Outlander 5: The Fiery Cross | Spoiler-Free Review [spoilers for previous books]

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Published: August 2005
Publisher: Dell
Pages: 1,443 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

These books never cease to be amazing. I really loved this story and all the gorgeous characters in it. It was so nice to be back in this world to see how Jamie and Claire face everything that is thrown at them in life. I never want this series to end.

This review will contain spoilers for all previous books: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager and The Drums of Autumn.

The Fiery Cross

So the story continues! This fifth instalment of the series was brilliant, as expected. After the last couple of books, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in this. I found large parts of The Drums of Autumn and even Voyager so be slow and almost boring (but not actually boring because come on, when is Outlander ever actually boring.

But the book starts off in America, of course, with Bri and Roger now on the scene, which was refreshing to properly expand the cast of characters and helped liven up the book a bit over the course of the story. I was wondering how exactly Diana Gabaldon had actually thought up another 1400 pages worth of story, but damn, she did a good job.

The book is, obviously, quite long. It’s filled with Claire’s detailed thoughts and other descriptions which are so unique to this series. You end up with such a clear image of how things are and it feels so real! Jamie is soon put in charge of a militia group to help quell the rebellious regulators and he’s not exactly pleased about it.

The main theme of this book is twofold: Claire (and Bri and Roger) know that war is coming. The American Revolution will be knocking on their door any day now (the book is set in 1771). Jamie doesn’t want to believe that after all they’ve gone through and escaped in Scotland, they’ve now got another war about to happen in America. Tough luck.

The second part is whether Roger can accept Jemmy as his own son, constantly unsure and second-guessing whether he is biologically his, or Bri’s rapist’s: Stephen Bonnet. And Jamie, of course, plots to kill Bonnet despite Bri repeatedly asking him to leave it be.

This of course really tests Jamie’s patience when he considers leaving it be because Bonnet finds his way back into this story in unexpected ways. There is also quite the number of weddings in this book, and aunt Jocaster is there to spice everything up with her incredible shrewdness.

Why I’m Still Rating These Books 5-Stars

I find myself helpless against rating these 5-stars. I just enjoy them so much. Many, many people out there are complaining that this book is far too long and yes, 1400 pages is a lot, but I didn’t want it to actually end.

I listened to this, as always, via audiobook and I truly think this is the way to go. I often become disenchanted with books that are long because they take me so long to read – but audiobooks never phase me, even if they are nearly 60 hours like the latter Outlander books are. You just plod along very easily and enjoy the amazing performance of Davina Porter who narrates them. I can’t recommend reading these books this way enough, especially if you’re struggling to make it through.

Having Bri and Roger really made a difference, however. As exciting as things were in the previous book, and even though I still rated it highly, I felt like the story was only going to peter out and go downhill. But expanding the cast of characters and having the added tension of Jemmy growing up 200 years in the past and not knowing who his father was, really added something.

It’s also incredibly fun watching Claire try to bite her tongue as the other, archaic medicine man in the town is absolutely useless. As Claire goes about with an awesome reputation for helping the sick, she struggles so much to not get too involved with putting down the doctor who’s methods are questionable at best.

Oh, and naturally there are an obscene number of sex scenes in this between Jamie and Claire. I can only hope that by the time I’ve been married to someone as long as they have that I’ll still be that in love, and that unable to keep my hands to myself. These two are LIFE GOALS.


I don’t need to warble on any longer on this book. It’s great, guys. It’s long but it’s worth it. The ending to the book brings a WONDERFUL plot twist that I couldn’t be happier about and has me so freaking excited to start reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes (maybe after a few months of a break because dang, you gotta pace yourself here). I love these characters, I would read 500 pages of them eating their breakfast: Gabaldon’s writing is simply spell-binding. Big thumbs up from me.

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Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~


2 thoughts on “Outlander 5: The Fiery Cross | Spoiler-Free Review [spoilers for previous books]

  1. I love the Outlander series!!! I think I’ve read them all about four times at this point, including when I binge read ALL of them last November. I listened to Book 1 on Audio and LOVED how the narrator sounds SO MUCH like the actress who plays Claire on the show – it made it even better!


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