I never read them, afraid to have them tarnish the magic of the first four. (And in the interest of full disclosure, the first book is still my favorite--thanks in no small part to the fact that it was my introduction to this world.) But now with Outlander finally making it to the small screen, I decided I should not only revisit the first books again but also pick up where I left off and read the fifth book (and maybe even the sixth, seventh, and eighth eventually too). So I have spent the past week immersed in the world of Jamie and Claire once again and while it was generally enjoyable, The Fiery Cross, did not quite grab me and consume me like the previous four did.

This fifth installment opens with Jamie and Claire and all of the folks from Fraser's Ridge, including Brianna, Roger, and baby Jem, at the largest Gathering of Scots in North Carolina. Brianna and Roger are finally to marry but the cold, foggy, and wet weather on the day of the wedding presages the uncomfortable events that will drive the narrative of the novel forward. First, a regiment of British soldiers arrives with the unwelcome news that a militia will have to be raised to put the agitating Regulators in their place. Jamie, a land holder by grant of the governor, is required to raise men to commit to this cause. As if this wasn't enough to dampen the day, the Catholic priest who was to perform Brianna and Roger's wedding and the wedding of Jamie's aunt Jocasta is arrested for practicing his faith, illegal as it is in North Carolina, and not allowed to perform the ceremonies. Both of these seemingly small incidents, combined with Jamie's continued search for Stephen Bonnet so that he may exact justice for Bonnet's treachery, are the driving forces behind the plot. But they are often overshadowed by the recitation of daily life in the back country of the North Carolina mountains.

Gabaldon has done a prodigious amount of research into anything and everything pre-Revolutionary North Carolina and it shows in the attention to detail in every scene. There's accurate information on everything from primitive eighteenth century medicine, the politics of the time, how daily tasks were accomplished without modern inventions, the clothing worn, animal husbandry, native ceremonies and life, to the local flora and fauna not only in the mountains but along the coast as well. And as Jamie and Claire, and Roger and Brianna go about their daily life, they are also caught up in the stirring currents that will lead to the war that they know must come. They will face the common dangers that faced all settlers of the time but they will face extraordinary dangers as well. This is nothing different from previous books but unlike in the previous books in the series, this one drags a bit with the main plot threads disappearing for long stretches of pages. The shifting narrative, from Claire's first person narration to a third person limited narration centered mostly on Roger, is disconcerting and often times abrupt. There is a sameness to the story that makes the reader wonder if so much of the monotony of everyday life needed to be recorded when it was no longer novel or curious to the time travelling characters or to the reader either. The book presents a much more settled relationship between Jamie and Claire, one no longer fraught with the constant fear of loss but substitutes for this tension with the shifting uncertainty and unanswered and unanswerable questions between Roger and Brianna. And perhaps that's a part of the difference in this book. Roger and Brianna are not the compelling characters, burning together, that Jamie and Claire have always been so to make their story carry equal weight with Jamie and Claire, makes the novel less engaging over all. Despite the slow moving story and the sometimes over long repetition, this is still a ticket back to Jamie and Claire's world so diehard fans will not want to skip it even as the hope is that the following books will recapture the addictive and completely enthralling feel of the first books. ( )
  whitreidtan | Apr 12, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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