Ken Follett's Kingsbridge series

26 October 2016

By Pan Macmillan

The Kingsbridge novels are Ken Follett’s classic historical masterpieces. Set in the city of Kingsbridge, Follett brings his rich expertise to this immersive and epic saga – full of ambition, love, power and family conflict. 

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 Pillars of the Earth, starring Rufus Sewell and Eddie Redmayne, and World Without End, starring Cynthia Nixon, have been adapted for television.

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.

read the first chapter now

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.

read the first chapter now

A Column of Fire

A Column of Fire is "a spy story set in the sixteenth century, during the reign of Elizabeth I of England. there were many assassination plots against the Queen, so the people around her set up an espionage system to foil those sixteenth century terrorists. This was the beginning of the british secret service that eventually gave us James Bond." - Ken Follett

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