Murder, intrigue, plague and pestilence in the stunning sequel to the international bestseller PILLARS OF THE EARTHMurder, intrigue, plague and pestilence in the stunning sequel to the international bestseller The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning novel Eye of the Needle, which became an international bestseller and film. He has since written several equally successful novels, including, most recently, Whiteout. He is also author of the non-fiction bestseller On Wings of Eagles. Ken Follett lives with his family in London and Stevenage.
Follett here follows up The Pillars of the Earth, an account of a cathedral's construction in 12th-century England and his biggest best seller. Two centuries later, the cathedral is complete, but the intrigues continue. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Eighteen years after Pillars of the Earth weighed in with almost 1,000 pages of juicy historical fiction about the construction of a 12th-century cathedral in Kingsbridge, England, bestseller Follett returns to 14th-century Kingsbridge with an equally weighty tome that deftly braids the fate of several of the offspring of Pillars' families with such momentous events of the era as the Black Death and the wars with France. Four children, who will become a peasant's wife, a knight, a builder and a nun, share a traumatic experience that will affect each of them differently as their lives play out from 1327 to 1361. Follett studs the narrative with gems of unexpected information such as the English nobility's multilingual training and the builder's technique for carrying heavy, awkward objects. While the novel lacks the thematic unity of Pillars, readers will be captivated by the four well-drawn central characters as they prove heroic, depraved, resourceful or mean. Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
The peasants are revolting. Some, anyway. Othersthe good-hearted
varlets, churls and nickpurses of Folletts latestare just fine.
In a departure from his usual taut, economical procedurals ("Whiteout," 2004, etc.), Follett revisits the Middle Ages in what amounts to a sort of sequel to "The Pillars of the Earth" (1989). The story is leisurely but never slow, turning in the shadow of the great provincial cathedral in the backwater of Kingsbridge, the fraught construction of which was the ostensible subject of the first novel. Now, in the 1330s, the cathedral is a going concern, populated by the same folks who figured in its making: intriguing clerics, sometimes clueless nobles and salt-of-the-earth types. One of the last is a resourceful young girland Folletts women are always resourceful, more so than the menfolkwho liberates the overflowing purse of one of those nobles. Her father has already lost a hand for thievery, but thats an insufficient deterrent in a time of hunger, and a time when the lords were frequently away: at war, in Parliament, fighting lawsuits, or just attending on their earl or king. Thus the need for watchful if greedy bailiffs and tough sheriffs, who make Gwendas grown-up life challenging. Follett has a nice eye for the sometimes silly clash of the classes and the aspirations of the small to become large, as with one aspiring prior who had only a vague idea of what he would do with such power, but he felt strongly that he belonged in some elevated position in life. Alas, woe meets some of those who strive, a fact that touches off a neat little mystery at the beginning of the book, one that plays its way out across the years and implicates dozens of characters.
A lively entertainment for fans of "The Once and Future King, The Lord of the Rings" and other multilayered epics. "Kirkus Reviews," Starred Review