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A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)

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A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)
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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.
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.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
16,101
Pages:
928
Publication Date:
09/12/2017
Series:
Kingsbridge Series , #3
ISBN13:
9780525954972
Product Dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.50(h) x1.80(d)
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
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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

Prologue
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "A Column of Fire"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Ken Follett.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Ken Follett on A Column of Fire
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.)★ 07/01/2017
This third volume in Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" series takes place in the 16th century, approximately 200 years after the events of World Without End. Though it opens in the English town of Kingsbridge, where the first two books took place, Follett takes advantage of the period's zest for exploration and situates his cast of thousands all over the known world; from England to France, Spain, and beyond. Following the plague years, it was a time of great upheaval in Europe as a middle class began to rise and people became disenchanted with both the ruling class and the church. Then came the Protestant Reformation. At the heart of this great novel is Ned Willard, who wants desperately to marry Margery Fitzgerald, but their religious differences force the pragmatic Ned, who is Catholic, to throw his lot in with the young Queen Elizabeth while Margery risks her life to help spread the Protestant faith. Several climactic scenes—including a truly horrific execution and massacres in the streets of Paris—dramatize the vast social and religious divide of the era. VERDICT Though a few notes may be needed to help keep the characters straight, Follett has written another masterly historical novel that will keep readers enthralled well past bedtime.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK2017-06-20
A flying buttress of a book, continuing the hefty Kingsbridge saga historical novelist Follett began with Pillars of the Earth (1989) and World Without End (2007).It's not that Follett's been slacking between books: he's been working away at the Century Trilogy, set centuries later, and otherwise building on the legacy of high-minded potboilers he began with Eye of the Needle (1978). Here he delivers with a vengeance, with his Kingsbridge story, set in the shadow of a great provincial cathedral, now brought into the age of Elizabeth. Ned Willard, returning from the Continent on a boatload of "cloth from Antwerp and wine from Bordeaux," beats a hasty path through the snow and gloom to the lissome lass he's sweet on, Margery Fitzgerald. Her mom and dad are well-connected and powerful—but, alas, Catholic, not the best choice of beliefs in an age when Tudor Protestantism is taking a vengeful turn and heads are rolling. Rollo, Margery's brother, turns out to offer good cause for suspicion; having twitted and tormented Ned over the course of the story, he's sailing with the Spanish by the end. But will Ned keep his head and Margery hers? Or, as Margery wonders lamentingly, "Had Ned caught Rollo, or not? Would the ceremony go ahead? Would Ned be there? Would they all die?" Ah, it is but to wonder. Follett guides his long, overstuffed story leisurely through the halls of Elizabethan history; here Bess herself turns up, while there he parades the likes of Walsingham, Francis Drake, and the whole of the Spanish Armada, even as Margery yearns, the tall masts burn, and Follett's characters churn out suspect ethnography: "Netherlanders did not seem to care much about titles, and they liked money." It's all a bit overwrought for what is, after all, a boy-loves-girl, boy-swashbuckles-to-win-girl yarn, but it's competently done. Follett's fans will know what to expect—and they won't be disappointed.Recommended reading by * The Washington Post * USA Today * New York Post * The Christian Science Monitor * The Philadelphia Inquirer *

“Deeply researched . . . compelling . . . A Column of Fire is absorbing, painlessly educational, and a great deal of fun.”
—The Washington Post
 
“Follett’s historical epics, including this one, evoke the Romantic adventures of Alexandre Dumas. Derring-do and double-crosses . . . A Column of Fire burns bright throughout.”
—The Christian Science Monitor

“Full of adventure and suspense, A Column of Fire is an inspiring and thrilling portrait of one of Europe’s most perilous times in history.”
—BookPage

“Fans of Follett's epic sagas The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, set in the Middle Ages in the fictional city of Kingsbridge, will be thrilled by this latest installment.”
—New York Post
 
“[Follett is a] master of the sweeping, readable epic.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“English-history mavens will find much to savor in Follett’s third Kingsbridge novel.”
—AARP The Magazine
 
“A fiery tale set in the latter half of the sixteenth century . . . As always, Follett excels in historical detailing, transporting readers back in time with another meaty historical blockbuster.”
—Booklist
 
“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.”
—Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews (97)
A fitting conclusion to a wonderful trilogy
Been a Kingsbridge fan since I discovered Pillars in a tiny bookstore in Positano, Italy in 2004.
- Anonymous
October 15, 2017
Couldn¿t put it down
Great read! When will we see the next installment?
- Anonymous
December 30, 2017
Third installment in the Pillars series didn¿t disappoint
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
January 20, 2018
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A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge Series #3)
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