Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Fiery Cross

Title: The Fiery Cross
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, book 5
Genre: Historical romance
Published: 2001

Recommendation: If you got to book 5, no reason to stop now.
Rating: 7/10

Summary: Claire and Jamie continue building a settlement on the Ridge. Bree and Roger are planning to marry. But nothing runs smoothly. The war is coming and early conflicts are beginning already. And Jamie is starting to look around for Captain Bonnet to seek vengeance.

Reactions: I picked up The Fiery Cross to continue with Claire and Jaimie's story and it didn't disappoint. Plenty of adventures, descriptions of life on the Ridge, family intrigues, and so forth. I enjoy Diana Gabaldon's writing and her setting the mood of people living in wilderness, struggling to do various things with primitive tools, and waging war. In particular, it's interesting to follow Claire's progress in growing penicillin on stale bread and practicing medicine in general.

Even though it took me almost a month to read through this 1400 page tome, I stayed drawn into the story throughout. Yet, at the same time, at the end I felt there was no good overarching plot to the novel. I would describe the book as a number of disconnected stories set consecutively.

Still, having finished the book, I feel ready for more of Claire and Jamie adventures. And I think everyone who got to this point would not leave the series now.

On a related note, I went to listen to Diana Gabaldon talk at a local book store yesterday. She was an engaging speaker and had a very appreciative audience that was 99% female with a mean age of about 55. Diana spoke about becoming a published writer and her writing process. In particular, she described writing various scenes for a book independently and then pulling them together. Somehow that didn't surprise me.

I now have signed copies of A Breath of Snow and Ashes and her recently released An Echo in the Bone. So it seems there will be plenty more Outlander hours in store for me.

Of course I couldn't spend two hours at the bookstore without picking up several other books as well. So a couple of Robert J. Sawyer books join my reading stack since I've been hearing a lot about this Canadian science fiction writer and on a whim I also picked up the next book in Kitty series as well. So now I am well-stocked for my fall reading...

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