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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Before anyone is discouraged by the negative reviews here, I hope they will read this one.
I don't understand when someone says nothing happens in this book. Granted, the action is subtle in the form of politics and intrigue, however it is still there. We finally get to see the everyday life of these wonderful people as they try to find a place to call their own...
Published on April 16 2002

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed emotions
First of all, I love the series. I picked up Outlander by chance soon after it came out in paperback when I was looking for a "trash novel" -- something engrossing and historical yet light and disposable. I was sucked in to an amazing degree and I still think Outlander is the best of the series. Not only is the narrative strong and the level of detail amazing,...
Published on Nov. 19 2001 by funniegrrl


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, April 16 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
Before anyone is discouraged by the negative reviews here, I hope they will read this one.
I don't understand when someone says nothing happens in this book. Granted, the action is subtle in the form of politics and intrigue, however it is still there. We finally get to see the everyday life of these wonderful people as they try to find a place to call their own. They have spent so much of their lives running from one thing to another, not really having a home that this is refreshing. People adore these books because of Diana's amazing ability of bringing characters to life, yet bash this book for the same reasons. When you nurse and have small children, bodily functions are something you have to deal with. One of the most humourous sections is Roger and Bree dealing with potty training Jemmy.
There is plenty of action, political intrigue and drama. We travel with Jamie and the militia, find some new characters, deal with almost losing not just one but two of the major characters and see the return of another. Some loose ends are tied up (wondering about the Tory gold and just who was Otter Tooth?), some are still hanging and new ones pop up (who was that with Laoghaire in the arbor and what about Claire's nighttime visitor?). The action is there if you care to read it.
It's true this book was split in two, Ms. Gabaldon didn't get as far as she would have liked with it, but it is a wonderful book all the same. I finished it in 2 days and had to reread it almost immediately. It is a slower starting novel than previously, something like Dragonfly in Amber, but still filled with the characters I have grown to love. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, Dec 28 2008
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Audio CD)
Loved this book as much as the rest of the Outlander series; although, I really struggled with Brianna. I found myself wondering how this spoiled girl from from the 20th century could go back to the 18th century and become an action hero without any difficulty. Suddenly there was nothing she could not do in this rugged, untamed land. She could out-hunt, out-shoot, out-everything everyone else. I found myself wishing that she would get eaten by a bear, shot by a wayward arrow, or some such thing. Other than her, I found the story very fasinating and another excellent read in in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed emotions, Nov. 19 2001
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
First of all, I love the series. I picked up Outlander by chance soon after it came out in paperback when I was looking for a "trash novel" -- something engrossing and historical yet light and disposable. I was sucked in to an amazing degree and I still think Outlander is the best of the series. Not only is the narrative strong and the level of detail amazing, but the characters are compelling and author has a wonderful prose style and does a remarkable job of communicating emotion and motive. Whenever I'm asked for a "good read" I automatically recommend Outlander. I DON'T read "bestsellers" by those corporate factory-production authors, so this is a rare departure for me.
As far as The Fiery Cross goes, I will say I'm disappointed. I don't think it was a total waste, and a lot of the things the some of the negative reviewers have complained about (details about daily life, descriptions of Jamie's hair, etc. ;) ) are actually some of the things I enjoy about these books. There are certainly some heart-stopping moments, and the obligatory murder mystery is fairly interesting. The last line made me tear up. Still ... still ...
The motivations (for the villans) don't seem to be as crisp as in previous books, mostly because we don't have a clear picture of who they are. Also, the plot just doesn't have the urgency that the rest of the books have. I also spotted a plot complication a MILE away, something that never happened in the previous books, and it's now painfully obvious that when a character "disappears" we'll be sure to see them later on in a "surprising" circumstance. It also doesn't help that I've never been especially fond of Brianna. Can't say why, but she doesn't have the life that most of the other charachters have, and I just don't find her appealing. So, the fact that much of this book, like Drums of Autumn, are about her and Roger makes me skim so I can get back to Claire & Jamie. (Although I DO like wee Roger quite a bit, and sometimes am brought close to tears at all the misery he's put through.) The author is also very good at creating interesting minor characters, but The Fiery Cross lacks any to measure up to Murtagh, Raymond, or Mr. Willoughby.
