I had never heard of Ken Follett until a family member begged me to read him. I started with PILLARS OF THE EARTH and just loved it. WORLD WITHOUT END is just as strong. Interestingly, it DOESN’T pick up where PILLARS OF THE EARTH ended but jumps forward one hundred and fifty years. This requires a completely new cast of characters, and although some of the characters claim to be related to those in the earlier book, it really wasn’t necessary to have that connection. As in the previous book, WORLD WITHOUT END opened with a powerful image, and closed with another one, so that it had a satisfyingly resonant ending, something, I fear that is increasingly becoming as rare as hen’s teeth.

Despite complaints by some readers that the book was over-long, I found it completely absorbing up until the end. The characters were well-rounded and realistically portrayed, and the events that happened to them were well-grounded in their motivations. In short, I highly recommend this novel. If you love PILLARS OF THE EARTH, I don’t think you will be disappointed by WORLD WITHOUT END. Five stars.