Teaser Thursday (11): The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
Ah, The Fiery Cross, probably my least favorite of the otherwise fantastic Outlander series. The plot drags quite a bit at times, especially at the beginning when readers must slog through 160 or so pages of everything that could possibly happen at the Gathering. It also suffers quite a bit from having no distinct focus or purpose, unlike its four predecessors, and the events found within serve mainly as a transition to the happenings in the following books in the series (which is quite evident in its description on the back cover).
With that said, The Fiery Cross really isn’t a bad book – just not as great in comparison with the other books Gabaldon has put out. Like with An Echo in the Bone, I think it helps if you view this book more as a diary chronicling the daily life of ordinary folk in pre-Revolutionary period rural North Carolina. It is quite obvious that Gabaldon strived to make the setting and the characters as authentic as possible and she helps readers to learn about mostly overlooked events in pre-Revolutionary War history. I certainly never learned about the Regulators in any of my history classes, just as I never truly grasped how appalling the hygeine and medical practices were during this time period, but Gabaldon made them come to life for me.
Anyway, I think I’ve blabbed on long enough – here’s your teaser for the week.
I turned back to find Jamie already on his feet, and Wylie rising from his knees, both soaked with coffee, and both with expressions implying that they intended to resume proceedings at the point where I had interuppted them. I pushed my way between them and stamped my foot.
“I have bloody well had enough of this!”
“I haven’t!” Wylie said hotly. “He has impugned my honor and I demand –”
“Oh, to hell with your beastly honor – and yours, too!” I snarled, glaring from him to Jamie. Jamie, who had evidently been going to say something equally inflammatory, contented himself instead with a resounding snort.
I kicked one of the fallen stools, and pointed at it, still glaring at Jamie.
Plucking the soaked fabric of his shirt away from his chest, he righted the stool and sat on it, with immense dignity.
Wylie was less inclined to pay attention to me, and was carrying on with further remarks about his honor. I kicked him in the shin. This time, I was wearing stout boots. He yelped and hopped on one foot, holding his affronted leg. The horses, thoroughly roused by the commotion, were stamping and snorting in their boxes, and the air was full of floating chaff.
“Ye dinna want to trifle with her when she’s in a temper,” Jamie told Wylie, with a wary glance at me. “She’s dangerous, aye,” (530).