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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan.

Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war. Her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through perilous years ahead - or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes.

©2001 Diana Gabaldon (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Something that had to be gotten through

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Outlander series. The first book, "Outlander" was just brilliant, and I also liked "Dragonfly in Amber" quite a bit. "Voyager" left a bit to be desired and "Drums of Autumn" was a good story but had slowed down the storyline and needed an editor badly. Gabaldon has become enamored of deeetaaaaaiil. She clearly does a lot of research into the subjects she writes about, even including excruciating detail about how things smell and what seasickness is like and the diets of Scottish farmers and... well... a lot of detail.

And in "The Fiery Cross" she really let loose. It's almost as if she can't help herself. It took several hours just to get through the first day of the novel. The book is much, much too long and clearly is intended as a transition to get the reader into the life of Jamie and Claire in the American wilderness. But there were many places where I just wanted them to MOVE ON ALREADY.

Why did I continue listening? Well, principally because Davina Porter is an absolute genius at narrating these books. I cannot praise her enough. She is simply perfectly brilliant. She has the wonderful Scots brogue down pat, and it contrasts beautifully with British accents she uses - several different ones. And her Scots brogue is distinctly different from her Irish brogue. And she delivers non-English as if she were a native speaker of each of the languages, from Gaelic to French to Mohawk to Iroquois. She even figured out how to deliver French spoken with a Gaelic accent! The only thing she can't do is American English. The Americans in the novel all ended up sounding like British. But that's OK. I'd listen to these books just to listen to her amazing skill and range.

I finished because I had to move on to "The Fiery Cross" as I'm not ready to abandon this wonderful saga. Gabaldon is that amazing a writer.

87 of 90 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • Massachusetts
  • 01-19-13

Life on the Frontier Is Difficult. Duh.

I turned my nose up at the Outlander series for years, thinking that these books were nothing more than silly, schlocky romances. It was the listener reviews on Audible that convinced me to try the first book in the series, and *much* to my surprise I became an enthusiastic fan, both of this series and of the complementary series by Gabaldon that features Lord John Grey.

Davina Porter's wonderful narration makes the audio versions of these books better than their print incarnations. I also find Jeff Woodman's interpretation of the Grey novels delightful.

Loved "Outlander" and "Dragonfly in Amber." Thought "Voyager" was the best of the series so far, and indeed rank it as one of the most enjoyable books I've ever listened to. "Drums of Autumn" was a bit of a letdown, partly because "Voyager" was so good and partly because of the prominence of the character I have come to think of as "Bratty Brianna" (actually I use another adjective, but not on a public site). But "Drums" had an action-packed story that kept me turning the pages (or the audio equivalent).

"The Fiery Cross," unfortunately, moves more slowly than an icebound Highland stream in January. The detailed descriptions of the difficult everyday life on the American frontier in 1771--a time without toilet tissue or disposable diapers, as we learn in not one but several accounts of baby Jem's "exploits"--take up far more than is reasonable of the massive page count in this book, which lacks the edge-of-your seat action of Jamie and Claire's previous adventures. Brianna is still around. She has become a little less bratty now that she's reunited with Roger (nothing wrong with Roger except that he's not Jamie Frasier), but the constant references to her breast milk got nauseating.

The next book in the series, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes," is in my library, but I'm going to wait and bit and rest up from (or perhaps, better, try and wake up from) the Fiery Cross before moving on. The reviews seem to indicate ABoSaA is a better story, so I'll keep going.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful

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few little gripes, but another great one

Probably anyone who's gotten this far in the Outlander series is doing it as a labor of love (& they're definitely best done in order), so overall it gets 5 stars, even if 4/4 doesn't seem to lead to 5. My minor gripes with this entry in this wonderful, absurdly bloated epic (& they said Stephen King was too wordy!) don't keep me from basically thinking it's great; terrific story, great characters, great history, great performance.

