Book Review: The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett

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. 
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece.

This is one of my all-time favorite books.  It is the first Ken Follett book I've ever read and it is simply outstanding.  It is quite the undertaking to read this book as it is almost 1000 pages, but so worth it.  The story follows three main characters, who are so well developed and likeable that you root for them to be happy and rejoice when they are, and you'll be sad when trouble befalls them.  The book covers 39 years (1135-1174) and is set in medieval England.  I love a good historical romance, but this goes beyond romance and tells several life stories.  If you want a story that includes betrayal, murder, treachery, torture, love, faith, and triumph over difficult circumstances, read The Pillars of The Earth.  You won't regret it!

Just One Gripe:
I honestly can't think of one!

The Best Thing About This Book:
The characters, the plot, everything!  It draws you in from the beginning.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
Yes, there are some adult themes but nothing over-the-top.

Characters:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  5/5
Total Score:  25/25

If I've read it twice and want to read it again, and sigh in contentment every time I think about it, it's stalker worthy!


  1. Nice review - I have a good friend who swears by this book but it took me a few years to get around to reading it. It was a good read. I did have a few gripes with it - minor things on language usage, predictability - but it was a massive story that just sucks the reader in. Have you read World Without End? I devoured that one in a day and a half.

  2. Thank you Pete! Yes, I did read World Without End, I just reviewed it actually. I loved it just as much as Pillars.
    I agree about your gripes, I had a few too. But the story and plot were so good that my complaints were easily overlooked. I was surprised at how much "grittier" World Without End was compared to Pillars. I think the difference was that Prior Philip was so good and Godwyn was not. What do you think?

  3. Hi Kelli!
    I have this one lined up and was very excited to read the positive review on this Follet book. I loved Pillars of the Earth and am looking forward to reading the follow up on this book next.
    Great review!

  4. Thank you so much PK! I am a HUGE Ken Follett fan. As soon as I make a dent in my TBR list I plan on reading everything he's written. I've read three of his novels so far and loved, absolutely loved, all three.


Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!