The Pillars of the Earth (81/90) – Ken Follett



Ken Follett is easily one of my favorite authors.  He has a way of writing where he masterfully connects multiple characters from greatly different backgrounds and weaves their stories together in such a unique way.  Pillars of the Earth is no different and we follow multiple characters from different positions in 12th century England.

The book follows a master builder who after losing his family on the road settles into a small town, Kingsbridge, England.  We also follow a prior of a local cell Philip, who just wants to do right by his religion and lead his priory back into success.  The third character that the story features if a corrupt bishop that attempts to thwart Tom and Philip at every turn.  The Pillars of the Earth has it all from politics to assassination plots.

The book covers a time span of 50 years where are first following the children of Tom Builder, but later start following their children.  It is an epic novel that ties everyone and everything together time and time again in only a way that Ken Follett can.

Review – Possible Spoilers:

  1. Concept: 7 The book doesn’t have any crazy concepts or anything brand new, but what it does it does really well.  We follow the building of a cathedral of grand porportions and all the politics and religious happenstance behind it all.
  2. Writing: 10 Follett writes a masterpiece.  Although this book was pretty lengthy, I at no part thought it was too long.
  3. How long did it take to get into the book: 7 The first few chapters took a little bit of time to get into, but once I got past the initial hump of setting the scene, the book took off from there.
  4. Character Development: 10 We follow Tom, Philip, and Waleran and their kids over the span of 50 years and ends with Tom’s grandkids for our pov.  Follett does a masterful job of developing everyone fully throughout their entire lifespans.
  5. Plot: 10 This is probably my favorite book of all time and for good reason.  Follett finds a way to weave a web for all of his characters to come together.
  6. Pacing: 8 This book is long… I mean really long, but apart from it getting really political the pace moves along pretty well.
  7. Ending:  10 It all comes together from the prologue to the very end to answer all the questions that you thought were going to be passed by.
  8. Cover Art: 9 The book originally came out in 1989 so it’s had a lot of different covers, but I really like the aestics of this cover.  It’s warming and reminds me of chuch on an early Sunday with the light coming in the windows.
  9. Would I read other books by the Author:  10 I love everything Follett touches.  He has a sequel to this book, World Without End that is really good as well and I recommend it to anyone.
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