Review – The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon

the fiery crossThe Fiery Cross has, quite possibly, the best ending line in any book I’ve read: “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.” Swoon…

Oh yeah, back to the review…Ahem.

Reviews for the 5th installment of the Outlander series are decidedly mixed. There are those that loved it (as did I) and those that hated. Others, in the middle, appreciated the story but thought it was hundreds of pages too long. I understand that mix of emotions. The first 164 pages encompass one day – the scheduled wedding day of Briana/Roger and Jocasta/Duncan at River Run. So much happens that you do have to remind yourself that we are still only talking about one day. It worked for me. I could imagine the hectic nature of the day with everything that needed to be done. And, yes, I even enjoyed the descriptions of changing diapers (who doesn’t want to learn how diapers are changed in the 1700s?) While there is a good bit of detail in the writing, ALOT happens through the course of the novel. No spoilers so I’ll have to be careful but none of the major characters are untouched. Each experience major life events. They are heart-wrenching, moving, surprising and more. At this point in the series we feel that we know these characters personally and we hurt when they hurt. DG creates tension in almost every scene. You can feel that something is about to happen so your heart races while you are clenching your teeth waiting for the reveal. I had quite the headache when I finished The Fiery Cross but it was so worth it.

I grew up in South Carolina and spent a decent amount of time in North Carolina. How did I not know about the War of the Regulation (as some called it) or the Regulators? I have since researched a little and am surprised that our American and / or South Carolina history classes didn’t cover this precursor to the American Revolution. There was a sense of deja vu when reading – the Regulators are protesting taxation and government interference. Hundreds of years and we are still having the same problems. Maybe one day we will figure it out.

We find out that both Jamie and Roger are Masons. I have to admit that this made me laugh a little. My father is a Mason (I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that or if it’s a secret) and it always drove my Mother a little crazy that she didn’t know what they did at the meetings. You know, they probably all get together and smoke cigars while drinking Scotch but it’s become some mystical society that is full of secrets.

Laoghaire, I really, really do not like you. She is a very minor character in The Fiery Cross (thank goodness!) and I have a theory about her secret. Even though I wish she were no longer a part of their lives, I do hope to find out if I am right.

Each time I start an Outlander novel, I realize that I “think” with a Scottish dialect in my day-to-day life now. It’s verra strange and I willna say it out loud but it’s a part of me, ye ken. Dinna fash.

I have two more to read before the next installment is published in March 2014. Trying to hold out for a few months to stretch the time so that I don’t feel empty without a Jamie and Claire fix. Well, I guess I could always reread Outlander to get ready for the Starz series that also premieres next year.

5/5 stars and, yes, I may be in need of an Outlander intervention.


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