Tuesday, January 13, 2009
4. "World Without End" - Ken Follett
Arrgh. I know why people love Ken Follett's books. He moves the action forward. He sprinkles in just enough sex and power struggles and murder and mayhem. He has a firm grasp of what makes history interesting to people.
But he drives me crazy. I get about 400 pages into it, start to like the characters, then he creates outrageous plot twists and frustrating leaps of logic. Don't even get me started about the use of adverbs. It's annoyingly, obviously, infuriatingly overused.
However, I know many of you love his work. I wish I could get over some things (see the spoilers at the end).
World picks up 200 years after Pillars of Earth in the same cathedral town of Kingsbridge. There are the same fights and manipulations to become prior of the church. Now, the main characters also bear witness to a knight's strange fight in the woods. The knight buries a parcel and swears Medric, a child who later becomes the town builder, to secrecy, then the knight becomes a monk.
Medric, meanwhile, grows up and proposes to his dear-heart, Caris. She is drawn to healing arts and business, running a successful red-dyed cloth business for her father. She doesn't believe she could adapt to marriage, and ends up in a nunnery for most of the book, sharing her healing expertise when the town is hit by the plague numerous times.
While the other characters are vital to the plot (and heft) of the novel, there were too many wrong baby-daddys, causing me to roll my eyes until they nearly fell out of their sockets. And, Gwenda... seriously? The entire storyline was too predictable and should have been edited out. The last page made me gag - literally - because Caris was no angel. Sheesh.
If you have hours of time and adore historical romance, go for it. If you are reading it for a book group, rock on - you'll have plenty to talk about. Otherwise, meh.
2.75 out of 5.0 Zwiters.