The gripes:
1. With the story itself; we see more of Bree in this one, & it ain't all pretty. The tantrums & snits she comes up with are not at all surprising, considering what her mother said & did at times (but she grew out of it), but they're even scarier coming from an Amazon like 6-foot tall Brianna. She tends to punch when someone --usually tho not always, poor ole, good ole Roger-- gets her mad (which is not difficult). The girl is in serious need of anger management. It makes her considerably less of a sympathetic character to me. Granted, she has some major things to deal with, but it doesn't justify her beating up her man....& then she turns around & hesitates be mean to someone who really deserves it (like S Bonnet).

2. The narration: Davina Porter does a truly awesome job yet again, but...at times in this entry she slides just over the line & becomes a bit overwrought. She still is spot on with the characters' voices & dialogue, but this time she has a tendency to over-dramatize text --the 'stage directions,' as it were. Such as when the thunder crashes, she really bears down on the CRASHED. Sorta like; ...the..night..passed...slowly... and then thedaypassedquickly. Rather as one reads a bedtime story to a young child, with LOTS of emphasis & acting out of words. It's not drastic, just somewhat short of the very-near perfect touch of her performances of the earlier books.

My one last gripe is that Claire & Brianna both tend to totally ignore the fact that they are in a completely different world than that of the 20th century. They just stomp around as if it's 1968 America, like huge loud, quintessential "ugly" Americans crashing a formal tea ceremony & demanding some dang burgers & a beer & Honey get me a real chair, I ain't gonna sit on the floor & where's the TV! Claire & Bree are basically on an alien planet... & then they get mad at the 'natives' when some huge communication gap yawns because they've completely steamrolled social custom & the mores of the time. They repeatedly forget that people ended up dead a lot in the 18th century for far less provocation than they offer at times; just chatting someone of the opposite sex at a party could lead to guys dead at dawn, but neither of them really pays much attention to what comes out of their mouths.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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took the long way around

The entire story could be told in five minutes -- but it took this book more than 30 hours to do it.
It wasn't a horrible book because if you have come this far you have grown to love the characters. But, not a whole lot really happens. There is a lot of the characters we have grown to love going through their every day lives... dayyyy byyyyy dayyyyy.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcia
  • Campbell, Ohio
  • 07-16-12

Least Enjoyed of the Series

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't answer this question.

What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

I am disappointed because the book is 'short' on story, and 'long' on her attempts of ribald writing meant I'm sure to stimulate the senses.The book is also peppered with many unduly long and discriptive passages about things like vomiting -- please. We get the idea.

What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I find the book distasteful compared to the others in this Outlander series. I actually prefer the read book, because I can - and have FREQUENTLY - pressed the icon to move to the next chapter - and skip whats left in the chapter I'm on. This is the FIRST book I've done that with - typically, I've hung on every word, and would never fast forward on the others in the series, as I do with this one.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not yet.

Any additional comments?

I have a few parts to go. I'm hanging in to see if the very feeble storyline improves and gives me a reason to buy/listen to the next and last book in the series.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Unabridged, alright.

Seriously. After waiting all this time for the unabridged audible version, I finally got started listening to this and am now thinking abridgment might not be such a bad thing. I am pretty sure that fewer than 8 hours of time in the story pass in the first 8 hours of the recording. I got very impatient for the story to start moving, and when it finally seemed to get along, the multiple storylines separate and backtrack over the same time again. I am still only to part 3 of the recording, but at 16 hours in, it isn't too early to say that even fans are going to need a lot of patience with this book.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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boring - abandoned any of the original premise

Mostly boring. I've listened to the other 4, had to get through this one. I like the characters but the story isn't compelling enough anymore to keep me caring about what happens to them next. Not interested in farm life in North Carolina in the 1770s. Yawn.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheri
  • Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • 03-03-12

Death is in the details

The Outlander was a masterpiece in historical fiction with a touch of science fiction thrown in (time travel) that raced along on a merry adventure. Sadly, in her subsequent books, Gabaldon seems to be trying to drown her readers in volumes of minutia.

