A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

by Ken Follett
4.6 77

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Overview

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

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Absorbing . . . impossible to resist.” —The Washington Post

As Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? International bestselling author Ken Follett takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with his 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: 768
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. 77 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
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 10 months 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
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
A Follett classic! Great story line and finish to the saga.
Anonymous 11 months 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
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 7 months 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 10 months 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 10 months 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 10 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
One of those books that you hate to reach the final page
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 6 days ago
After reading the first two books I didn't think I would get a trip back to ,Kingsbridge. I really enjoyed this on vacstion....
Anonymous 7 days ago
A great third book to an awesome series. I hope Mr Follett continues the story to the New World !
Anonymous 8 days ago
This book, the 3rd of the series, was everything I expected it to be, with a rich mixture of history, fiction, and adventure. Ken Follet is such a superb writer, never a dull page!
Anonymous 15 days ago
I loved all three of these books and I am waiting for the forth of course there will be a fourth. The Mayflower is heading for the New World.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Loved the first two. This one seemed somewhat disjointed and overly long.
Anonymous 21 days ago
So enjoy how Ken Follett brings these characters of history to life and inserts new friends and family alongside the people whose names we already know... looking forward to the next chapter in the new world!
Anonymous 22 days ago
I've learned more about English history from this series of books than I ever did in school.
Anonymous 27 days ago
Like reading about family.
Anonymous 27 days ago
It kept my interest throughout and it was a really great tale of historical fiction.
Anonymous 28 days ago
Great read once again
Anonymous 29 days 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 3 months ago
Typical FOLLETT: a good read.