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The Pillars of the Earth Series

Author
Ken Follet

 

 

Reviewed by Antonia Yogendra

 

The Pillars of the Earth book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.

Tom, the master builder and a man divided in his soul,  Lady Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman haunted by secret shame,  Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge,  Jack, the artist in stone and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse.  From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.   With all this characters there is also a struggle between good and evil that will turn the church against state and brother against brother.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the centre of the drama.  Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. I can feel the vast forests, the walled towns, the castles and the monasteries become a familiar landscape.

The master storyteller draws me irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labours and their loves. This historical novel gives intrigue, fast-paced action and passionate romance.

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