Listening to The Fiery Cross is painful - there is simply too much detail (I don't care about every tiny thought the characters have!) and the story moves too slowly.

A certain level of detail of daily life in the time period is engaging, but when it interferes with the progression of the characters and brings all adventure to a halt, I become frustrated and quit.

I slogged through 4 of 7 parts and I may be done...I may skip ahead to part 7 to see how this book wraps up. I can do that, knowing I likely will not have missed anything of substance in between.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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THANK YOU!!!

It is about time The Fiery Cross was made available in the unabridged version!!! I love this whole series and was devastated at the abridged version of this book! It was total butchery! Diana is an amazing writer encompassing history and romance with action/adventure, myths and legends and time travel all within an amazing story! And NO ONE could narrate these books other than Davina Porter! Her ability to give each of the characters their own distinct voice allows the reader to know who is speaking without being told and she has a firm grasp on each personality so that it makes the listener feel as if they are not only a part of the story but a part of the family as well. Can't wait for book 8!!!

85 of 95 people found this review helpful

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Finally it's here!

This has been a long time coming. For me, it's been 3 years of requesting this at least once a week. Fantastic series with a fantastic reader. Now I can finish the series and see what happens to all the characters. Thank you audible for making this available.
For new readers, I strongly recommend starting with Outlander and working your way forward. What I love about these books is that they don't fit into any specific genre. There's romance, bloodshed, betrayal, time travel, Etc., but please don't let the fact that this is a bit of a science fiction read discourage you from trying it out because there's so much more to this series. I mean, who can resist a scottish warrior.:) I myself finished Outlander in 2 weeks, and that was during my Freshman year of college, and it happened to be the end of the semester.
As I've said, these books are very different which is hard to find these days. Davina Porter is an AMAZING narrator also. Like I say, start with Outlander if you are new to this series and don't let the fact that this book is list in the sci-fi category discourage you from at least trying it.

48 of 54 people found this review helpful

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  • karin cornet
  • 03-15-12

Finally here

Finally here this version with the great voice of Davina Porter!! I am so happy. Her voice makes the whole book come to live, especcially when you have listened to the first four outlander books. Now just waiting for 'breath of snow and ashes' with Davina Porter! Please Audible....

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 04-09-12

Please please

I echo the above sentiment. Having listened to the previous four books it is a joyl to hear Davina Porter's wonderful voice again. Please please record book 6.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Bridges
  • 06-03-15

Excellent performance

Davina Porter is a fantastic voice actress and makes these books so enjoyable. They are great for a story to listen to without needing to think about them; I listen in the car

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs K
  • 12-23-12

Jamie & Claire Saga continues

This is book 5 of the time travel Outlander series of adventures of Claire Randall and highlander Jamie Fraser. I have read all seven books and listened to them on disc and via Audible as well. Can't wait for book eight!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MissyGful
  • 11-26-17

Annoyed, frustrated , Disappointed and saying it.

Did not enjoy this installment of the Outlander series at all. If I have said it once, I will say it again EDIT!! Christ alive, why use a paragraph when a whole page can be used instead. Whoever edited this version needs to be retired (I don't know if I mean that in the hit man way or afternoon tea and naps yet, still undecided )

For some inexplicable reason Diana Gabaldon cannot set a scene without over describing it. She can't seem to say "The Cat sat on the mat' she has to describe the mat and the cat and how they move or look in a certain kind of light and the age of the mat and it's history. ....you get the gist? Despite it having no relevance to the plot, story or character. So I would find myself often drifting off or napping in places and she would still be describing a room and rather than rewind in case I missed something important just continuing in resignation knowing that I had not. This book could have been half the length with some relevant editing.

If this were all I might have given more stars but the characterisation was unforgivable. If anyone knows of a version without Roger and Brianna I might give that version another try. I might be the only one but I found Brianna, spoilt, brattish, poutish, ungrateful with the only redeeming trait that she could shoot well and unfortunately it looks like her child Jemmy is an apple that won't fall far from the tree.
Roger a small, petty, incapable man constantly seeking praise and flattery and jealous of those that get it. Yes Jamie casts a big shadow but rather than learn and apply himself he gets off on scoring cheap points. I would have loved more of Ian and Rollo, the interaction between Jamie and Ian or with Claire were wonderfully written and heartwarming without being saccharine.

