2007: #42 – The Fiery Cross (Diana Gabaldon)

Book #42 was The Fiery Cross, the 5th book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The back of the book reads:

Crossing the boundaries of genre with its unrivaled storytelling, Diana Gabaldon’s new novel is a gift both to her millions of loyal fans and to the lucky readers who have yet to discover her.

In the ten years since her extraordinary debut novel, Outlander, was published, beloved author Diana Gabaldon has entertained scores of readers with her heart-stirring stories and remarkable characters. The four volumes of her bestselling saga, featuring eighteenth-century Scotsman James Fraser and his twentieth-century, time-traveling wife, Claire Randall, boasts nearly 5 million copies in the U.S.

The story of Outlander begins just after the Second World War, when a British field nurse named Claire Randall walks through a cleft stone in the Scottish highlands and is transported back some two hundred years to 1743.

Here, now, is The Fiery Cross, the eagerly awaited fifth volume in this remarkable, award-winning series of historical novels. 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.

This was another solid entry in this series, though I think this is the first one I’ve read that hasn’t reduced me to a blubbering mess at one point or another. However, the lack of extreme emotion doesn’t take anything away from the story. It seems that life has fallen into a sort of routine (if anything in Jamie and Claire’s lives could ever be considered “routine”), with the specter of the Revolutionary War looming in the distance. The return of a beloved character at the end is a nice touch and an old mystery is revealed.

I think the last paragraph really sums up the feeling of this entire series, so far.

“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’ — ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”

Page count: 1443 | Word count: 498,030

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