Review: The Fiery Cross

“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.”

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For fans of the Outlander series, Jamie & Claire are at it again. Taking our breaths away with the beauty of their words in a poignant manner that doesn’t at all feel cheesy.

Their relationship has literally stood the test of time, even if we always aren’t sure just how much time passes in these books due to the infrequent pacing. And they have not only a love that is one of kind, but a mutual respect and friendship between one another that others for this time period wouldn’t have.

But enough gushing about this crazily strong power couple. Onto the actual content of this book.

So anyone who picks up this book is undoubtedly well invested in this series. At 1,000+ pages a novel, you kind of have to be once you reach the fifth book. Needless to say, this book was more or less filler than anything else to me.

Diana Gabaldon, or DG as I affectionately refer to her, had so much action, suspense & adventure packed into novels 1-4. This one had some elements of action, but the drama was more domestic than anything else.

And I suppose it could be argued that we needed a book like this at this stage in the series. The four main characters really haven’t had an opportunity to live together (that we have seen at least), so it kind of made sense that this one showed the mundane happenings of everyday life.

Even so, did we really need 1443 pages of it? I don’t think so. I know she is big on the details. But come on, there were at least 100 pages where she described Breanna’s love for her child through the way her breasts felt.

Like it’s fine to do it a couple of times to emphasis her bond with him, but this was so excessive to me that it literally became an inside joke between Emma & I. There are other ways to explore feeling and emotion between characters. I mean, she finds new & exciting ways to keep us engaged with Jamie/Claire, and they have been prominently attending to their maternal duties for approximately 5,000 pages. You would think she could do the same with a mother & her child.

That wasn’t the only thing that kind of set my teeth on edge.  Like Fergus and Marsali are Jamie’s adoptive children, and that part of the family were hardly mentioned throughout this narrative. I get that they are more minor characters and we needed the Jamie/Roger scenes in order to establish their importance because up until this point they haven’t interacted a whole lot. But still! Fergus & Marsali have a uniqueness to them that kind of mirrors Jamie & Claire. Whereas, Breanna & Roger’s scenes just feel awkward for me.

I suppose my personal bias and preference of characters really played a role in this review as well.  But you can’t connect with every single character you’re presented with, especially in an epic length series like this one.

In the end, I gave this 3 stars because I felt it was fair. DG clearly put a lot of painstaking details into this novel, and reveals that some seemingly insignificant ones you read earlier and in book four, really are significant. She also leaves a couple of loose ends to keep you guessing where the major conflict in book six will end up.

All in all, you need to approach this series with the mindset that there are going to be books that you enjoy more than others. I am of the belief that if you find a character or two that you love, and want to see where they end up, that you should try to stick to a series until the end. So that is what I think I will be doing with this series.

Also, it’s become a mutual interest for my Belgian bestie & myself. And it’s fun to discuss, and to also vent your frustrations to someone who is reading alongside you. I don’t know that I would have been able to forge ahead as quickly as I did with this book if it wasn’t for me having a buddy to do this with. So for those slow readers out there, I would vote you pair up with a buddy who can help support you through this one.

In terms of ranking the Outlander Books, below is mine, and you can deduce from it where I saw this one. (Side note: I had a bit of a laugh because it is almost in chronological order hah).

  1. Outlander
  2. Voyager
  3. Dragonfly in Amber
  4. Drums of Autumn
  5. The Fiery Cross

How does your ranking of the first 5 books compare? Am I totally off base with my thoughts and feelings? 

Until next time bookworms! Happy reading adventures!

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Coming Up: A review of The Secret Garden 🙂

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