Ken Follett's Kingsbridge novels in order

Ken Follett is the author of over thirty books, including the much-loved Kingsbridge novels. Meet Ken in our exclusive video, and find out everything you need to know about this bestselling historical fiction series.  

The Kingsbridge Novels are Ken Follett's classic historical masterpieces. Set in the city of Kingsbridge, Ken brings his rich expertise to this immersive and epic saga – full of ambition, love, power and family conflict. Here, watch Ken discuss his books, and find out more about his epic historical fiction series. 

Looking for more historical fiction? Discover our edit of the best historical novels of all time. 

Ken Follett's bestselling Kingsbridge Novels are loved around the world for their historical detail and epic storytelling. The story begins in The Pillars of the Earth, which centres on the struggles of Prior Phillip and his mason-turned-architect Tom as they attempt to build the greatest gothic cathedral in the medieval world.

The sequel, World Without End, is set two centuries later and follows the lives of four children who witness two men being killed the day after Halloween. From that moment, their lives are bound together by love and revenge, as they confront the Black Death and the beginning of the hundred years war.

The saga continues in the third novel, A Column of Fire. Beginning in 1558, it charts the star-crossed romance between Ned Willard and Margery Fitzgerald over half a century. Meanwhile, Europe turns against England when Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and finds herself beset by plots to dethrone her. 

The fourth Kingsbridge novel, The Evening and the Morning, is set around the year 1,000, when England was constantly under attack from Vikings and would soon be conquered by the Normans. Here, Ken explains the inspiration behind the book: 'The story is set at the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Middle Ages, so it’s an evening and a morning. And the phrase is Biblical, of course: ‘And the evening and the morning were the first day’. This is a time when people began to demand what we call the rule of law, which means that disputes are settled according to rules, regardless of how rich or powerful you are. This is a vital component of freedom.' 

Here, Ken tells us more about the Kingsbridge Novels and how each book in the series covers a different period in the history of this much-loved fictional town. 

What is the latest Kingsbridge novel?

The Armour of Light

by Ken Follett

Book cover for The Armour of Light

1792. A tyrannical government is determined to make England a mighty commercial empire. In France, Napoleon Bonaparte begins his rise to power, and with dissent rife, France’s neighbours are on high alert. Unprecedented industrial change sweeps the land, making the lives of the workers in Kingbridge’s prosperous cloth mills a misery. Rampant modernization and dangerous new machinery are rendering jobs obsolete and tearing families apart.

Now, as international conflict nears, a story of a small group of Kingsbridge people – including spinner Sal Clitheroe, weaver David Shoveller and Kit, Sal’s inventive and headstrong son – will come to define the struggle of a generation as they seek enlightenment and fight for a future free from oppression . . .

The Kingsbridge books in order

The Evening and the Morning

by Ken Follett

Book cover for The Evening and the Morning

It is the end of the Dark Ages and England is facing attack from both the Welsh and the Vikings. This is a harsh world, full of chaos and bloodshed, and the King has only a fragile grip on his country.

As the Middle Ages dawn, three very different characters will face a ruthless bishop who is desperate to increase his wealth and power. A young boatbuilder dreams of a better life for him and the woman he loves. A Norman noblewoman follows her husband across the sea to a shocking new world. A capable monk dreams of turning his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired across Europe. 

This epic tale of ambition and rivalry is the prequel to Ken Follett's international bestseller The Pillars of the Earth.

The Pillars of the Earth

by Ken Follett

Book cover for The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

World Without End

by Ken Follett

Book cover for World Without End

On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.

As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.

A Column of Fire

by Ken Follett

Book cover for A Column of Fire

Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed.

The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love, and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald.

Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch immediately sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans.

If you love the Kingsbridge series, you might also like Ken Follett's new thriller, Never:


by Ken Follett

Book cover for Never

Visionary in scale and expertly researched, Never is a thriller that imagines an unthinkable global disaster. 

A stolen US army drone. A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert. A secret stash of deadly chemicals.

Each is a threat to the delicate stability of global diplomatic relations, but when mishandled can create a catastrophic and international chain reaction that edges our world closer and closer to all out war. An undercover spy in the Middle East, a Chinese spymaster and a weary US president must all work tirelessly and to their utmost limits to stop the worst from happening. 

The only question is, in a game of brinksmanship can the inevitable ever be stopped?