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"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780525954972
052595497X
Characteristics: 916 pages :,map ;,25 cm.

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u
USAF1969
Apr 18, 2018

I have read all of Ken Follett's books and liked them all a lot. With PILLARS OF THE EARTH though, he took a major leap forward in writing historical fiction. Now with his third book in the Kingsbridge series, A COLUMN OF FIRE, he has once again proven masterful at blending fact and fiction. This book, covers the years 1558 to 1620 in England (mostly, but France, Spain, Scotland and the Netherlands thrown in) and deals with the vicious fight between ultra-Catholics and ultra-Protestants for religious supremacy with much of the story including characters who tried to make religious tolerance a viable alternative. It includes many key historical events, including the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the reigns of a number of monarchs in various countries. I enjoyed it thoroughly. He is clearly at the top of his game and a peer, at the very least, of other the great historical fiction writers, including Bernard Cornwell. Well done. Enjoy.

Comment below by J were my thoughts exactly. Difficult to add a new twist to such a well known story, I wish he had taken a smaller bite of history and gone into more depth but still a great read.

j
JEM_LPL
Mar 27, 2018

"A Column Of Fire" lacks the rich character depth and detail of his first two installements. Then again, he has a lot of ground to cover; no less than nine characters in at least three different countries over the course of fifty years. It's a good read, but I often feel like I'm trying to sight see from the back of a getaway car.

n
njon38
Jan 07, 2018

Ken Follet delivers again. This is a novel of the religious wars in Europe before, after and during the reign of Elizabeth 1.

k
ktkdouglascounty
Dec 31, 2017

Not one of Follett's best. However, if you can wade thru the first 100 pages or so, you will again find his story telling abilities.

s
Sheila1975
Dec 26, 2017

Fabulous book and superbly written! A long saga, but it moves so well, covering all aspects of the past centuries of turmoil in the Protestant and Catholic religions and the conflict of families. Great descriptions of the lands, the culture, and of course, the people and the difficulties faced in early times.
A Super read, for sure!!!!! Recommend it highly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

e
elos
Dec 02, 2017

Well it took a long time for Follett to get this written and published, but it's here and it's great. It was exactly what I was hoping for and expecting from this author.

AL_KATHRYN Nov 26, 2017

This is book number three in the Kingsbridge series. I enjoyed the book, but in covering 50 years of divisive English history I think the author was covering too long of a period of history in one book. There is a whipsaw feeling to this book, "We're protestant! No, we're Catholic!" Which can be disconcerting. I think the author would have been better off turning the subject into two books

l
laphampeak
Nov 16, 2017

Follett sure has a lot to say and I'm amazed at the diligence he exerts in this story. As a reader I am taken deep into history and families and politics of the time. For his literary expression I give him high ratings. However, I read a book recently about the same time period and with so many good/great books that just became available I decided to let this one go at about page 400. A commendable read and worthy if one has the fortitude to finish.

c
cknightkc
Oct 18, 2017

There is no doubt that author Ken Follett has a gift for storytelling. It could be the influence of his recent Century Trilogy, but in this latest installment of the Kingsbridge Series he sacrifices the depth which worked so well in THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH and WORLD WITHOUT END for a larger scope. Instead of focusing on the lives and personal dramas of the fictional Kingsbridge citizens and placing the politics of the time in the background, A COLUMN OF FIRE is more about history than the characters. Unlike previous books in the series, the majority of the action in COLUMN takes place outside of Kingsbridge - in France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the New World. Also at times there is a curious use of modern language and ways of speaking in the characters’ dialogue that seems at odds with the time period in which this novel is set. Even though I found A COLUMN OF FIRE to be the weakest of the 3 books in the Kingsbridge series, I enjoyed it nonetheless and would still recommend it to fans of historic fiction.

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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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