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A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

by Ken Follett

87 Reviews

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)
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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.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780525954972
9780525954972
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/12/2017
Series:
Kingsbridge Series , #3
Pages:
928
928
Sales rank:
800
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.80(d)
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About the Author

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
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Read an Excerpt

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 . . .

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Ken Follett on A Column of Fire
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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

07/17/2017
Treasonous plots, family rifts, and international political intrigue abound in the third installment of Follett’s (Pillars of the Earth) Kingsbridge series of historical dramas. In the middle of 16th-century England, Kingsbridge Cathedral stands above a town divided by religious conflict. Queen “Bloody Mary” Tudor is killing Protestants. When 18-year-old nobleman Ned Willard loses his sweetheart Margery and his family’s importing business to Margery’s upward-climbing Catholic family after the queen condemns them for being pro-Protestant, he decides to join Protestant Princess Elizabeth Tudor’s secret service. Ned and Margery’s love for each other sustains itself despite decades and miles apart, but can it survive their ideological differences? This sweeping epic delivers suspense, history, and romance in equally satisfying, if sometimes heavy-handed, measures. Follett makes use of multiple winding plotlines and optimistic characters equipped to see any battle through to the end. The novel is an immersive journey through the tumultuous world of 16th-century Europe and some of the bloodiest religious wars in history. Follett’s sprawling novel is a fine mix of heart-pounding drama and erudite historicism. (Sept.)

Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews (87)
Absolutely loved it!
An great read with outstanding characters that you will grow to truly love or hate.
- Anonymous
January 15, 2018
Excellent historical drama
I enjoy the cadence of these books.
- Anonymous
January 11, 2018
Loved it
Love this book .I felt totally transported back in time ! Learned a lot about this time & inspired me to research & learn more about events referenced in book !
- Anonymous
January 15, 2018
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    A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)
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