As Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? Ken Follett takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with his magnificent epic, A Column of Fire—the chronological latest in the Kingsbridge series, following The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and the prequel, The Evening and the Morning.
In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.
Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.
The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost.
Exciting and ambitious, and set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and serve as the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.