“What I was born does not matter. Only what I will make of myself.” – The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Books
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The Fiery Cross is the 5th installment in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Jamie and Claire are settled and producing nicely on Frasier’s Ridge with various tenant families living on, and working, their land.  Bree and Roger are getting used to family life and learning how to function without “modern conveniences”. Roger, a historian in his own time, has no idea how to shoot a gun, castrate a pig, or roof a house; but he is willing to learn, and Jamie is willing to teach.  But just as life is gaining some normality, the snowball that will build into the Revolutionary War begins to pick up speed.  Jamie is charged with gathering a militia of men loyal to the King to stand against the upstart regulators bent on causing friction with England. A wedding. Murders solved. The truth about the Stewart gold. And the discovery of Robert ‘Ottertooth’ Springer’s diary, journaling his trip from the 20th century to the 18th in an attempt to save his Native American ancestors from the European influence.

Compared to some of the previous books in the series, the events and action in this are a bit more ordinary to 18th century life in the politically tumultuous colonies. While this story isn’t all about the head bashing, raw passion, and a single grand adventure as are Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, this tale almost feels more ‘real’ to me.  The 18th century trials of daily life and the atmosphere leading up to a revolution are magical to a history buff like me.  Historical fiction is something I love.  All the romantic goo that takes place throughout the series is nice too, but what draws someone like me to a historical fiction novel is ‘What was life like outside of the history books?’.  This is not to say that nothing exciting or death defying happens, there are still plenty of thrills to satisfy the junky.  Roger is hung as a traitor, his trachea crushed when Jamie and Claire get to him. How’s that for suspense?

These books are fabulous in audio book format. The entire series is read by Davina Porter, making the transition from one book to the next seamless.  I enjoy listening to these adventures while working, her voice brings these characters to life in my imagination while I test away.  Some people enjoy listening to audio books, others say they put them to sleep.  What’s your opinion?

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