Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book Club: World Without End

Well, I started this book in January of 2016, and somehow I managed to finish it within the same calendar year.

World Without End, by Ken Follett, is the sequel to one of my all-time very favorite books: The Pillars of the Earth. It takes place in the same fictional English town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge. The story features an extraordinary cast of characters who find themselves at a crossroads of new ideas about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice -- all against a backdrop of one of the greatest natural disasters to ever strike the human race: The Black Death.

Typically, historical novels are not my thing. But since I absolutely loved the first book, I definitely wanted to give World Without End a read. For whatever reason (sleep deprivation, lack of attention due to the demands of a toddler, demands on my time due to work and family), this book didn't immediately hook me like The Pillars of the Earth did 10 years ago. Honestly, I just felt like it was too hard, and I was so damn tired. Frankly, I found it much easier to immerse myself in the mindless Game is Life Series instead.

But after months of neglect, I finally decided to give World Without End another honest try, and within just a few chapters I found myself once again engrossed in 14th Century Kingsbridge. And once I committed, I absolutely loved all 1,000+ pages! The story is like a historical soap opera, filled with men and women I loved (and loved to hate), politics, intrigue, alliances, betrayals, fortunes won and lost, life-long grudges, love stories, jealousies, deaths, unspeakable crimes, war, good versus evil, mystery, and enough plot-twists to keep me guessing until the very end.

  Follett is a master storyteller, and this sequel did not disappoint me in the slightest. I also just discovered that he is publishing a third book in the series, due out in September 2017. Yay!

If you haven't yet read The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, please, do yourself a favor and get them immediately!

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