Kingsbridge series (Pillars of Earth and World Without End) by Ken Follett

Pillars of the Earth was conceived as a stand alone book. Almost 30 years later, the author wrote a sequel, titled World Without End, set 2 century after the events of the first book, featuring the descendents of the characters of Pillars of the Earth. Each of the two volume can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, but we recommend to read them in the order of publication and chronological order of the event.

Kingsbridge series

  

The Pillars of the Earth
Publication date: 1989
In a time of civil war, famine and religious strife, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against this backdrop, lives entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age.
Buy: [Amazon]

World Without End
Publication date: 2007
On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed. As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.
Buy: [Amazon]

TV series

The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett’s best-selling novel is brought to life in a star-studded and critically-acclaimed eight-part miniseries. Emerging from the war-torn shadows of England’s Dark Ages, an idealistic mason, Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell, The Holiday) sets out on a quest of erecting a glorious Cathedral bathed in light. But when that light threatens to illuminate the dark secrets of ambitious Bishop Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane, 2005 Golden Globe Best Actor, TV’s Deadwood) and the battling progeny of King Henry, Queen Maud (Alison Pill, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and King Stephen (Tony Curran, Ondine), they’ll stop at nothing to keep those secrets safe. The epic miniseries event also stars Matthew MacFadyen (Frost/Nixon) as Prior Philip, Hayley Atwell (Love Hate) as the beautiful noblewoman Aliena and Donald Sutherland (TV’s Dirty Sexy Money) as Bartholomew.
Buy at [Amazon]

World Without End
England is on the brink of a devastating war with France that will last over a hundred years. A terrible plague which will wipe out a third of Europe’s population before it is done is spreading. Caris, a visionary young woman, struggles to rise above the suffering and oppression in order to lead her people out of the Dark Ages. With her loverMerthin, she builds a community in Kingsbridge that stands up to the church and the crown. Together, they unearth a dangerous secret and must fight to save their town from ruin, ultimately ushering in a new era of freedom, innovation and enlightenment.
Buy at [Amazon]

Related Links

  • Ken Follett official web page [link]
  • Ken Follet wikipedia page [link]
  • Pillars of the Earth guide by Oprah [link]
  • Pillars of the Earth wikipedia page [link]
  • The Guardian review of World Without End [link]
  • Los Angeles Times review of World Without End [link]
  • The Independent review of World Without End [link]

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