This Chick’s Audio Review: The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter

The Fiery Cross, as a novel, is a behemoth. The paperback novel numbers 1008 pages and the audiobook somewhere around 55+ hours. This is truly a commitment to read and listen to, however Diana Gabaldon’s writing does a great job of continuing the story of one of the most beloved romantic couples, Jamie and Claire Fraser. It is the year 1771 and war is quickly approaching. As the founder of Fraser’s Ridge, Jamie and his family have founded a Scottish community based upon those he trusts. He does so with land he received from the Governor of North Carolina, stating that he will gather a group of men and support the Governor’s and England’s cause. Twice in this novel, Jamie must gather the troops assured somewhat by his time traveling wife and daughter that the war is still a few years in the future.

After 55 hours of listening to The Fiery Cross over six weeks I have determined that this novel is one of those that connects the dots to future novels. Davina Porter, our narrator, does a great job with all of the characters voices, accents, and imbuing life into situations and scenes about everyday life that were just interesting enough to keep me listening. Or maybe it was just my resolve to just finish. I’m not sure, but if I had stopped listening it would not have been Davina Porter’s fault. She is truly amazing. As a lot of other reviews have said, The Fiery Cross gets bogged down in details and descriptions, moving at a snail’s pace and ultimately only reaching a conclusion that is similar to the sun setting on another day.

I read the Outlander series for Jamie and Claire, not Roger and Brianna, so I’ll admit to wanting to hurry the book along when the scene shifts away from the main duo. However, if it weren’t for all of the bad things that happened to Roger in this book, and Jamie’s intense feelings of needing to save his daughters husband time after time that kept this book interesting. So, for once, I will say “thank you Roger” you kept this book moving, while at the same time I have to say to this author, “Ms. Gabaldon, you need to give this guy a break!”. I swear, Roger had just about every bad thing that could happen to him happen in The Fiery Cross. Maybe the book should’ve been re-titled “Roger’s Cross to Bare”. I felt really bad for him.

If, like me, you are reading this series for all of the romantic moments between Claire and Jamie, you won’t be disappointed. He is truly lovely in this novel and his love for Claire only grows stronger as they age. They have been through a separation for 20 years, her raising his daughter in the future while married to another man, his being married to another woman, having a son out of wedlock, and then reuniting and overcoming all of these hurt feelings etc. It is a wonderful thing to still see how strongly they feel for each other.

Would I recommend listening to 55 hours of The Fiery Cross? If I were reading the novel I could’ve skimmed ahead and skipped some gruesome medical descriptions or banal day to day activity, but I’m not sure I would’ve felt as strongly about these characters and their future stories. Listening to all 55 hours takes commitment between the reader and these characters. A commitment that will give me the resolve to listen to book #6 A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I’ll admit that I may let another year go by before I commit the time. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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