The Story Continues

Today was a bit of a weird day. I studied for a while and wasn’t retaining anything from what I was hearing (today was review of the past two biology lectures in preparation for my next quiz tomorrow night). The instructor’s voice eventually turned into a buzz that I couldn’t concentrate on, so I gave myself permission to take care of myself today and stop forcing myself to study. I have several hours between classes tomorrow to study and I’ll make sure I take advantage of that time.

Other than that, the day was largely unremarkable, with the exception that Ken Follett dropped the second sequel to my favorite novel this morning. The Pillars of the Earth is the story of the construction of a cathedral in a fictional town in 12th century England, during the Anarchy that followed the death of Henry I. It’s sequel, World Without End, looks at the same town a couple hundred years later during the Black Death, focusing on characters that are in many cases descendants of the main cast of characters from the first novel. The new novel, A Column of Fire, is once again centered around the town of Kingsbridge, and once again the tale moves forward about two centuries to begin in the time between the death of Henry VIII and the reign of Elizabeth I. I’ve finished the first chapter already, and so far I like it. One thing that changes from novel to novel is the language that the characters use. In The Pillars of the Earth, instead of giving the reader minutes, the passage of time is described as “the time it takes for a man to walk a mile.” Four hundred years later, in A Column of Fire, the characters’ dialogue is more refined and genteel, as one would expect from the age of the courtier. It’s a fascinating detail that makes the story considerably richer.

While I can’t quite recommend A Column of Fire from just the first chapter, I can highly recommend The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I think if you read those two, and are ready for more of the same, then definitely pick up A Column of Fire.


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