A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

by Ken Follett
4.6 90

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Overview

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3) by Ken Follett

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.
 
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. It will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and is the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525954972
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Series: Kingsbridge Series , #3
Pages: 928
Sales rank: 8,575
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Ken Follett is one of the world’s best-loved authors, selling more than 160 million copies of his thirty books. Follett’s first bestseller was Eye of the Needle, a spy story set in the Second World War.
 
In 1989 The Pillars of the Earth was published and has since become Follett’s most popular novel. It reached number one on bestseller lists around the world and was an Oprah’s Book Club pick.
 
Its sequel, World Without End, proved equally popular and the Kingsbridge series has sold 38 million copies worldwide.
 
Follett lives in Hertfordshire, England, with his wife Barbara. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren, and three Labradors.

Hometown:

Hertfordshire, England

Date of Birth:

June 5, 1949

Place of Birth:

Cardiff, Wales

Education:

B.A. in Philosophy, University College, London, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

We hanged him in front of Kingsbridge Cathedral. It is the usual place for executions. After all, if you can’t kill a man in front of God’s face you probably shouldn’t kill him at all.

The sheriff brought him up from the dungeon below the guildhall, hands tied behind his back. He walked upright, his pale face defiant, fearless.

The crowd jeered at him and cursed him. He seemed not to see them. But he saw me. Our eyes met, and in that momentary exchange of looks there was a lifetime.

I was responsible for his death, and he knew it.

I had been hunting him for decades. He was a bomber who would have killed half the rulers of our country, including most of the royal family, all in one act of bloodthirsty savagery—if I had not stopped him.

I have spent my life tracking such would‑be murderers, and a lot of them have been executed—not just hanged but drawn and quartered, the more terrible death reserved for the worst offenders.

Yes, I have done this many times: watched a man die knowing that I, more than anyone else, had brought him to his just but dreadful punishment. I did it for my country, which is dear to me; for my sovereign, whom I serve; and for something else, a principle, the belief that a person has the right to make up his own mind about God.

He was the last of many men I sent to hell, but he made me think of the first . . .

Customer Reviews

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A Column of Fire 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intellegent,thoufhtful,well researched,,book.took me 4 days and nights to read.Did not want to put it down. He is an amazing writer . I've read all his books was never bored or thrown off by poor phrasing or inaccurate settings. This book is WONDERFUL.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Pillars of the Earth and World Without End was not as good, so it is with GREAT joy that I can honestly report that A Column of Fire is of the same caliber as Pillars. Magnificently fleshed out characters, a wonderful storyline based in part on actual history, all woven into a rich tapestry. Wow!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful conclusion to a magnificent series told from a very different perspective......thoughtful reflection of a lifetime. As I have lately been prone to self introspection, I thank you Mr. Follett...to the last!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm already anticipating the next installment. I have read every book he has written, The Pillars of the Earth is by far my favorite book of all time and connecting with the "family" of Kingsbridge again has been a welcome reunion.
Anonymous 10 months ago
In the running for my favorite book of all time and I have read thousands in my 70 years. Twisting, turning captivating plots and subplots. Very hard to put down. Typical, extremely good reading in Follet’s inimitable fashion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those books that you hate to reach the final page
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keen Follett gives you everything you look for in an historic novel. Lots of action, plot complications, love interests, and insights into life in other times and places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed every book in this series. As with any great read, after a few months I will settle down an read it again. I hope the future brings another version of this amazing series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Follett classic! Great story line and finish to the saga.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the other books in this series, this was a grave disappointment. It was focused on two families, and their two young lovers. It was hard to keep so many different characters straight, you really needed an internal key for the names and what parts/religion they were. His other books were really full of history, surrounded by buildings, churches, that enhanced the characters. This was rather boring, and had a hard time forcing myself to continue to finish an almost 900 page book at page 400. I read most of the other reviews under large book retailers, and all I have to say is they are written to sell books, and quite far from what is really in the book. Very disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was hard to put down. Characters were well-defined. Really caught the spirit of the Elizabethan age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the first two. This one seemed somewhat disjointed and overly long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ken Follett has a way of weaving fiction with fact to tell a story. I learn so much about the history of Europe and the USA through his work. His research and attention to detail pull a reader into the context of the era. This latest installment is a very intriguing, if not harsh, glimpse into the 16th century. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The twists and turns in the fates of Knightsbridge fictional leading Catholics and Protestants are fascinatingly intertwined with the history of the violence and political upheaval of the religious intolerance of the 1500's Protestant Reformation. Not just a great read, this page turner provokes thoughtful consideration of religious intolerance of current events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was riveted beyond anything as soon as I started reading this book. I learned more history by reading this wonderful adventure. Kingsbridge is forever in my mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book. Follett demonstrates yet again what an artful writer he is. I have read all the Pillars of the Earth series and this is the best one yet. His descriptions and attention to historical detail take the reader back in time and immerse you in the era.
Anonymous 8 days ago
Ken Follett continues to weave fact and fiction in a most enjoyable way Well don, Sir.
Anonymous 18 days ago
I’ve enjoyed every twist and turned page of the Pillars trilogy. Amazing.....
Anonymous 3 months ago
I know it was only Ken Follett, but considering how interesting he made the first 2 Kingsbridge books, this was a plot disappointment. I was curious how the priory would weather King Henry VIII, but that was all done by the time the story began. As usual, the bad guys were almost too nasty to seem real. The good guys in this were mostly dull. Sophie was the best character. At least there was not so much gratuitous sex and violence as in the other books.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Seems like the later part of the novel rushed through Ned’s life making the end thin ..as if the author needed to find a quick way out of the long history of a man’s life
Anonymous 7 months ago
Lives up to the rest of the series.
Winterowd 8 months ago
By far the worst of the series; shallow characters; colorful history background is lacking. Very disappointed.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Great book...even better than the first and second.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Good book