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 the author's most successful novel. It reached number one on bestseller lists around the world and was an Oprah's Book Club pick. Its sequels, World Without End and A Column of Fire, 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.
For nearly 18 years, Follett has been receiving pleas for a sequel to his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Finally, the wait is over. Some 200 years after Pillars, the town of Kingsbridge is still dominated by its magnificent cathedral. But times have changed. War and plague have dramatically affected the infrastructure of the Middle Ages, shifting the base of power from the noble and religious to the rising merchant and artisan classes. Populated with an immense cast of truly remarkable characters-the rich and powerful, the weak and downtrodden, clergy, guildsmen and nobility-this novel explores the lives and fortunes of the ancestors of the original inhabitants of Kingsbridge. At nearly 1000 pages, this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness. Essential for every public library; in fact, get multiple copies. You'll need them to fill all the requests. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/07.]-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Eighteen years after Pillars of the Earth weighed in with almost 1,000 pages of juicy historical fiction about the construction of a 12th-century cathedral in Kingsbridge, England, bestseller Follett returns to 14th-century Kingsbridge with an equally weighty tome that deftly braids the fate of several of the offspring of Pillars' families with such momentous events of the era as the Black Death and the wars with France. Four children, who will become a peasant's wife, a knight, a builder and a nun, share a traumatic experience that will affect each of them differently as their lives play out from 1327 to 1361. Follett studs the narrative with gems of unexpected information such as the English nobility's multilingual training and the builder's technique for carrying heavy, awkward objects. While the novel lacks the thematic unity of Pillars, readers will be captivated by the four well-drawn central characters as they prove heroic, depraved, resourceful or mean. Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Praise for World Without End:
"[A] well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages . . . Follett's no-frills prose does its job, getting smoothly through more than a thousand pages of outlaws, war, death, sex, and politics to end with an edifice that is as well constructed and solid as Merthin's bridge." --The Washington Post "Follett tells a story that runs the gamut of life in the Middle Ages, and he does so in such a way that we are not only captivated but also educated. What else could you ask for?" --The Denver Post "So if historical fiction is your meat, here's a rare treat. A feast of conflicts and struggles among religious authority, royal governance, the powerful unions (or guilds) of the day, and the peasantry . . . With World Without End, Follett proves his Pillars may be a rarity, but it wasn't a fluke." --New York Post "A work that stands as something of a triumph of industry and professionalism."--The Guardian (UK) "The four well-drawn central characters will captivate readers as they prove to be heroic, depraved, resourceful, or mean. Fans of Follett's previous medieval epic will be well rewarded." --The Union (CA) "Populated with an immense cast of truly remarkable characters . . . this is not a book to be devoured in one sitting, tempting though that might be, but one to savor for its drama, depth, and richness." --Library Journal "Readers will be captivated." --Publishers Weekly