World Without End by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutley adored Pillars of the Earth and was very excited when I found out that there was a sequel, although I don't think that's the right word, as both books are practically unrelated apart from the town in which they are set.
I believe it makes a different to the reader whether they've read Pillars of the Earth. If they have, although the works of Ken Follett are absolutley genius, there are several similarities. For a start, Caris and Merthin are very close to the characters Aliena and Jack of the first book, in everything from their relationship, in that, they can't be together for a number of reasons, and their personalities and occupations. Like Jack, Merthin is an innovative architect and builder, whereas Caris, like Aliena, is strong and outspoken for her time. Merthin's brother Ralph is also similar to William Hamleigh, in his greed, his need to be nobility and the way he treats women. They both also have a child bride. The other thing I felt let this book down was the secret. In the first book, the big secret was relevant and had effects on characters within the story. In this one, it was almost an afterthought and had hardly any impact on the characters or Kingsbridge.
On the other hand, there were some parts of the book that were incredible. The descriptions of the plague and it's effect on Kingsbridge were brilliant, providing the reader with a vivid image. As always Follett makes the characters so real that you feel constant emotion, I have never read a book before where I felt such hate or love for the characters.
Overall, despite the disappointments, I'm still giving World Without End five stars, because although it's not as good as it's predecessor, these books are still a league above the rest.
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