World Without End - THE REVIEW
That's not to say the book is unstructured. It's very cleverly plotted considering the amount of time the book covers. There are just so many characters, and so many plots, all intertwining and converging. It's a little bit manic! But it kept the book exciting throughout it's length. Sometimes picking up a book of this size, you worry that there are pages upon pages of description. This isn't the case for World Without End. It's very simply written and the language is quick and easy. I liked that. If I had to read 1500 pages of latinate prose I would have given up long before the half way mark.
Much like it's predecessor, The Pillars of the Earth, the book is grounded in the construction of a building, the priory of Kingsbridge, and the ambitions of the town's residents. In some respects, its a rehash of the first book in that the characters are simply replicated under different names. There's the power hungry monk, the unassuming level-headed monk, the downtrodden builder, the enterprising feminist, the lecherous kings-man, the witch-like wise woman. But I found I wasn't tired of them.
I enjoyed reading World Without End, but I do feel it could have been better. The denoument was something of a flickering candle than a firework. Having been built up in the early chapters, the plot surrounding it was barely referenced throughout the novel, and when it resurfaced at the end, you found you didn't care. It's a book about people more than it is about secrets - unlike POTE which centred heavily around them. To this end the great secret played no part in what you had just read. It seemed out of place.
As for the Plague: It came, it killed, it went. Where's the emotion? The horror? The total devastating destruction of the disease? And it seemed all too convenient that none of the main characters died of it...Especially as there are so many.
All in all I thought this was a good book. Not as good as its prequel, but a worthy sequel. And hey, my arms are more toned for reading it!
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.