World Without End Book Reviews

Ken Follett

World Without End by Ken Follett Book Summary

#1 New York Times Bestseller

In 1989, Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfth-century England centered on the building of a cathedral and many of the hundreds of lives it affected.

World Without End is its equally irresistible sequel—set two hundred years after The Pillars of the Earth and three hundred years after the Kingsbridge prequel, The Evening and the Morning.

World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroads of new ideas—about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race—the Black Death. 

Three years in the writing and nearly eighteen years since its predecessor, World Without End is a "well-researched, beautifully detailed portrait of the late Middle Ages" (The Washington Post) that once again shows that Ken Follett is a masterful author writing at the top of his craft.

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Book Name World Without End
Genre Historical Fiction
Language English
E-Book Size 5.8 MB

World Without End (Ken Follett) Book Reviews 2024

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World Without End. Wonderful finish to Pillars of the Earth. I wished it would never end.

Ken follet. Excellent reading

Great book but too familiar. No doubt Follet is one of the best writers of our time. I read Pillars of the Earth 3 times. His new book Fall of the Giants is a fantastic read. World Without End is a great book but it is basically Pillars of the Earth with different characters and instead of stone masons it focuses around wood crafters. All of our lives are rushed so use your time to read Fall of Giants.

Good. It seemed loosely based on the storyline of his first book, and there were lots of character storylines to follow. Regardless, it was incredibly detailed and in depth, and a captivating story at every turn!

World Without End. Ken Follett has a very entertaining writing style. I had a hard time putting it down to sleep and picked it up first thing in the morning. Lots of twists and turns that keep your interest.

Excellent Sequel. Emotionally addictive reading!

I don’t know…. I find myself incredibly frustrated with the ignorance portrayed in these stories (first two in the series) yet I plowed through. Each time I picked back up I tell myself I can’t tolerate anymore ignorance. I have since begun reading the third in this series (I know what you are saying…) and again same story only separated by time. The choices and decisions made reads like the Halloween movies where the victims being chased can leave in the car or find the only place to corner themselves from an assailant. I appreciate the writing and often find myself asking however, what did 15-20% of the story add. Like this review it leaves you scratching your head and asking well did you like the book or not? Good question!

Yrhyxdd. Feudvrytfxyerdtee

Spell binding!. Wonderful story telling. Makes you feel like you are there page after page.

Amazing read. A great epic novel that teaches as it entertains. Pillars is still my favorite though, and I like how Follett incorporates the characters of the first novel in world without end.

Wonderful series!. One can really get lost in the story, the history, the setting and time, and the characters! Follet’s covered all bases in Kingbridge!

World without end!. Love love love this book! Couldn’t put it down!!!!!!

World without end.. B.O.R.I.N.G. Far too much domestic blah, blah. Struggled through 50 or so pages and gave up. Save your money.

Great sequel to Pillars. Very similar to Pillars of the Earth but with different characters to love. If you loved the first one, you will feel the same about this book.

It will NOT dissapoint. SOOOO good.. I am sad it has come to an end:(... Such a page turner and I will miss being taken back into time.. BRAVO!!

My all time favorite book!!. I could read this book a million times and it will never get old.

Good read - entertaining way to learn about 14th Century England. Just when I thought Pillars of the Earth was the best historical fiction I had ever read, I might have enjoyed this book even more. First, Ken Follett is a great story-teller; able to create characters that jump out of the pages, and provide a plot that keeps you engrossed. Second, Ken Follett appears to know his stuff when it comes to historical knowledge. Pillars of the Earth and World Without End have left me anxiously awaiting the third book, hopefully due out before the end of 2014. From these books I feel I now have a solid understanding of life in England in the 12th and 14th centuries. Follett gives you a real appreciation for life in those times. He provides great depth on the system of Kings and the Earls who held allegiance, as well as the power of the Church. In my recent travels to Portugal, because of Follett, I understood why architecture dates a little older in the region of France, Spain, and Portugal. Follett taught me how the English were behind in that category, and caught up only after travels to Europe, bringing back with them the knowledge to build better cathedrals. But in the end, as I stated before, Follett simply writes a great story. You don't have to like history one bit in order to enjoy his books, and especially this one.

World without end. I’m not a history student but I’m always intrigued by historical events. I have finished reading World without end and now on Pillars of the earth. I have always wondered how people lived centuries past. Even though mostly fictional, Ken Follett has given me an insight and a window into how life was like in the years past. .... A brilliant writer indeed