I enjoyed the fact that one of the previous books had significant parts of the story told from Jamie's point of view. As the series progresses, though, we get less and less of Claire's narrative (and less of Jamie, even) and more from Roger & Bree. While the author may have found this switch in perspective necessary to get the story across, I find it increasingly disjointed. Claire's perspective remains the heart of the story, and her voice is strongest by far, with Jamie coming in second. Occasional shifts might not be so bad, but you now have 4 voices telling the same story, sometimes within the same scene, and it's overkill. And ... what happened to Fergus?? He's barely in this book! It's like watching a TV series where one of the main actors has left the show, but comes back for the occasional token scene.
It's been clear from the second book that the author is strongly drawn to write about children and motherhood/parenthood. It's a topic that gives a lot of depth to the stories. Yet, I think the theme has been beaten to death by now. It would be OK to be reminded of it, or to have a few shining passages, but I believe the repetition drags down the narrative. Also, as with Drums of Autumn, there are about a million threads that are left dangling, some from several books back. I have a hard time seeing how they will all be tied together in one final book. Technically, I found a host of typos, one of which (a discussion of blood types and heredity) is at a rather crucial point. This is very unusual for a novel from a major press, but I understand from the author's web site that the book was a bit rushed to press (those fall book lists, don'tcha know.)
I've met Ms. Gabaldon and read many interviews with her. She's very nice and I greatly admire her talent. This series has sort of grown into a monster, though, and The Fiery Cross feels not exactly like a contractural obligation, but a project she wasn't very enthusiastic about. I hope the next (last?) book will see her with revived energy and more Claire & Jamie in the narrator's chair. I know this sesms like an overwhelmingly negative review, but I AM glad I read it. If you have read all of the series so far, this is still worthwhile, but it's just not quite up to the usual standard.

P.S. One final note -- contrary to what another reviewer said, this book CANNOT be read alone. If you have not read all of the previous books, much of this one will not make sense. This is one series you HAVE to read in order.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now we really see the Professor's brain, June 29 2004
By 
Wycki (Calgary, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Mass Market Paperback)
As with most of the reviews, 1,2 and 3 were smashing, I trudged through 4 in anticipation of another smash hit. But I was disappointed with Fiery Cross. Dianna has switched on her University Professor brain, with it necessity for detail lost on us "commoners". "Outlander" is no longer a learning exercise, with all it's excitement for her. Dianna has now taken on the novelist job. It's to bad the story is suffering. I will as others, continue to read until Jamie and Claire pass of the scene. But I hope their lives liven up for book 6 and 7. Thank you for the good times, we learned our Scottish history!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better the Second Time, July 15 2008
By 
Hugh A. Roth "snowy owl" (Edmonton, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Mass Market Paperback)
Ok, I have to admit that the first time I read this book I just about didn't make it through...I loved the fast paced plotting of the first four books in the series, and then came to this one and found that there was nothing pushing me on to finish all 1200 pages! I recently re-read the entire series, this time really focusing on the actual writing, characters, etc. rather than racing through to see what happens next. In some ways I still think that this is the weakest book in the series...it reads more like essays about life in North Carolina interspersed with short stories with a bit of action. But the writing is so amazing. I feel like I can almost picture Fraser's Ridge and all of it's inhabitants...normally I skim descriptive passages, but Gabaldon's are so well written that they really draw you in. And while there was not really one overarching plot to tie the book together, the "short stories" contained within it were up to her usual standard of funny, imaginative and penetrating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The calm before the storm., June 7 2002
By 
L. M Prestwidge (South Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
Out of the five Outlander books, this one took the longest for me to really sink my teeth into. The first 169 pages all take place on the same day, at a gathering of the clans. Gabaldon takes her time introducing us to the people and customs of 18th century North Carolina, including the various ways that bodily functions and fluids were handled before disposable paper goods. Thankfully, the gathering eventually ends and the Fraser clan makes their way back up to the mountain ridge where life is much more interesting.
With the American Revolution on the horizon, Claire and Jamie and their growing family enjoy a quiet family life (and a little tragedy) while preparing for the war they know is coming. Along with new friends and family members, there are of course new enemies as well as new time travelers.
