"Outlandish Life and Love - Well worth the Wait!"
THE FIERY CROSS begins where DRUMS OF AUTUMN leaves
the New World Clan Gathering. At the end of their year of
handfast, through several trials by fire, and much soul
searching, Brianna Randall Fraser and Roger MacKenzie are
to be wed. By this act, because of the child they have
sworn to love and protect, they have committed to a life in
a time not their own. In this fifth book of the OUTLANDER
series the story becomes Bree and Roger's as well as Jamie
and Claire's. Difficulties regarding the wedding gives them
all an inkling of what is to come. Activities leading the
Revolutionary War have been set in motion.
The story takes place in North Carolina, in the early
1770's. The time travelers Claire, Brianna, and Roger have
much to cope with in the new lives. The have the knowledge
of what is to come in the next several years, but are also
aware of how little they know of the war's beginnings. The
men will inevitably be called on to fight. Their political
strategy could mean the difference between life and death
in this highly volatile period.
Future history aside, everyday life presents enough
challenges of it's own. Much of this story focuses on
everyday living. Ms. Gabaldon brings home the realities of
life in the late eighteenth century with vivid descriptions
of medicine, hunting and housework, child rearing and
contraception, to name a few.
Jamie Fraser has matured, now in the midyears of his life
he has become "Himself", owner of Fraser's Ridge, the
community leader. It is he that everyone turns to with
problems large and small. His wisdom has only grown with
the years. He continues to be a loving husband, father,
grandson, and friend; honorable, intelligent, courageous,
skilled, and yes sexy. He is a dream hero whose character
defies age, and a man of his time.
Jamie's relationship with Claire becomes richer with each
passing day. Brianna has come to love her second father
very much, and he her, yet he is always aware that her
choice to stay or go had been taken away from her.
Jamie lives daily with the guilt of having freed Stephen
Bonnet, the man who had later raped his daughter. He will
not rest until the man is brought to justice. Jamie's
relationship with Roger is more strained. Try though he
might it is difficult for him to forget the loss of his
nephew Ian, traded to the Indians in exchange for Roger and
his daughter's happiness. A near tragedy will bring them
Claire continues in her role as healer, fighting the
ignorance and prejudices of the time. She had made her
decision to ignore the implications of using her knowledge
in another time. She will use everything in her
considerable arsenal to keep her family and patients safe,
by teaching others to sterilize their tools, by cultivating
penicillin, by simply doing what needs to be done.
Bree and Roger's life together is just beginning,
complicated by an unfamiliar time and their doubts about
Jemmy's paternity. Yet through their insecurities, their
love for each other endures, and shows the promise of being
as great as Jamie and Claire's.
Bree is the daughter of both her fathers. Taught to ride
and hunt by 20th century historian, Frank Randall (possibly
with the knowledge of what his daughter would someday
face), and with her Fraser heredity, she is well suited to
the times. Roger is somewhat less suited, his one skill is
to bring others pleasure through his voice. However what he
lacks in survival skills is more than compensated for by
determination and heart. He has the interesting challenge
of dealing with his direct ancestors who have also
immigrated to America. The actions of the witch Geillie
Duncan's son will have a major impact on Roger's life.
To say much more would spoil the story. Suffice it to say
that this book was well worth the long wait. Stunningly
written, the only down side is, that having finished it,
one will have to wait once more for the next installment.
Ms. Gabaldon brings this time period to life as she has in
her previous novels. The romances of the two couples are
its heart. This reviewer recommends that the new reader
read the first four novels in the series before delving
into THE FIERY CROSS.
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted January 31, 2002
2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice
Award Winner - Best Historical Novel
Diana Gabaldon mesmerized readers with her award-winning Outlander novels, four dazzling New York Times bestsellers featuring 18th-century Scotsman James Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.
Now, in this eagerly awaited fifth volume, Diana Gabaldon continues their extraordinary saga, a masterpiece of pure storytelling and her most astonishing Outlander novel yet....
The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser's wife tells 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.
Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time (1743) when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George's army.
Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor - Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead - or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes....