Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Sequels

Book Review: World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End is a sweeping historical epic, and the second book in Ken Follet’s Kingsbridge series. If you’re looking for my thoughts on the first book in the series, make sure to check out my review of The Pillars of the Earth.

Goodreads Rating: 4.29

My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Summary:

World Without End takes place in the same 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 the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroads of new ideas—about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race—the Black Death.

My Thoughts:

From reading some of the other reviews, I can see that many people did not enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor. I really liked “Pillars of the Earth,” however surprisingly, I liked this one even more. On the one hand I can see the point that people make about it, it does contain many of the same plot elements of the first book. However, I did not see this as a negative factor. On the contrary, to me, it seemed more like the characters were echoing their ancestors. I liked the effect–it spoke to the continuity of history.

I also got really involved with the characters. Some of them I adored, especially Gwenda, and others vexed me, but regardless I found myself needing to know what was going to happen to them. To me that is what makes Follett’s books such a pleasure to read, sure they have small errors and inconsistencies, but those are by far outweighed by the wonderful stories and characters he creates.

In my opinion this one is worth the read, I couldn’t put it down. Also as a side note, I don’t think that reading the first book is necessary to enjoy this one, but I will say that it definitely added positively to my experience.

Happy Reading!


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