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15 of 15 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now we really see the Professor's brain
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...
Published on June 29 2004 by Wycki


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15 of 15 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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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant visit with Claire and Jamie, April 28 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
How do you explain why you enjoyed a novel that was close to a thousand pages long and in which almost nothing of serious consequence happens? None of the story lines started in the earlier four Outlander books was concluded and several new ones were begun. (There were also a couple that started and then seemed to be totally forgotten). If this were a soap opera (and one could certainly argue the point) this would be a Wednesday show, merely stringing the viewer along until Friday's cataclysm which leaves you waiting for Monday. With all that, it was still delightful to see Claire and Jamie after a five year wait, to know their love is still very much alive but that it doesn't get in the way of their having a jolly good row once in a while. Gabaldon brings Frasier's Ridge alive with the daily comings and goings-on of North Carolina in the early 1770s. She touches on a part of US history that few outside the Tarheel state know about: the pre-revolutionary Regulators and the Battle of Alamance. And through it all she weaves her various plots. It will come as no surprise that Jamie and Claire have some heated love scenes; that she will bring several people back from the brink of death with her medical knowledge and that in the darkest hour she and/or Jamie can come up with the perfect sarcastic comment. And all of that is the stuff that leaves us wanting more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Found the topic for my dissertation, April 28 2002
By 
CP "historygeek" (Columbia, Tennessee United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
I just discovered the Outlander series last fall, and have fallen desperately in love with Scottish history as a result. I have always loved historical fiction, and the Outlander series is one of the most compelling series I've ever read. It's wonderful because it doesn't stop with just one event and because it raises the question that many amateur historians ask - "What if?" Could we change history or is it destined to be the way it is?
As an amateur genealogist, too, I found The Fiery Cross very interesting. I know it's fiction, but I can't help feeling that this book gives me some idea of the life that my Scottish ancestors led when they immigrated to NC around the same time.
In the Fiery Cross Gabaldon has created an interesting love story, but has put it in a historical context that exposes some of the lesser known events of American history. This book may not seem as action packed as the previous four, but it deals with the important questions of leadership, equality, and religion that faced the people of the time and place in which it is set. I can't wait to see how the characters deal with the changes that occur as they move closer to the Revolution.
Good historical novels inspire interest in the historical topic even for people who previously knew nothing of that period. I know little about the Scottish immigrants in the late colonial period, but I can't wait to find out. It may sound absurd, but this book really has given me a topic for my dissertation (assuming I ever write it)!
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2.0 out of 5 stars The story has run out, April 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fiery Cross (Hardcover)
Overall this is one of the best series I have read. I always eagerly await the next installment. However, in this novel, the story seems to have run out and Diana Galbadon appears to not really know where she wants the story to go. Or, if she knows where she wants to end up, she has lost her way in getting there.
I enjoy Galbadon's abilty to write a very romantic, action-filled and, most of all, humorous story. Where has the humor gone? She has the ability to craft a scene so that you can see it unfolding in your mind's eye. You enjoy the joke with the characters. Her writing, in this sense, was along the lines of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Humor is almost non-existent here.
This book appears to have been printed before it was quite finished. With the first few installments, there was the tension of what was happening in the Claire's 20th century life with what was happening in the 18th century life and a clear direction for the story. The story was tightly written and made sense. In this book there seems to be no conflict to keep the story moving and many loose ends. It is more a collection of loosely related episodes.
Reflecting back on the story itself, the main thing I remember is that Brianna breastfed her son Jem---a lot. I do not think that this is what Galbadon intended.
To close, I recommend the series but stick with the earlier installments. They are more enjoyable. Read this installment only to keep up with the overall plot line.
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The Fiery Cross
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (Mass Market Paperback - March 23 2004)
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