While I was at the final few pages of the amazing book that I mentioned in my previous post, my dad quickly shoved another book into my hands and yes, that is the sequel! I pledged that I would not take very long to finish reading this book and true enough, I finished reading the sequel in less than 2 months! I admit I am a slow reader, however because the story is so rich and intriguing, I could withstand the crazy number of pages of the book and didn’t throw in the towel to finish the book. Come on I have got a full time job and to finish reading a book of 1237 pages in less than 2 months is not something many could do! (Why do I even justify myself?)
World Without End is the sequel of Pillars of the Earth, but it could be read by itself as minimum reference in the book is made to Pillars. I think it will be interesting if you read World first and Pillars after. Anyway this book is just as enjoyable as the first book. I am so glad that after so many years finally I could read something palatable and yet profound.
What I appreciate in this book is the maturity of the author. The story is although less intense compared to the Pillars, it is more complex. Pillars is the book that makes you pant, and World is the book that makes you ponder. Pillars tells about wars and World tells about plague, and also wars. What is more commendable is Ken Follett’s story telling skill. A lot of action verbs are found in the text, for instance ‘he gasped, coughed, gasped and coughed. Slowly he began to breathe more normally. His eyes stopped watering, and he saw that dawn was breaking. The faint light showed him a crowd of nuns standing around him.’ Simple language, but the picture Follett painted is so vivid that it is as if you could hear the characters’ breath and sighs.
The characters are very well described and developed throughout the story. The changes in each characters are not too drastic, there are solid reasons behind the changes of the characters’ behaviour. I am glad that in World you could see kindness in every evil (I see that in Ralph) which makes the villains more realistic. Where as in Pillars, the bad guys are really hopelessly wicked to the extend that you will not name your child any of their names if you read the book (or is it only me?). The other great thing about World is that the bad guys do not always get what they want, neither the good guys. So everyone agrees God is still God, Amen?
Overall the book has good story, understandable language, awesome characters, less intense and dramatic, but definitely enjoyable. However there is one thing that I disagree in the book, it is how the protagonist Merthin could get away with having an affair with his master’s daughter! He later was earning good wealth, was loved by so many women and in the end he was united with the love of his life! I prefer the protagonist in Pillars – Jack, he never had any relationship with other women though tempted and he was steadfast and loyal.
All in all, these two books are marvelous, and these are the books I will definitely read again in the future.
Look forward to reading more good books!