A Column of Fire

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan UK, Sep 12, 2017 - Fiction - 1024 pages

The saga that has enthralled the millions of readers of The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End now continues with Ken Follett's magnificent, gripping A Column of Fire.

Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed.

The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love, and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald.

Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of 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.

Elizabeth knows that alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots lies in wait in Paris. Part of a brutally ambitious French family, Mary has been proclaimed the rightful ruler of England, with her own supporters scheming to get rid of the new queen.

Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. With Elizabeth clinging precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents, it becomes clear that the real enemies - then as now - are not the rival religions.

The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else - no matter the cost.

PRAISE FOR A COLUMN OF FIRE

"Absorbing . . . impossible to resist." Washington Post

"Fans of Follett's epic sagas The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, set in the Middle Ages in the fictional city of Kingsbridge, will be thrilled by this latest installment." New York Post

"An immersive journey through the tumultuous world of 16th century Europe and some of the bloodiest religious wars in history. Follett's sprawling novel is a fine mix of heart-pounding drama and erudite historicism." Publisher's Weekly

"A fiery tale set in the latter half of the sixteenth century . . . As always, Follett excels in historical detailing, transporting readers back in time with another meaty historical blockbuster." Booklist

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bbbart - LibraryThing

It was ok. That's really how I feel after finishing the last pages of this book. Of course, I doubt Follet can really publish anything really awful, but I'm afraid this is about as bad a book by his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Andy_DiMartino - LibraryThing

An epic continuation of the Kingsbridge saga rich with historical significance. A wonderful story set in the sixteenth century telling the story of Queen Elizabeth I's Secret Service over her 40-year reign. Read full review

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About the author (2017)

Ken Follett is one of the world's most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages. Ken's first success was Eye of the Needle (1978), a spy story set in the Second World War. In 1989 The Pillars of the Earth was published, and has since become Ken's most successful novel, selling 26 million copies.

Ken's next book, The Evening and the Morning, will be published in September 2020. It is a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth and is set around the year 1,000, when Kingsbridge was an Anglo-Saxon settlement threatened by Viking invaders.

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