While not my favorite of the series (that's a tie between Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber), I still enjoyed this book quite a bit and am anxiously awaiting the publication of book six.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get to excited about number 4, May 17 2002
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
Firstly, I am greatly impressed by Diana's other books, but this book has not held my interest like her previous ones. I have to confess to being very bored with the first part of this book. Unlike her other books, which I was able to read long into the night, after about two pages reading each night of this one, I had trouble staying awake. It took me about 3 months to work through "The Fiery Cross" but the saving grace was, that things started to improve towards the latter stages of the book. I felt however, that Claire & Jamie's relationship had been dragged out to the bitter end, and to be quite honest, I felt as though I wouldn't be very upset if a wild Grizzly bear broke in and killed them both (it would have been a little more exciting). Perhaps I have been harsh here, as Gabaldon's previous books have been nothing short of outstanding, and I suppose anything short of her best is really surprising. Then again, an average book by Diana would in many cases be considered something very special by any other author. So overall, this is a long read which lacks the excitement and energy of the previous instalments, but still has that remarkable attention to detail and atmosphere so characteristic of this author. Slow in the beginning but picks up later. Still a must read for fans of this author, but as a first time Gabaldon reader I suggest you start with an earlier book in the saga.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The adventure continues!!!, May 11 2002
By 
Lauren Clendening (Kansas City, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
I couldn't wait to to read "The Fiery Cross". I found this chapter of the Claire and Jamie saga well worth the wait. Of course for me, it just wasn't long enough. ( I love really long books!)
The fact that the book begins exactly where "Drums of Autumn" ends is wonderful. The historical accuracy of her books is amazing. Diana's background in research is evident as is her wonderful imagination. The combination is unbeatable.
Her memory (or notes) means that incidents from previous books remain true. I don't find that very often, and I read A LOT!!
I have all the books in the series in both paperback and hardback and I'll buy this one in paperback when it comes out. Every book is worth reading again. If you read the whole set in order, it can help make sense of some the later incidents. I can't wait for the next book. But until then, I can always stay in touch with Claire, Jamie and all the wonderful, colorful characters by reading the series again. All the books, and this one especially are well worth the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed too and yet.............., May 6 2002
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
While I have to agree with the other reviewer that Diana Gabaldon at her worst is still better than most writers at their best, this installment of the Outlander series does not live up to the first three for me. Nor did Drums of Autumn. Maybe it's just that I don't find colonial American history as interesting as European or the fact this I detest the Brianna character. There's just too much of her for me in these last two books and I just couldn't buy all her "inventions". It doesn't ring true to me. Also, as an animal lover I was tired of the detailed descriptions of killing and butchering of animals with Brianna as the goddess huntswoman. I suppose she'll single-handedly save the whole North Carolina colony in the revoulution in the next book. Like Claire, I couldn't wait to get on that horse and leave Fraser's Ridge and Brianna and Jemmy behind. The best part of this book for me was the Claire narrative. I didn't really even want to read this book as the first three were magic to me and I didn't want to break the spell. And that's what's happened in these last two installments. I might try to give the next one a miss but I doubt I'll be able to.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Drowning in the details, May 1 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
There were times when I forced myself to continue reading, for surely there must be a payoff ahead! There were many times when I got through by skimming, and I really don't like to do that but I couldn't endure the relentless details.
More than 160 pages of one relentlessly long, drearily rainy day makes up the first PART of this book! How rainy was it? Please don't ask, I'm still trying to forget. Especially when it got a little colder and the rain turned to hail. Hail? In October? Surely the author, like the illustrators of "Where's Waldo" has placed a small trick in there by placing one of the 10,000 details wrong, because hail accompanies the thunderstorms of spring and summer, and sleet and freezing rain are what the cold drizzles of late fall can become. I hate to harp on the details, but they seem to be most of what this story is about.
What happenned to the author of that great fight scene between Jamie and Jenny in the first book? I fear that she has exchanged the skill of that writing for the meticulous detailing in this book. She's also resorting to cheap tricks. What happens to Roger seems like a crutch to enliven the plot and the resolution of that storyline is completely predictable. And I wonder if the author has ever experienced a baby or young child that is actually pleasant, smiling or laughing? It does happen. But the children in this book are only described positively if they happen to be (finally!) asleep. Impossible children and unneeded descriptions of sore nipples qualifies this book at least as a great contraceptive.
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The Fiery Cross
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (Mass Market Paperback - March 23 2004)
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