The Fiery Cross is the fifth book out of a planned ten-book series by Diana Gabaldon. The Outlander series incorporates historical fiction, fantasy, time travelling, and an eighteenth-century romance in a perfect balance that many aspiring writers can only dream of. This instalment in the series follows the Frasers and the MacKenzies as they struggle to maintain the safety of their homeland. The fifth series of the hit Outlander TV series follows this novel, so here’s all you need to know.
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The Fiery Cross
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.
“I have lived through war, and lost much. I know what’s worth the fight, and what is not. Honor and courage are matters of the bone, and what a man will kill for, he will sometimes die for, too.“Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross
Our Overview (Spoilers!)
We return back where we left: in the colony of North Carolina
Brianna prepares for her wedding with Roger MacKenzie as well as the baptism of their son, Jeremiah. Shortly after, Jamie receives a letter from the Govenor telling him to build a militia. He does and then leads his men to enforce the King’s law.
In the spring, the Frasers and MacKenziws head down to River Run to attend the wedding of Jocasta Cameron to Duncan Innes. Things quickly escalate. The bridegroom goes missing, a slave is found drugged and unconscious, and several guests butt heads. The marriage manages to go ahead, but a slave ends up dead and Claire suspects that they have been murdered. She sets out to investigate and her and Jamie spend a night questioning one Phillip Wylie, who was seen conspiring with a known smuggler. They also discover that Jocasta might know the whereabouts of the Frenchman’s Gold.
Some months later, the militia is summoned once again. The Battle of Alamance commences. The small rebellion is smothered, but Roger finds himself worse for wear both physically and mentally.
The peace does not last long. Following a lightning storm and a forest fire, Jamie gets word of Stephen Bonnet’s whereabouts, whom Jamie had been tracking for months. Roger insists that Jamie teach him how to fight, wanting to kill Bonnet himself and Jamie agrees. During a hunting trip, Jamie gets bitten by a venomous snake and out of the hunting party, only Roger waits with him through the night until they can get help. Jamie survives, although barely, and he and Roger grow closer from the experience.
While Jamie recovers, Roger arranges for some new tenants to settle on the Ridge.
Jamie arranges a plan to meet with Stephen Bonnet. They travel to Wilmington where Roger and Jamie go to meet Bonnet at Wylie’s Landing. Things naturally do not go as planned; Claire, Brianna, as well as others endure a dangerous encounter with Bonnet while Jamie and Roger fight for their lives against some long-suspected foes.
Fearing the safety of the inhabitants of River Run, Jamie and wife Claire go there while the young families return to the safety of the Ridge. There, they discover that a man has been murdered. Without knowing if Bonnet is alive or dead, they return home at last.
The return of Young Ian brings blessings. He brings with him the writings of the late Robert Springer wherein they learn more about the time-travelling phenomenon. Roger vows that he and his family will stay on the Ridge alongside Jamie and Claire as the threat of war looms closer.
The Fiery Cross is another excellent addition to The Outlander series.
With a domestic approach somewhat mirroring the tone of the previous book, this novel has a somewhat more relaxed pace than its predecessors. Although that definitely isn’t to say that it isn’t packed with action and mystery!
Although less plot-driven than the other books in the series, we really enjoyed reading about the day-to-day of these characters’ lives. Especially Brianna and Roger and their little baby Jemmie! This feels something like the calm before the storm, so we were very happy to be gifted with so many cute scenes of the kid.
Overall, we think this novel, although a little slow-paced in comparison previous novels, should be regarded more as a look into the characters rather than a novel heavy in the plot-advancement department. We enjoyed the change in focus of the novel, and we really can’t wait to see what is coming up next!
Our rating: ★★★★☆
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Fiery Cross the fifth Outlander book?
It is! Here are all the books in the Outlander series in order:
- Outlander (Cross Stitch in UK, NZ, and AUS)
- Dragonfly in Amber
- Drums of Autumn
- The Fiery Cross
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- An Echo in the Bone
- Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
- Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
As you can see, the last book is still underway with no working title.
How many chapters are in The Fiery Cross?
This novel really isn’t for those who are scared of hefty books, sitting at an impressive 111 chapters.
What way does The Fiery Cross end?
Claire, Roger, and Brianna admit to everyone that they are from the future following Young Ian’s return.
Baby Jemmy explodes an opal by holding it, this suggests that he may have the same trait as his mother and grandmother.
How long is The Fiery Cross audiobook?
You better clear up your schedule! The Fiery Cross audiobook sits at just over 56hours long.