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REVIEW

"Outlandish Life and Love - Well worth the Wait!"

THE FIERY CROSS begins where DRUMS OF AUTUMN leaves off, at 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 closer together.

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

SUMMARY

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....

Read an Excerpt

 

The Fiery Cross
(Outlander: Book 5)
by Diana Gabaldon

Delacorte Press
November 1, 2001
Available: November 6, 2001
ISBN #0385315279
EAN #9780385315272
976 pages
Hardcover
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Other Books by
Diana Gabaldon

Down These Strange Streets
An Echo in the Bone
Lord John and the Hand of Devils
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Lord John and the Private Matter
The Outlandish Companion
Past Poisons
Hellfire
Drums of Autumn
Voyager
Dragonfly in Amber
Outlander


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