Book Review : World Without End: Ken Follett

Book three is complete, and it was another considerable novel, 1000+ pages. This book was a bit different from the first two in how it started but overall followed the same storytelling type. The first two novels began a bit more quickly and got right into the action.

This book started with a bit more character development. The main characters started as children; also, the author linked the characters’ to past descendants. This Novel also had more characters and connecting storylines. I think that made for the expanse of time that was now 400+ years from the prequel to this Novel’s end.

I like best about how the story progresses; you could feel like you can see Kingsbridge’s town in your mind; having read the series to this point, you can visualize the city’s development and have a picture in you’re your head.

I love the way the author sets the stage for the story and character progression. I often thought I had guessed where the story might go only to find a little surprising wrinkle, and I was wrong. The biggest hook was how the story started with a mystery initially and never really went back to that piece until the last few pages, and even then, it was a bit different from what I expected it.

The novels’ similarities were still there; a corrupt and manipulative clergy; in this Novel, it was more inside the local community than at the church’s higher levels. The prior was so vial you wanted to punch that monk. There was the typical romance between the two naming characters and the typical schemes and plots made for good intrigue. Remember these are stories to entertain, not to be exact period pieces to learn details of world history.

At this time, the war was with the French, unlike the prequel, where it was more with the Viking invasions to England. Two young nuns traveling to France in the middle of a war to find a king was a bit of a storyline stretch, but it was entertaining.

Central to the books is always the Cathedral, and it was no different this time. The prequel, of course, starts with the church’s location. The Pillars of the earth was the building of the church. This Novel takes place 400 years since the construction; it needed some repairs, but the Cathedral is now fully established and the town’s focal point. The bridge also gets a significant upgrade. I’m wondering how that may play into the last Novel?

The two main characters’ central theme is the same; a poor boy falls for a rich girl. The poor boy has a gifted mind and builder. A poor boy leaves but comes back this time. It did seem like the poor boy would not get the girl, but he does. That is not a give away to the story but a bit expected.

Ironically reading this Novel also had a plague, and the typical things in today’s news played out in the Novel; lockdowns, masks, and a ravaged economy. The excellent news it all works out in the end, as I suspect it will result in today’s pandemic.

Get the book and read it. It is a great and fun read; it will keep you guessing and tells a good, fun story. It is very entertaining, and even at  1000+ pages, it is a pretty fast read; even if you have to put it down for a few days, the storyline is easy to pick up and keep going.

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