Tuesday, October 8, 2013

World Without End by Ken Follett

I can always count on Ken Follett to transport me away to another place and time in history, with all the people and politics of the time included. Although this is considered a sequel, it's really also a standalone story that takes place in the same town and countryside as Pillars of the Earth. In World Without End there are references to some of the old characters and relationships but it's more a story of progress and the evolution of architecture, science and politics. What was built and practiced in 1100s England is, now in the 1300s, having to be reconsidered, rethought, and rebuilt, all to the consternation (isn't it always?) of staunch traditionalists.

With historical fiction like this, it's always amazing to me how the characters' live their lives with much the same drives, ambitions, fears, and joys as our own modern ones. And if the history goes back far enough covering a number of centuries, as it does with this book, it's an opportunity to witness how the pool of knowledge builds from one generation to the next.

(back cover) The sequel to Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century England that centred on the building of a cathedral, and on the men, women, and children whose lives it changed forever.  World Without End takes place two centuries later after the townspeople of Kingsbridge finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral, four children slip into the forest and witness a killing…an event that will braid their lives together by ambition, greed, and revenge.


JoAnn said...

Ken Follett certainly tells a great story! I read him for the first time earlier this year (Fall of Giants over a 2 week trip to Florida) and plan to read Winter of the World on my next vacation.

Trish said...

Yes! Fall of Giants and Winter of the World are both on my TBR shelf. I'm looking forward to reading them both.