Derivative, but entertaining. May want to wait for mini-series.. I really did enjoy this book. Although it seems too derivative of his earlier book, Pillars of the Earth, I still don't feel too annoyed by it. Entrepreneur- female torn between a higher duty/calling and the builder she loves. Builder goes off to foreign country to find himself. Smart person joins church to escape vacillating life-partner. William Hamleigh's mother in TPOTE becomes Petranilla in WWE, etc. But, I am still captivated and wondering what happens. The most annoying thing about the reading experience is that Mr. Follett recaps his own novels every couple hundred pages or so, which I have never encounted (so far) in anything else I've read. This type of thing is expected when reading a sequel, and there is either a synopsis of the previous book, or things are somewhat explained at the beginning of the next novel. But one doesn't expect it in a book. For example [SPOILER ALERT], when Godwyn plans on using Caris' mouth-covering of sick victims as an example of heresy, and an opportunity of re-opening the charges against her, and he looks out at the congregation, all of the main characters are there, but they are described as if I have known nothing about them and their relationships, when in fact I have been reading about them the whole book. This happened in Pillars of the Earth, as well. Still I will finish it, especially for the will they/won't they of Caris and Merthin. If you were ambiguous about TPOTE, then just wait for this to come out as a mini-series, which is being filmed now, I believe. The person who gave me these books told me that most people don't read how I do, and she actually found the recap welcome since she took more time to read it.

World without End. Excellent book great follow up to The Pillars of the Earth I would highly recommend both.

world without end. Ken Follett never disappoints!

World Without End. I enjoyed the book, series and history. They are all very long books and reiterate every detail of what happened in the earlier chapters, as if the reader cannot remember anything. Also, Follett uses the empty word “nevertheless” way too many times is throughout the all the series. That was a bit annoying.

World Without End. This was even better then Pillars. I loved both books and never wanted them to end. Mr. Folliet has such a gift of story telling that before I new it I was pulled right into the world of Kingsbridge. Just beautiful!

Fantastic Sequel. Pillars of the Earth was awesome and World Without End was EQUALLY as great. Ken Follet makes it so very easy to get involved with each of the characters and you end up emotionally living alongside them. Like the first one, this book leaves me wanting more, what would happen to Kingsbridge during the War of the Roses and/or Henry VIII's disolution of the churches?

World Without End. I finished reading this book on a day not unlike many described in the book, unseasonably cold, gray and rainy. This might have dampened my already fragile spirits as I wondered aloud how I would survive without this book to read. Quite the contrary, I felt happiness on reading the last line. I read it on my iPad in relatively small installments over about a two month period, forcing myself to turn it off when I might otherwise be emboldened to sink into a long read. Mr. Follett is the creator of the transporter, not Gene Roddenberry, as is believed by most. I have only read "Pillars" and this one and I can say without equivocation that reading these books is truly like being sent to another place and time. The storytelling is spare and plots have a staccato-like brevity, but the characters are richly developed and woven into the fabric of stories that span generations. The Starz treatment of Pillars was a disappointment as is so often the case with memorable books. It is impossible to translate the level of detail from one medium to the next. What is most frustrating is the introduction of new story elements nonexistent in the original. It is hard to imagine what devoted reader would look forward to that but certainly sharp minds were at work in writing the screenplay. I shudder to think what new and strange developments will take place in the WWE saga currently in production. Such precious prose is best left alone. Interestingly, Mr. Follett seemed to spice up WWE considerably with this in mind. Maybe it will be spared the ignominy of story drift. I recommend the books, both of them, wholeheartedly and I hope Mr. Follett is working on a third installment to bring us closer to the Reformation. If not, I anxiously await what my mind will fabricate in my dreams about the antics and travails of the descendants of Jack, Tom and Aliena, not to mention the Royals.

Another wonderful book.... One more in the series now read, and I've loved each. Fantastic books, and it's incredible how drawn in I get to each book.

World without end. This was a long tale but it kept me coming back for more! I was sorry that it ended.

Breathtaking. Extraordinary book. Marvelous plot and incredible story for love, patience, faith, decisiveness and creativity.

World Without End. Collet never disappoints, great read.

World without end. The sequel to pillars of the earth. These to me are the best books I have ever read. Follett's best novels. Set in mid evil times, it clearly depicts life as it was then. Never a dull moment to make you bored. I highly recommend these novels to anyone who enjoys a good read. Both very long books. A mini series was made of these novels, and the follow the book exactly. Fantastic acting. The series did not change things like a lot of them do. Enjoy.

World Without End. Great Book

Wish it wasn't ended. Pillars Of The Earth is probably one of my 5 all time favorite books. This was almost as good, and just as enjoyable. That's saying a lot.

Wonderfully satisfying!. While World Without End is a similar story to Pillars of the Earth, it's a complete, satisfying story on it's own. The characters, places and objects are richly developed, vividly described. This is a glorious read, from first words to the last.

Great book. Easy to read and super interesting!

Disappointing. Story is basically a rehash of Pillars of the Earth and The a evening and the Morning, just set almost 200 years later. New cast of characters are descendants of the old ones, cathedral and bridge needing building/repairs, a priory being poorly run again, monks bickering with monks, monks bickering with builders, builders bickering with builders…Fighting over the same rights and taxes, people getting raped…. Two nuns dressed as boys chasing the English army in France to complain to a bishop about the Prior stealing their money is a stretch of the imagination. I love Ken Follett’s books so to see such an unimaginative story and falling prey to the curse of so many series by being formulaic is so very disappointing.

