Book Review: The Pillars Of The Earth: Ken Follett

I’m not a full-time blogger; I do this as a hobby. Several months ago, I thought it would be a good idea to tie my other hobby, reading, to my blogging hobby. I can usually read a book of 300- 500 pages in a week, two tops, which would allow me to do a weekly blog post. However, when I took on this monster of a novel, it ran into several weeks. This book topped out at 1077 pages.

This novel is my second time reading this book; I first read the novel about 10+ years ago. Since then, I discovered through it was part of a four-book series, so I decided to read the whole series and start with this; also, it allowed me to add it to my tablet, which is turning into a library!

Pillars is a wonderful story and a must-read. The story takes place at the beginning of the 12th century in England. The story has everything you could ask for, especially in a period piece. There is a lot about the book that details the churches in that period, which is factual. I found it interesting that the Author studied the churches (Cathedrals) of England to add great detail to his story and the buildings.

The book has it all; religion, politics, good vs. evil, power, sex, and deceit. At the heart of the book is building a great cathedral in England that revolves around the highs, lows, and struggles of four main characters.

The author tells the story of Prior Phillip, a monk, and the balance between his faith and his genuine personal goals to build a cathedral, and the politics that play a role in the church. At the heart of the story are Phillip and his involvement in the other characters’ lives how these others all play a role in building a life and the cathedral. Tom, the master builder, and his kids, his adopted son Jack, who follows in his footsteps. The fall of an earl and his daughter, the priory monks, and all their enemies.

I always enjoy a writer who can tell a story and make you feel like you are in the moment but can also visualize the surrounding area. When you want to keep reading, that is a great book. If you enjoy a great story with outstanding characters, a book you just can’t put down, then read this book. Once you do it, I’m sure it will take you on an incredible journey, and you will want to read all four of the novels. The other stories are in the following order; World Without End, A Column of Fire, and The Evening and the Morning. This last book is a prequel to Pillars, and I have decided to start that one next. It is also almost a thousand pages so that it might be a few weeks before my next blog post.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Pillars Of The Earth: Ken Follett

  1. William’s father, Percy Hamleigh, passes away, and William learns that the earldom will either go to him or Richard, now a knight, since they are both sons of an Earl of Shiring. Prior to the quarry, William destroys a mill and murders a miller in a village in front of Arthur and the townsfolk to provide fear and control of the serfs and villagers. In order to restore his fortunes so that he can raise an army with which to impress King Stephen, William leads an attack on the quarry, which the Hamleighs had unsuccessfully attempted to barricade against Philip, killing and expelling the priory’s quarrymen. Philip travels to Lincoln to attempt to persuade King Stephen to redress this outrage, but is interrupted by the Battle of Lincoln, where the king is captured by Robert of Gloucester. Philip is also captured by Robert’s forces but is released by his brother Francis, who is chaplain to Robert. Francis gets Philip an audience with the Empress Maud, who grants him a license for a market at Kingsbridge, while William Hamleigh, who has switched sides from Stephen to Maud, is granted sole right to the disputed quarry. Philip, despite the quarry being thus denied him, still manages to pay for stone for his cathedral using the revenues from the market.


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