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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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8043016,418 (4)24
  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 24 mentions

English (23)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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 |
Long and kinda tedious but I really wanted to read it because I loved the first two. ( )
  blogbrarian | Jul 16, 2018 |
The love of young Ned Willard, from a prominent Knightsbridge mercantile family, for the sprightly Margery Fitzgerald, daughter of the town mayor, is enthusiastically reciprocated. Unfortunately, her father has plans to marry her into the local gentry. The times are those of Queen Mary I, when religious controversy between Catholics and Protestants embroiled England (and much of Europe), and Ned finds himself involved with the circle around Princess Elizabeth, the Protestants' hope to succeed her half-sister. He is drawn to her promises of toleration. -- Meanwhile, the staunchly Catholic Fitzgeralds -- especially Rollo, Margery's brother -- plot to bring the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots to the throne. -- This sprawling novel covers some thirty years historically and includes scenes in France, Spain, the West Indies, and what we today know as the Netherlands, as plots and counterplots are hatched. The cathedral in Knightsbridge, so prominent in the previous two 'installments' of the series, does not figure so prominently here, except for a few (admittedly pivotal) scenes; still, it casts something of a presence over the entire novel. I was fascinated by many of the events and characters (in Follett's telling, Catarina de Medici was a force for compromise and tolerance in France, an interpretation I'd not previously encountered!), but, on the whole, I did not enjoy this novel so much as its predecessors. I wonder if there will be a fourth...? ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
The two preceding novels were long and spellbinding: how could I resist reading the third!
Ken Follett has the skill of transporting the reader back in time, and for bringing the characters to life, whether they be those you love or those you loathe.I found that I cared about what happened to these people and couldn't wait to find out, throughout the book.The added bonus was that I learnt a lot about the times in which they lived, so ended up feeling educated whilst also enjoying a stonkingly good read! That's what I call good value!
Ned Willard is fascinating, whose character is formed early in the book but as the story develops so does Ned; aspects of his character are reinforced and strengthened by the events.
Fantastic storytelling, beautifully crafted, professionally researched, highly recommended to all who enjoy a fast-paced interwoven exciting read. ( )
  Jawin | Jun 7, 2018 |
This is a long complex saga, essentially the story of two families told through the fortunes of Ned Willard and Margery Fitzgerald and set against the politics, religious conflict and history of the second half of the 16th century. The key historical events covered start with the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre through the Armada and end with the Gunpowder Plot. The very real religious conflicts of 5he time are represented through the Willard family’s Protestantism and the Fitzgerald’s Catholicism.

This very long book contains enough incident, colour and pace to draw the reader in, although there are a lot of characters and plot strands, so I sometimes found myself at a loss as to who was who and what was what. Some characters and incidents seemed separate from the overall story and served no real purpose other than to exist in themselves. It is difficult to see if they were filler, or for completeness or to tee up some future volumes in the series. Not having read previous volumes in this series was no great barrier to senjoying this one. ( )
  pierthinker | Jun 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (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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