7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Slow-moving continuing saga of pioneers in N Carolina,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fiery Cross: (Outlander 5) (Paperback)
I won't bore everyone by repeating the gist of the story here because others have already done that fairly concisely. However, I would advise potential readers that if you are thinking of buying this book, make sure you have read all the preceding books in the Outlander/Cross Stitch series, otherwise much of the back story and history of the main characters will be lost on you. I am a huge fan of this author's work, which in my opinion is well written, researched, and is full of rich and detailed description. This book is no different to the others in that respect, and if you have read and enjoyed the previous books in the series you will enjoy the author's skill in this novel no less than in the others. However, I had a few problems with this book, the fifth in the series. I felt that the first half of the novel was a stocktake, a breather for the characters, if you like, after the frenetic excitement in the previous books. Consequently I found it rather heavy-going until the mid point, when suddenly, the plot picks up pace again and we get some real "events" to capture our interest. I enjoy fast-moving novels which keep me on the edge of my seat, and sadly for me, 50% of this book was a disappointment. Too much time was spent on details of domestic trivia, Claire's doctoring of various assorted patients, and the long-winded "Gathering" episode where the main characters seem to spend a lot of time standing around gossipIng, getting soaked in the rain, pacifying small children and drying out damp nappies (somewhat akin to a particularly dull camping holiday). All this is no doubt fascinating stuff if you want to read a historical treatise about the lives of 18th century pioneers of Scots origin, but not for me, a real page-turner. However, the author turns up the heat towards the end of the book to give her fans just enough to make them want to read the next book in the series: "A Breath of Snow and Ashes", which has recently been published.
Overall, I felt that this could have been a much shorter novel while still having room for background and character development. However, if you are a fan, you will still get a lot of enjoyment from this book (which is why I have still given a rating of 4 stars).