Philip is a man and a monk faces a bigger challenge when leaving his beloved and isolated St. John in the Forest and, due to a chain of events, ends leading the decadent priory of Kingsbridge that is seriously in need of imagination, discipline and good management. Internal an external politics in the ecclesiastical world will intervene along with the ambitions of some more worldly characters: kings, lords, knights, merchants and builders among others.
Ken Follet takes us to the deep England in the 12th century where the battle for the power between dynasties and between members of a same family will be the background of a fantastic and comprehensive landscape and the construction of a cathedral will be the center of the plot.
Philip of Kingsbridge is determined to build a modest church, however, Tom Builder will sell him a more ambitious idea easily and soon, the lives in the priory and the whole community are triggered by the dream of a couple of men with a common dream inspired by very different reasons. A bishop and a lord will see on this project a threat to their own interests and so, a very dynamic and well narrated story will show us the way that alliances, ruptures, crimes, wars and medieval politics are not isolated entities in the timeline but a very an intricate web of facts those that will constitute the history of a country.
Keep an eye on: the careful and well documented description of historic facts, all architectonic elements, places, timeline, psychologies and of course the unmatched mortar that Follet's imagination is.
The Pillars of the Earth is certainly an fantastic historic fiction novel, however, my praise for this book would go for an indisputable compendium of the human strengths and weaknesses that, after all, are the pillars of our world.
ISBN: 9780330450133 (paperback in English)
ISBN: 9788497592901 (in Spanish)
Thanks to Czerwinski for this fantastic birthday present.