There is no doubt that author Ken Follett has a gift for storytelling. It could be the influence of his recent Century Trilogy, but in this latest installment of the Kingsbridge Series he sacrifices the depth which worked so well in THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH and WORLD WITHOUT END for a larger scope. Instead of focusing on the lives and personal dramas of the fictional Kingsbridge citizens and placing the politics of the time in the background, A COLUMN OF FIRE is more about history than the characters. Unlike previous books in the series, the majority of the action in COLUMN takes place outside of Kingsbridge - in France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the New World. Also at times there is a curious use of modern language and ways of speaking in the characters’ dialogue that seems at odds with the time period in which this novel is set. Even though I found A COLUMN OF FIRE to be the weakest of the 3 books in the Kingsbridge series, I enjoyed it nonetheless and would still recommend it to fans of historic fiction.

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