Pillars of the Earth

If you're a fan of historical fiction you've probably come across this. If you haven't you're in for a treat!

Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" is an epic historical novel set in 12th century England. The book chronicles the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, and follows the lives of several characters, including the master builder, Tom Builder, his stepson Jack, the noblewoman Aliena, and the monk Prior Philip. Through their struggles and triumphs, the novel explores themes of power, ambition, love, and faith.

Filled with death and violence and historical reality it's set in a tumultuous period of English history marked by political turmoil, religious upheaval, and social unrest.

For me it captures the essence of the Middle Ages, portraying the struggles of ordinary people in a society dominated by the church and nobility. Every one is a pawn of someone, and everyone has their place.

Follett's attention to historical detail is impressive, as he portrays the daily lives of characters in vivid detail, from their clothing and food to their beliefs and the customs that help guide their actions and their lives.

The novel is at its best when it explores the influence of religion in medieval society. The church played a powerful role in the lives of people. It helped them, bonded them, joined then together to create great things but also, almost necessarily, engaged in acts of corruption as it strove to engage witht the real world of politics and power. 

In terms of characters and action, "The Pillars of the Earth" is a gripping tale of ambition, love, and betrayal. The characters are complex and well-developed, and their struggles are both personal and political.

The challenges they face, from natural disasters to political intrigue, are brought to life with compassion and masterful story telling. 

Overall, "The Pillars of the Earth" is a work of historical fiction that transports readers back to a fascinating period of English history. Follett's attention to detail and powerful storytelling make this a must-read for fans of the genre.

In the end it is a testament to the power of human resilience, and to the endless depths of the human spirit.