Review by Ryder Islington
Another of Ken Follett’s epic historicals. At 973 pages in the paperback version, it’s a hefty read. But it’s worth it.
Set in the 12th century, the story revolves around the people involved in a small town where a cathedral is to be built. It doesn’t take long to get attached to those with soft hearts, and to really hate those who are cruel. Tom Builder and his family roam southern England as he searches for work. Near starvation, or death from exposure, they meet a Ellen and her teen son, Jack, in the forest. When Tom’s wife dies in childbirth, he buries her and leaves the child, who is later saved by a monk. Again, he and his children come across Ellen and Jack, and the five of them find Kingsbridge and Prior Philip, who has great dreams of rebuilding the cathedral into something grand.
Politics, religion, sex, love, war, peace, deceit, murder, conspiracy, clerics, builders, takers, users and abusers, and strong women and faithful men fill the book with believable plot lines.
For those of you who love historicals, and those who just love epic stories, this is a great read.