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On the day after Halloween, in the year , four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor In the forest they see two men killed As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war One boy will travel the world but come home in the end the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman One girl will defy the might of the medieval church the other will pursue an impossible love And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day Ken Follett s masterful epic The Pillars of the Earth enchanted millions with its compelling drama of war, passion and family conflict set around the building of a cathedral World Without End takes readers back to medieval Kingsbridge two centuries later, as the men, women and children of the city once again grapple with the devastating sweep of historical change World Without End is followed by the third of Ken Follett s Kingsbridge novels, A Column of Fire When I began reading this, I was a little worried it wouldn t live up to the wonderful memories I have of Pillars of the Earth but it did Follett has a way of taking the most mundane activities which go into running a town albeit in a 14th century setting and twisting them into rivetting storylines I was so invested in the characters and their fates that I couldn t wait to finish it, yet I wanted when it was over All I can say is, it s a worthy sequel to Pillars and very highly recommended This is Ken Follet s sequel to his hit novel The Pillars of the Earth Once again then we find ourselves back in Kingsbridge, however now we find ourselves in the 14th Century There are some similarities in incidents in this novel with regards to the first one, however that doesn t stop this from being a great read.At the heart of this tale is a secret document, which we do have revealed to us near the end, but those who know their history and the rumours of the period will already know what this regards with the death of Edward II, so to those this will be no revelation Therefore this novel is set in the reign of Edward III, and some of the characters here do actually go to France, and thus we read of the likes of Cr cy, and are reminded why British forces were so powerful with their formidable use of the longbow Also of course we do travel to Shiring and the monks outpost in the forest, as well as even Florence.With a host of characters, that are all brought fully to life this is a hard book to put down, despite its size, and we soon find ourselves fully caught up in the whole story With machinations between the monks and nuns, there are lots of power plays that go on here, as well as those that also go on between the Church and the Town, where the merchants want a greater say and control over the town, and what they can do With the cathedral suffering from building problems so one of the main characters here, Merthin, wants to create the highest spire in the kingdom as the pinnacle of his work Also, there are differing opinions of the bridge that Merthin originally wants to build as the original one collapses.With so many incidents going on here, we are also reminded of the devastation caused by the plague, and how little was known with regards to not only medicine, but also disease control With issues arising such as what power women could hold, and lots of political manoeuvring, so the period is really brought to life In all this makes for a book that is well worth reading and will keep you than satisfied, with so much detail and thought going into it. I was very disappointed having enjoyed book one in the series I give it three stars as I actually finished it though I nearly gave up There was no clear route through it, just a meandering of episodes, often following up the less interesting characters and beginning but dropping interesting ones, e.g Lolla s disappearance ending with her coming back how amazing No characters were well developed, just repetitively described, many being pantomime characters of evil or good, and I didn t really care if Merthyr and Caris ended up together or not, especially as their link seemed to be all about their sexual connection which seemed unlikely to survive There was a bit of a theme about women s lives with Caris s choices and Gwenda s treatment, but it was hard not to see these subjects as being an opportunity for the author to dwell on another rape scene Trying to picture the characters I realised I knew about the shapes of their breasts and privates than their outward appearance There was no real explanation for Ralph s cruelty, except that as his son was cruel too it must be inherited Some of the characters perspectives seemed modern and unlikely for people immersed in the period I found it hard to believe that this book was the work of the same author that wrote the first.A book of this size had plenty space to develop characters and depth in the story but this skimmed along and was unsatisfying for that reason.