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And sorry for the English, not a native speaker German. Verified Purchase. Pillars and World Without End are my favorite books of all time. I'm also very interested in religious history and persecution, so I highly anticipated the release of this book. Unfortunately, it was just really bad. The book had nothing to do with Kingsbridge, which was disappointing, but I could have gotten over that, IF the book had contained rich characters and plots like the first two books.
Additionally, there were about five new people introduced per page, all with similar names Francis, Henri , and you never knew if they were going to be major characters, or if they would never be mentioned again. I seriously started taking notes. I have about five handwritten pages of names I found myself constantly thinking "wait, why are they doing this?
It doesn't make sense that they're enemies! I really looked forward to this book for months, and I hesitated to write this review until I was finished with the whole thing It didn't. I'm so disappointed. I want to talk directly to the reader who has not yet read any of the 3 Kingsbridge books. You must start with Pillars of the Earth. It's the greatest book I've ever read and it unearthed my passion for historical fiction. Even IF you're not into historical fiction, it's impossible that you wouldn't love this book or its series or any of Ken's novels.
Pillars has had a lifelong impact on me. It's that book that just stays with you after you've finished the amazing journey it will lead you on. I'm not a master with words or reviews, but if you've yet to read any of these all I have to say is: you're in for a treat! See all reviews from the United States. Top international reviews.
I enjoyed reading this book for the most part, but what it is not, is a continuation of the previous 'Kingsbridge' novels. I had rather imagined I was going to be reading about the troubles affecting the Cathedral and the people of Kingsbridge during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but that major historic event seems to have passed us by and the book opens during the reign of Queen Mary.
What I found rather irritating was the constant and abrupt switching from one story line in France, to a completely separate story line in Spain and then to Holland and back to France. It was like an episode of EastEnders or Dallas constantly flipping between characters and scenes. And there are quite a lot of characters in this book!
I also found that what I was reading was a factual history lesson interspersed with fictional characters - the 'story telling' which made the previous books so enthralling, didn't really evolve, it was simply a flowery version of historic fact.
If I had wanted to read a history book I would've bought something by Simon Sharma. If it was meant to provide 'shockers' it didn't work - in fact I was rather disgusted with one characters unjustied end that I just slapped the book shut with an irritated 'hmph'. All that said, I quite enjoyed the book, but it just wasn't what was expected or indeed what it should have been.
I did learn something about the history of Protestant and Catholic issues in 16th Century Europe. Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again. A great continuation of the Kingsbridge Saga.
Set in the Elizabethan era with less content about Kingsbridge and the priory and the conflict between the prior, townspeople and earls, and more about Queen Elizabeth's secret service, and the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism throughout Europe, and the plotting against the Queen. If you enjoyed the first two, you will definitely enjoy this one.
World Without End was ok but this I've always been a fan of Ken Follett and Pillars is probably my favourite book. World Without End was ok but this was the literary equivalent of Forrest Gump - a bunch of random people who happen to be witnesses to major historical events. Whereas Pillars is primarily a great story with strong characters which culminated in an actual historical event this reads like a docu-drama. I hope he returns to form soon as this was predictable and disappointing.
Certainly not as good as "Pillars of the Earth". I was waiting for the execution of Charles 1st next but fortunately his main hero died of old age just in time. On the other hand if there are gaps in your knowledge of 16th century politics particularly the religious in fighting then this is an ideal book to get clued up without suffering from choosing the wrong side Catholics, Protestants, Hugenots etc like so many thousands did. And what horrible deaths! Part Two: to Part Three: to Part Four: to Part Five: to Epilogue Acknowledgements Who is Real?