Yes more Jamie or Ian, even go in to more depth with Fergus who is a far more interesting and well rounded character with faults and strengths. Normally a huge fan of Claire (and still am ) I found her indulgence of Brianna's whims and tantrums frustrating. My only consolation was that like the twits in the Roald Dahl book. Roger and Brianna only inflicted their personalities on each other.

When you actually find yourself wishing for characters to die so that you don't have to listen to their self indulgent whining then you know something has gone terribly wrong.

The ability to acclimatise to slavery so easily a little troubling and the preoccupation with swollen breasts which could fill a chapter unto themselves made this the worst of the instalments to date. I won't be continuing with the audible series of these books as this was the straw that broke the camels back.

Jamie and Claire are the heart of this book which the author seems to want to forget. But their interactions and dialogue are pure joy. Alongside Ian and Jocasta these were the glimpses of how good this book could have been. The narrator gives it her all and brings the book to life but this where I leave it.

I would love to know the ending to Jamie and Claire's story but perhaps it's best if I remember them from books gone by before they are forever tarnished by all the growing baggage that the books are becoming.

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  • Irina Kudenko
  • 11-11-17

thoroughly enjoyed!.

another great book in a captivating saga of Claire . and another piece of fantastic narration!

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  • Kathryn
  • 11-10-17

Rrrremarrrrkable! (rolling r's like the Scots)

What a great story.... although Ms Gabledons heroine Claire as clever as she is.... to me, a pain in the rear! But then I suppose that's in order.

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  • Grace Ellen (Maz)
  • 10-12-17

excellent recommended performance

enjoyed most of the book but found sections a little rambling. Could possibly have been a little shorter.

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  • JPR
  • 09-20-17

Excellent narrator and author

What an amazing story from a very inventive author. This is a mix of historical,/romance/adventure,,/ fantasy. With its many chapters it kept me entertained for many hours. Very engrossing.

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  • James MacKenzie
  • 08-05-17

Boring

Never really compared with its predecessors. A bit boring. Found difficulty staying with it. Interesting enough to consider reading the next one.

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  • col40h
  • 12-01-16

Great read if you have the time and patience

I found the first half of the book difficult in that the story was not going anywhere and a lot more editing would have greatly improved the story. There was a lot of wasted text on trivial scenes that I personally found unnecessary (I did read the book and then switched to the audio version.)
However, after that the story kept me captivated and look forward to the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K
  • 02-18-16

Outlander

Love this series, it draws you in to be part of their world :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brigid
  • 06-13-15

what can I say?

I am already well & truly hooked on all of Diana Gabaldon'a books Davina too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • 05-17-15

Totally addicted

This series is phenomenal - the story is great and this audible version is excellent. It is so addictive that I listen to my book on bluestooth headphones at the gym and cleaning - not just in the car! - I have already researched other books by the same narrator and have them on my wish list. I am so pleased Diana Gabaldon has more books but I will be really sad when I am all done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth
  • 03-02-15

Love it, love it, love it !!!

I just can't get enough of this series. Incredible storyline and brilliant narration. Can't wait to "read" the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bron
  • 10-11-17

I'm obsessed with these books!

Davina tells the story so well and keeps the story riveting with every word! Highly recommended

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-17

Love these books!!

I struggled to read this book but listening to it on audio was great. awesome for the drive to work

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  • kim
  • 03-25-17

Brilliant story brilliant narrator

love love love Davina Porter, she's such a brilliant narrator who makes the book come alive.

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  • Alison Mitchell
  • 03-17-17

One of my favourites

I loved this book. I really need to read some different books but I can't quit the outlander series.

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  • Catherine
  • 02-23-17

Awesome

I can't wait for the next part it's so exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat