A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge)
ISBN: 052595497X Global Overview for this book
2 journalers for this copy...
Like the previous novels, this book focuses on the individual lives of residents from Kingsbridge, using their stories to illuminate the history of this period. But the history of this period is sweeping in its scope, and so the story covers a much broader geography, stretching from England and Scotland, to France, Spain, and the Netherlands, and all the way to the Caribbean. While the story is framed around the reign of Elizabeth, it is really the story of the struggles between the Catholic Church and the Protestants, as each strives to control power and populations. But, as Follett makes quite clear, the true struggle, which continues even today, isn't between Catholic and Protestant, but between tolerance and intolerance. As told through that lens, this story sheds considerable light onto the chaos of the religious strife of this period.
As with the previous novels, Follett provides a great depth of detail about life in this period. This is no nostalgic portrait of a simpler, better time, but a harsh look at the brutal realities of a dangerous period of history. As such, some may find the graphic descriptions of the violence here a bit hard to stomach, but the is nothing gratuitous about them...they represent efforts to portray the bloody cost of the struggles waged during the fourteenth century.
For those who enjoyed Follet's other stories about Kingsbridge, this is certainly a must read, but any fan of historical fiction is likely to enjoy this as well, especially those looking for a better understanding of the complex issues that drove the chaos of this period.
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