Good, not great. I was very excited about reading this book. I stumbled upon Pillars of the Earth last year and really liked that book. It was a sprawling epic and I felt the story arc and characters were well developed and compelling. World Without End was not quite as compelling. The story was sprawling but much more telegraphed than its predecessor. Foreshadowing is one thing, but I felt it was too easy to predict which direction the narrative was heading at too many different points. That made the story feel simplistic at times. The characters were interesting but I felt many of the major players felt like caricatures or rehashes of characters in Pillars. Merthin being Jack Builder, Aliena being split into Caris and Phillipa, Ralph Fitzgerald being William Hamleigh reincarnated, right down to having an eternal evil crony ( Alan Fernhill from 'Pillars' Walter). I felt the political intrigue portion of the book was not nearly as,,, intriguing as that of Pillars. The big reveal was somewhat of a letdown but i know Follett tries hard to maintain historical accuracy. Any salacious revelation would already have been well documented by history, so Follett was only left with a vague and historically inconsequential direction in which to take the book's "secret".. It was a bit underwhelming in its reveal quite like Dan Brown's 'Lost Symbol' was compared to the far more provocative 'The DaVinci Code' and its "secrets". But I did like the trials and tribulations that the plague caused the inhabitants of Kingsbridge. I also found the stories of Wulfric and Gwenda, and their dealings with Ralph, to be a very good read. They were secondary to Caris and Merthin but in many ways more interesting. There was a lot more sensuality in this book but I found it somewhat juvenile. It seemed written from the perspective of a 15 year old boy; all too concerned with female wetness, plump bodies and pubic hair. It's kind of unrealistic and distracting when these strong and dynamic female characters are quickly brought to the pinnacle of lust by bearded englishmen swiftly and roughly grabbing a breast.. Well, that doesn't seem to work when I do it, but I'm not a bearded Englishman either. All in all I enjoyed the book but felt it to be almost like reading a follow up book a skilled up and coming author would write based on reading Pillars of the Earth. Like reading one of the novels based on Star Wars or Halo or whatever. World felt a bit like an homage to its predecessor. I wanted something that could stand on its own more.

“World Without End”. It’s troubling to realize that, even very very long ago, the religious hierarchy was so greedy and selfish professing it was not human nature but God’s will?

Great read!. Gripping till the end, which you wish would never come.

Great book!. I think it was almost better than Pillars; maybe be cause I had seen the mini series of Pillars prior to reading the book. I was sorry it came to an end and I wish there was another sequel. Lots of historical novels can get dull in places, or detailed to the point you feel like your reading a history book in school, but not this.

World Without End. Oufstanding-Gripping-Suspensful... I could not put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Pillars of the Earth" but "World Without End" was even better...

Amazing book!. The author is fantastic. I must read more of his work. I read Pillars and loved it. This is every bit as good, if not better.

World without end. Great read hated to see it end

Epic. A fantastic, epic journey.

World Without End. The best book I have ever read. Don't miss this one.

A Must Escape. I escaped into World Without End. Each character owned me. Caris, Merthin, Gwenda and Ralph grew through this epic journey. Pillars of the Earth was great World Without End was even better. The only bad part about World Without End is that I've finished reading it.

Not a favorite. I enjoyed, but often thought Follet was heavily mimicking “Pillars.” Had to finish it, but still my least favorite in this series.

Fantastic!. I was relieved to find there was a sequel to the 'Pillars of the earth' which was spellbinding. I absolutely could not put this book down. Here I just finished it and it's 4am! Superb read.

Amazing. I never thought reading this and Pillars of the Earth could be so entertaining. These are the only two books I've read by Follett but I'm definitely a fan now.

World Without End. I really enjoyed reading this book a few minutes each day before bed. Took me about 6 months.

Stands on its own.. I wouldn't even call this a sequel to Pillars. It's a story that stands on its own; with in depth character development heightened by Ken's stunning ability to tell unique stories of four individuals that intertwine so closely. Your heart churns for the happenings in these characters lives and you can't help but cringe at the vile and devastating challenges the prime characters face. The setting of this novel (Kingsbridge, Shiring, ect) is the same, and one may find parallels to Pillars of the Earth but the plot and character development are unique in their own ways. Truly a must read for (historical) fiction enthusiasts. A literary gem. Read this in 10 days. It's THAT engaging and intricate. You won't regret this purchase.

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World Without End. Awesome page turner. A must read!

Formulaic. Pillars of the Earth astonished, entertained, and informed. This novel treats it like a recipe, and attempts to repeat the success, with about as much success as McDonalds or Holiday Inn with their many copies. The result is predictable, uninspired, and dull. A soap opera set in the Middle Ages.

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Summary of World Without End by Ken Follett

The World Without End book written by Ken Follett was published on 09 October 2007, Tuesday in the Historical Fiction category. A total of 2,814 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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