A Column of Fire

The simple idea that people should be allowed to worship as they wished caused more suffering than the ten plagues of Egypt.

Four hundred years later… Sometimes things are better. And sometimes things feel like they’ll never change.

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World Without End

The Pillars of the Earth was quite a ride of historical fiction, introducing us the people of a small English city of Kingsbridge in the 12th century. When I learned that there was a sequel (World Without End) set in the same town but hundreds of years later, I was intrigued. A timeskip with the same setting but different (descended) characters hundreds of years later isn’t something I’ve often seen and it’s fascinating when done well. Add in that World Without End is set during the years of the Plague… I was intrigued.

For the most part, World Without End did well. It has big shoes to fill following up to Pillars of the Earth. In comparison, the building seems smaller (a bridge and a tower instead of the entire cathedral), the conflicts seem smaller and more petty, and the characters feel more anachronistic. There are any number of times when I wonder if people of the time period were really that ‘modern’ or is that an invention of Follett.

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The Pillars of the Earth

The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.

The Pillars of the Earth is not what I expected. As the blurb said, it’s a book full of intrigue, action, and romance , but it’s also a giant of a book, set in the twelfth century, following the life and times of several families in a Middle Age English town through everything from daily life to the decades long building of a cathedral to a civil war.

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