Written by British author Ken Follett, The Kingsbridge series is a historical fiction series. The first book in the series was published in 1989 and revolved around the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England.
Set in the 12th century, this first novel was just the beginning as the saga explored the lives of the descendants of some of the characters in the second book, set 157 years later. The following novels continued to explore other periods of time, before and after that, developing the history of the city of Kingsbridge.
How to Read the Kingsbridge Series in Order?
Reading The Kingsbridge Books in Publication Order
- The Pillars of the Earth (1989) – The devoted and industrious monk Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, is motivated to construct the grandest Gothic cathedral the world has ever seen. Tom, the mason who later serves as his architect, is a man with conflicted emotions. Lady Aliena is a secretive woman who harbors a deep guilt. A story of ambition, chaos, and ultimate power set against the vast medieval backdrop of England in the twelfth century.
- World Without End (2007) – On the day following Halloween in the year 1327, four kids flee Kingsbridge, a cathedral city. They are a bully, a clever boy, a girl who aspires to be a doctor, and a thief. That day, they found two dead men in the woods. As adults, ambition, love, greed, and retaliation will be the threads that bind their lives together. They will experience both peace and hunger, pestilence, and conflict.
- A Column of Fire (2017) – In 1558, as religious intolerance spread across the continent, Europe is in upheaval. Despite her accession to the throne, Elizabeth Tudor is not secure in this perilous new world. There are many people who want her gone, not the least of them is Mary Queen of Scots, who is waiting in Paris.
- The Evening and the Morning (2020) – England is under siege from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east in 997 CE, toward the conclusion of the Dark Ages. The harshness of people in positions of authority, who frequently disagree with the monarch, makes life difficult. Chaos and carnage prevail as a result of his shaky hold on the nation and the absence of an established legal system.
- The Armour of Light (2023) – 1792. A despotic government is committed to building a powerful commercial empire in England. France’s neighbors are on high alert as Napoleon Bonaparte starts to consolidate his authority and discontent is rampant. Unprecedented industrial development engulfs the region, making life miserable for the employees of Kingbridge’s thriving fabric factories. Rapid modernization and risky new technology are displacing workers and splintering families. The struggle of a generation as they seek enlightenment and fight for a future free from oppression will now be defined by a small group of Kingsbridge residents, including spinner Sal Clitheroe, weaver David Shoveller, and Kit, Sal’s inventive and brash son.
Reading The Kingsbridge Books in Chronological Order
- The Evening and the Morning (2020)
- The Pillars of the Earth (1989)
- World Without End (2007)
- A Column of Fire (2017)
- The Armour of Light (2023)
If you like our Kingsbridge reading order, don’t forget to bookmark it. Also, you may be interested in reading Philippa Gregory’s books.