THE FIERY CROSS

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Those readers who have been waiting with impatience for the fifth installment in the incredible Outlander series will be richly rewarded by Diana Gabaldons latest literary achievement.

Set in 1771, amidst the early rumblings of the the American Revolution, James and Claire Fraser are preparing for their daughter Briannas wedding to Roger McKenzie in North Carolina when Jamie is sent an ominous letter from Governor Tryon. Hes been commanded to gather men to form a militia to fight the Regulators and other insurgents against the King and Crown. A frightening and frustrating prospect for Jamie, since his wife Claires ominous portents of the war to come are based on her own experience in the future. A natural leader, Jamie doesnt flinch and takes command as is his due with Claire at his side, despite the difficulty and treachery they encounter in this landscape richly populated with unusual characters and historical figures.

Joining James as his second in command is his new son-in-law Roger McKenzie, who has much to learn about himself and his relationship to his new kin. Although his marriage to Brianna is based on love and passion, Roger and Brianna have much to overcome.

Their infant son Jemmy is an ever-present reminder of the rapist and thief Stephen Bonnet. No one knows if Jemmy is the progeny of this evil man, and both couples are haunted by the possibility. Since, Jamie is determined to avenge his daughter, the family lives with the constant threat that they will come face to face with evil again.

Diana Gabaldons eloquent prose portrays a rich tapestry of life in Colonial America. She is a storyteller par excellence who can capture her readers and immerse them in a distant land and time where passion is ignited, land is fought over and families reunite. All told with an accuracy for historic detail, a beauty of language and poetry, and of course the irascible humor which make the Outlander series a bounty for her legions of fans. (Now available, 979 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kate Ryan