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A Column of Fire

A Column of Fire

Book - 2017
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"International bestselling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of readers with The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, two stories of the Middle Ages set in the fictional city of Kingsbridge. The saga now continues with Follett's magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire. In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2017]
ISBN: 9780525954972
052595497X
Branch Call Number: F FOLLE-K
Characteristics: 916 pages : illustration ; 25 cm

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
May 11, 2021

I have known most sequels to grow boring or pollute the legacy of the works before it, but not this one. “Column of Fire” was painlessly educational and the lives of the characters kept me effortlessly captivated. Once again, Ken Follett demonstrates his ability to create characters with feelings that are alike the reader in so many ways, making it easy to attach yourself to almost everyone. I needed to research some of the historical terminology in order to understand some of the plot and would recommend that-if needed-you do the same. Failure to understand the religious concepts mentioned in this novel can be confusing, and for this reason, I would suggest this book to anyone over 18. Overall, this novel is one of the most emotionally thrilling I’ve read yet and makes some notable connections about race and religion that some of us still face today. A satisfying and successful end to this series, this deserves five stars-a must-read! -@smallfries of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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lpreston214
Apr 12, 2021

I read nearly 500 pages of this book before abandoning it. I read Pillars years ago and loved it and just read Evening and the morning and liked it also. Sadly I just didn't care about these characters nor the plotting and intrigue which reminded me of Wolf hall which I also did not like. Add in the horrible bloody intolerant attitudes and actions regarding religion and I just could not hack it. Read the end and returned it.

t
tjdickey
Apr 06, 2021

Sadly, this was even below the standard that Follett himself set in the opening pair of the trilogy (and even those two were a bit heavy on anachronism and 21st-century attitudes grafted onto earlier times).

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writermala
Apr 06, 2020

I haven't read that many Historical Epics so this was a novel experience for me (Yes, pun intended.) I found the book amazing. It had everything a really good book needs and since it was based on history one couldn't refute it either. It had the right mix of real characters and fictional ones- like Ned Willard and Margery. It was scary yet realistic and I'm going to look for other books like it.

h
Howie2020
Feb 25, 2020

The last in the Kingsbridge series and sadly the least of all three. The actions jumps all over the place and the number of characters to keep track of (usually high to begin with) is even more difficult in the first few hundred pages. About half way through the author sticks to the real main story line and things really get good. The way that the last season of a great tv series is usually disappointing is how I would describe this last book of the series. Good, but not at all as great as the first 2.

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vega6e
Jun 13, 2019

Lots of history about the Reformation and the battles between Protestants and Catholics, England and France, I had no idea it was so bloody.

t
tracysue
Feb 04, 2019

Follett is one of my favorite authors. All of his historical fiction tales are very readable, well researched, epic stories. This one was, too, but it was not my favorite. An entertaining read, but not his best.

martins_mom Nov 29, 2018

A big rich read about life in Tudor England, with particular emphasis on the religious rivalries and restrictions of the time. I liked the miniseries of The Pillars of Earth, the first book of this trilogy - the first time I ever saw Eddie Redmayn in screen.

a
AProkesch
Oct 10, 2018

I liked the historical background, therefore I rated the book with 3 stars.
Otherwise, its a rather plain story with simple characters. I guess one has to find a compromise between the vast amount of historical background and the characters you would like to put in there to intervene with historical figures. You almost immediately know what is going to happen just because Follett adds odd sentences to the story which point out certain details he needs to use afterwards to justify why something went wrong, or why somebody can get blamed. I don't understand why Follett's plots need to be always so similar, even to his Century Trilogy (I am not going into details since I don't want to spoil the contents for future readers), but I think the book is nowhere near the quality of Pillars Of The Earth. On the other hand, if you want to know whats happening in fictional Kingsbridge, and if the series 2nd book (World Without End) did not already put you off, then its an easy read.

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glesca100
Sep 23, 2018

It’s the 16th century..Catholics don’t love Protestant’s and vice versa! Thank god I didn’t live then! Was it any different in 1960 uk? At least the burnt at the stakes had gone . I’m glad I survived to 2018 in Canada. All races and religions meld here!

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cknightkc
Oct 18, 2017

“When a man is certain that he knows God’s will, and is resolved to do it regardless of the cost, he is the most dangerous person in the world.” - p. 200

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