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A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
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A Column of Fire (2017)

by Ken Follett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kingsbridge (3)

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1,0103712,686 (4)33
  1. 00
    Shogun by James Clavell (karatelpek)
    karatelpek: Another historical epic with the Catholic/Protestant divide serving as the backdrop.
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» See also 33 mentions

English (27)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This final book in Follett’s Kingsbridge trilogy was an okay read, but not anything spectacular or riveting for me. Nothing wrong with Follett’s customary storytelling, although he does have a habit of recycling similar plot themes with some of his character pairings, leaving this reader with a “this is oddly familiar” sensation. I should admit that I struggled with this trilogy as a whole compared with his Century trilogy. I loved the first book, Pillars of the Earth, as a great introduction to the Middle Ages period and cathedral architecture. was a bit of a dud given the huge time jump, so I didn’t go into A Column of Fire with any high expectations. Probably a good thing. At least the final book more or less picks up where the previous book left off (beginning in 1558, and continuing through 1605), so I already had a nodding familiarity with a number of the characters. The story, not surprisingly, has a strong royal and religious focus as we have Tudor family infighting along with Protestant versus Catholic rebellions, neither topic of any great interest to me. It is a bad sign when I find myself skipping forward every three minutes through a chunk of the story because it was dragging. The best part of the story, for me anyways, is near the end where Follett presents the reader with his literary take on Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot.

Overall, a rather dud read to wrap up a trilogy that just wasn’t all that riveting for me. ( )
  lkernagh | Mar 15, 2019 |
This is the third of the Kingbridge books, and so far, my favorite. But perhaps that's because it has been awhile since I read the other two. This one takes place in the 16th century. There is the well-known power struggle, the cruelty of both Catholic and Protestant factions, and lots of torture. It amazes me how barbaric humans can be, even for nothing more important than sport. Some of this is hard to read, or in my case, hard to hear.

I liked the combination of real and fictional characters. Follett does a great job of bringing both to life. There is history here, but there is also entertainment, and I cared about the characters. This is a long book but I enjoyed all of it.

John Lee's narration is terrific. The various accents, his voice when speaking as a woman, so difficult for men to do well, his intonations all worked for me. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jan 6, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this one - almost as much as the Pillars. ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
The last in the series. While I loved the first two books....this one was not as good. It had more actual history and a little less fiction. It often felt like the personal stories left something missing because the author was so intent on making sure that all the historical facts were touched upon. Having said that, I think part of the problem was that I really liked the first two books so I had very high expectations for this book. ( )
  KamGeb | Oct 6, 2018 |
Not as good as the first two in the series, but still a good read. I think it could have been shorter and told the same story. Some plot lines became so repetitive-as I guess history did! ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Follettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ahlberg, JensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karlin, LenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a column of smoke to lead them on their way. By night he went ahead of them in a column of fire to give them light so they could travel by day or night. -Exodus 13:21, God's Word Translation
Dedication
First words
Ned Willard came home to Kingsbridge in a snowstorm.
Quotations
"Three great women of the 1500s were dead: Elizabeth, Queen Caterina of France, and Margherita of Parma, govenor of Netherlands. They had all tried to stop men killing one another over religion." pp 844
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052595497X, Hardcover)

International bestselling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of readers with the first two books of his Kingsbridge series, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. 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, high principles clash bloodily with 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 divide sweeping across 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 precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.
 
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 what the cost.
 
Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet, and is perfect both for longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series as well as readers new to Ken Follett.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:54:06 -0500)

"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"--… (more)

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