International Bestselling Author Ken Follett to Publish Next Historical Epic with Viking on September 12, 2017
Tuesday, October 4: Viking announced today that it will publish international bestselling author Ken Follett’s magnificent new epic A COLUMN OF FIRE on September 12, 2017.
Ken Follett commented, “I’m thrilled to be publishing the next novel in the Kingsbridge series with Viking and introducing readers to the world of spies and secret agents in the sixteenth century, the time of Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a rich and fascinating part of history and I’m excited to share this with book lovers.” Brian Tart, President and Publisher of Viking said, “I’m looking forward to publishing Ken Follett at Viking next fall, and delighted that he has decided to continue with the Kingsbridge series. Millions of readers were riveted by the first two books, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, and the saga now continues. A COLUMN OF FIRE is a gripping and adventurous tale and sure to enthrall old and new readers alike.”
A COLUMN OF FIRE begins in 1558 where 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, high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty, and love.
Will Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious divide sweeping across the country, Will 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 Will and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings precariously 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.
Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A COLUMN OF FIRE is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet, and is perfect both for long-time fans of the Kingsbridge series as well as readers new to Ken Follett.
Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 160 million copies of the 30 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of the College in 1995.
He started his career as a reporter, first with his hometown newspaper the South Wales Echo and then with the London Evening News. Subsequently, he worked for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director.
Ken’s last project, The Century Trilogy, has sold 19.5 million copies worldwide. The three books tell the story of the twentieth century through five generations on three continents. Ken’s first major success came with the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978. A World War II thriller set in England, this book earned him the 1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. It remains one of Ken’s most popular books.
In 1989, Ken’s epic novel about the building of a medieval cathedral, The Pillars of the Earth, was published. It reached number one on best-seller lists everywhere and was turned into a major television series produced by Ridley Scott, which aired in 2010. The next book in the Kingsbridge series, World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, proved equally popular when it was published in 2007. The Kingsbridge series has sold 38 million copies worldwide.
Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses. He is also active in many Stevenage charities and is President of the Stevenage Community Trust. Ken also set up The Follett Trust, which awards single donations to the arts and in cases of social deprivation and education.
Ken, who loves music almost as much as he loves books, is an enthusiastic bass guitar player in two bands. He lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with his wife Barbara, the former Labour Member of Parliament for Stevenage. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren and three Labradors.