Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Fiery Cross

There's no pleasure quite like that of getting lost in a good book, particularly a good long book, and for the past few days I've been doing my best to escape into the North Carolina backcountry, 1770-72. That's the setting of The Fiery Cross (2001), fifth installment in Diana Gabaldon's series about a 20th-century English nurse who stumbles through a stone circle and finds herself in 18th century Scotland. (And, eventually, North Carolina, though I don't want to spoil the plot by giving the whys and hows. Go read the books, starting with Outlander. They're top-quality intelligent escapism.)

There's not a lot of plot to The Fiery Cross, but that didn't bother me. (Except in one spot, very near the end, about which I'll only say that Brianna clearly needs to study the Evil Overlord List.) It's mostly a chance to visit a three-dimensional world and richly developed characters. And that's what I love most as a reader. Plot is window-dressing. I enjoyed this book so much that I'd like to pick up A Breath of Snow and Ashes immediately to find out what happens next. But I won't. I have library books that must be read before they're due back.

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