A Column of Fire

A Column of Fire

Large Print - 2017
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"In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781432844103
Characteristics: 1135 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 25 cm.


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Apr 06, 2020

I haven't read that many Historical Epics so this was a novel experience for me (Yes, pun intended.) I found the book amazing. It had everything a really good book needs and since it was based on history one couldn't refute it either. It had the right mix of real characters and fictional ones- like Ned Willard and Margery. It was scary yet realistic and I'm going to look for other books like it.

Feb 25, 2020

The last in the Kingsbridge series and sadly the least of all three. The actions jumps all over the place and the number of characters to keep track of (usually high to begin with) is even more difficult in the first few hundred pages. About half way through the author sticks to the real main story line and things really get good. The way that the last season of a great tv series is usually disappointing is how I would describe this last book of the series. Good, but not at all as great as the first 2.

Jun 13, 2019

Lots of history about the Reformation and the battles between Protestants and Catholics, England and France, I had no idea it was so bloody.

Feb 04, 2019

Follett is one of my favorite authors. All of his historical fiction tales are very readable, well researched, epic stories. This one was, too, but it was not my favorite. An entertaining read, but not his best.

martins_mom Nov 29, 2018

A big rich read about life in Tudor England, with particular emphasis on the religious rivalries and restrictions of the time. I liked the miniseries of The Pillars of Earth, the first book of this trilogy - the first time I ever saw Eddie Redmayn in screen.

Oct 10, 2018

I liked the historical background, therefore I rated the book with 3 stars.
Otherwise, its a rather plain story with simple characters. I guess one has to find a compromise between the vast amount of historical background and the characters you would like to put in there to intervene with historical figures. You almost immediately know what is going to happen just because Follett adds odd sentences to the story which point out certain details he needs to use afterwards to justify why something went wrong, or why somebody can get blamed. I don't understand why Follett's plots need to be always so similar, even to his Century Trilogy (I am not going into details since I don't want to spoil the contents for future readers), but I think the book is nowhere near the quality of Pillars Of The Earth. On the other hand, if you want to know whats happening in fictional Kingsbridge, and if the series 2nd book (World Without End) did not already put you off, then its an easy read.

Sep 23, 2018

It’s the 16th century..Catholics don’t love Protestant’s and vice versa! Thank god I didn’t live then! Was it any different in 1960 uk? At least the burnt at the stakes had gone . I’m glad I survived to 2018 in Canada. All races and religions meld here!

Jun 20, 2018

This is a really bad book. It's shocking, actually, when you consider that the author--much earlier in his career--had so many very good books: Man From St. Petersburg, Lie Down with Lions, Eye of the Needle, Key to Rebecca. Decades later, I still remember these.

More recently, Follett began to write big, sweeping historical sagas. The Century Trilogy was passably good; the first two entries of the Kingsbridge trilogy--Pillars of the Earth, World without end, even better.

Now, after a lapse of 10 years, Follett's given us (burdened us, more like it) this book, the third in the Kingsbridge trilogy, although, set hundreds of years later, there is nothing that connects this work with the previous two except the setting. Believe me, it's not enough.

Also different: the quality of the writing. This is dreck. Overwritten--at close to a thousand pages-- (and I suspect, under-edited) this novel is often unintentionally, side-splitting funny. Sorry fans, I can't help it. One and two-dimensional characters--and far too many of them--and a basic plot that is merely mildly interesting instead of "gripping", the word you can use justifiably for many of his most recent works. I mean, the religious idiocy of the late Middle Ages is just not in the same league.

It's a slog. Also a shame.

Jun 05, 2018

A great third book in The Kingsbridge series. A lot of history that reminds readers how awful intolerance is. I had recently read a book about religious terrorism and learned that more 'Christians died at the hands of other Christians that with any other religion even Islam. Sadly the book had been marked up with underlining in the beginning and end of the book. I gather this reader was not intelligent enough to read the whole book but thought nothing of this vandalism being ok.

Apr 18, 2018

I have read all of Ken Follett's books and liked them all a lot. With PILLARS OF THE EARTH though, he took a major leap forward in writing historical fiction. Now with his third book in the Kingsbridge series, A COLUMN OF FIRE, he has once again proven masterful at blending fact and fiction. This book, covers the years 1558 to 1620 in England (mostly, but France, Spain, Scotland and the Netherlands thrown in) and deals with the vicious fight between ultra-Catholics and ultra-Protestants for religious supremacy with much of the story including characters who tried to make religious tolerance a viable alternative. It includes many key historical events, including the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the reigns of a number of monarchs in various countries. I enjoyed it thoroughly. He is clearly at the top of his game and a peer, at the very least, of other the great historical fiction writers, including Bernard Cornwell. Well done. Enjoy.

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Oct 18, 2017

“When a man is certain that he knows God’s will, and is resolved to do it regardless of the cost, he is the most dangerous person in the world.” - p. 200

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