Posts Tagged ‘pillars of the earth book review’

Ah, where do I begin?

About the Author

Since I’ve already introduced you to Mr. Follett in my post another one of his novels, “Fall of Giants”, I will spare myself the space (and you the time it takes to read it) and just dive right into the novel.

About the Novel

“Pillars of the Earth” is a historical novel that was written in 1989, but, not made popular until word-of-mouth and popularity in Europe made it’s way across the Atlantic.  In fact, it wasn’t until 2007 that a lady named Oprah decided to put it on her book club list.  While I’m usually not a fan of her recommendations and didn’t know that it was on the list until after I had read it, she done good.  The woman done realllll good in this case.

The setting is primarily in a fictional English city, Kingsbridge, during the 12th century and centers around the building of a cathedral over multiple decades.  While a book about building cathedrals might sound lame…it’s not!  There is murder, adultery, romance, tension, women’s rights issues, corrupt Lords, royalty, beautiful duchesses, monks, political struggles, and most importantly….vivid characters.

Ken Follett has a gift that many other authors attempt and fail at, character development.  While he does have over 1000 pages to work with…he does such a phenomenal job of introducing you to them on every level.  Whether it be first person, second person, professionally or personally.  By the end of the book you are so familiar with the characters that you know what their reaction will be to a situation, which is something that few books and authors can claim (unless you read Nicholas Sparks and they all start to blend together).

My Favorite Characters

Since the story is too extensive to get into and I didn’t want to spoil it, I thought a good idea would be to give a bio of my favorite characters:

The story begins with Tom Builder, a father that finds him and his family fighting from starving after being let go after the building of a castle is cancelled.  Without giving away too much, Tom eventually finds himself running into Prior Phillip.

Prior Phillip is a 20 something devote monk that gave himself to God at the age of 4 after he was adopted by a monk after watching his parents being brutally murdered by soldiers.  Prior Phillip is a constant character that all others center around in the novel and was one of my favorites.  SIDERANT: It’s good to note that the book does a wonderful job of not making this into a religious book or giving it a “down with old world Catholics” type of message. 

Yes, it's so good that Starz made it a mini series!

Aliena is the daughter of the Earl of Shiring and the intended bride of the evil William Hamleigh.  Aliena has the world on a string as a responsible 17-year-old that will eventually reign the earldom beside her brother.  That is until the unspeakable happens and her future is ripped from beneath her, making her completely powerless and left standing in the ashes with her brother who is still a child.


I LOVED it and have now begun to dive into the sequel, “World Without End” which is about descendants of the characters from “Pillars of the Earth” and takes place in the same location, about 200 years later.

If you’re a person that is looking for something different from the norm…but that has simple vocabulary and a page turning plots, this is your book. I 110% recommend it.

*****/5 stars!


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