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Topic: Is there Life after pillars of the Earth & World Wthout End ?

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Subject: Is there Life after pillars of the Earth & World Wthout End ?
Date Posted: 6/25/2010 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
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Read Pillars many years ago ,, reread it to refresh before reading WWE. Now Icannot find nay thing that is capturing me quite like those . anyone hae  a suggestion?Of ocurse Follett is always a hard act to follow I  just devour all iof his novels. thank you

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Linda, I know what you mean.  I listened to both books back-to-back and it took me a while to settle into something else.

I've read two series lately that may ease you through this difficult time:  Sharon Kay Penman's Justin de Quincy mysteries, and Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death series. 

Or, sometimes a completely different time period/country is called for.  In that case, Aztec, by Gary Jennings was phenomenal. 

I'm sure the other ladies here will have some good ideas for you as well.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Have you read Sharon Penman, Bernard Cornwell, Elizabeth Chadwick, the British one not the American. Margaret George, Susan Higgenbotham, Diana Gabaldon not medieval but 18th century Scotland and America.  Sara Donati also 18th century America.  People tend not to trade these author books.  But you can get many at the library,   That's a good start.  Go back through some of the threads posted and you will see that we hold these authors as a cut above the rest.  It is early and I know I have forgotten some. cheeky

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
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Wow thanks much ,.I am rather new to historical fiction so I am not familiar with these authors at  all  but will be soon . Thank you again for the quick informative response.

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Your welcome Linda, and welcome we are a fun group!

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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You should read this before going forward, a warning penned by our very own Deb (bookzealot)   You have been warned smiley

http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=186454

Date Posted: 6/25/2010 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Personally, after reading Pillars (but not yet WWE), I can say that there are a lot more HF books I like much better. I liked Pillars, but it dragged a bit for me.  I second the suggestion for Penman.  Now there's a tough act to follow - at least for me. Not to mention all the others Letty mentioned.  (Plus I have to put in my own plug for my beloved Bernard Cornwell - the Saxon chronicles or the Arthur trilogy for starters.)  Don't worry, you'll find much to your liking in the HF genré.  Welcome!!!   

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I've never read Follet, and from discussions of the books, I don't see myself ever reading them.  But his books have lured folks to dabble into HF when they otherwise wouldn't have, so for that my hat's off to him.  Sort of a gateway drug, if you please. LOL

Others have mentioned some of the very best current authors, but I'll throw out an older one: James Clavell's Shogun series, particularly the first two, Shogun and Taipan.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I loathed Pillars, but much of that is because I'd already read Penmen and Chadwick and frankly they have forever spoiled me for medievals. It is good though that Follett has been able to interest readers in the medieval period - that's a good thing. The sex and violence in his book was way OTT for my tastes.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I agree with the others... Go find you some Sharon Kay Penman or Elizabeth Chadwick!! Now that Pillars has lured you in, you are ready for the next step up. Come along little grasshopper, go get some Penman!! :-D

 

List of Penman books: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/p/sharon-kay-penman/

Chadwick's books: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/elizabeth-chadwick/

Bernard Cornwell: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/bernard-cornwell/

Penman and Cornwell books are quite easy to find in bookstores and get posted a lot here, but Elizabeth Chadwicks are a little harder to snag. I always buy them from The Book Depository because they have free shipping, even if you order one cheap book, the shipping is always free. It's great!  http://www.bookdepository.com/

 

Welcome to our little H/F corner of the world! You'll love it here and won't ever want to leave.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Good point Cathy I hadn't discovered Penmen or Chadwick either.   But who really lead me to them was Roberta Gellis.  So there is another author for you,  Ms Gellis began my love affair with H/F.  Her Roselynde Chronicles are romance but solid historical fiction in the research.  Her early works are good as well.



Last Edited on: 6/26/10 10:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/26/2010 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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OMG Cathy, about the sex and violence in Follett's books - I have to say that when it comes to violence, I don't think I will ever read so much violence as in these Saxon Chronicles by Cornwell!!! No wonder that HF readers are not fainthearted when it comes to violence in contemporary mysteries! Actually, I'm kinda surprised that Cornwell managed to squeeze a plot in there - but I am enjoying these books!cheeky

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Jeane, now you have me wondering if I want to read them. Although with Follett is was very gratuitous to me - he could have left more to the reader's imagination. Those rapes.....

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Cathy - even though Cornwell does have rapes, fondling, etc. in his books, it isn't real explicit - but the viiolence sure is! This may definitely be a case where you  want to get the first one from the  library. Uhtred is definitely a hunk, but Cornwell has you wondering practically from page to page how he will survive!! We have plenty of violence these days, but, in reading this book, I have to say that I'm so grateful that I didn't have to live back then!crying

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
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If you liked Pillars, you might like the books by Edward Rutherfurd. Sarum and London are two that come to mind. Of course, Penman is my fave, hands down.

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Cathy - I had the same feeling as you about Pillars re: gratuitous rape/violence.   Just read it again this year after over a decade and it didn't go down as well the second time around because of that.   Still, I would like to read WWE because I enjoyed Pillars on many other levels.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Again, I've never read Follet so I can't make a direct comparison, but I don't find Cornwall gratuitous.  The sex is not very explicit--instead, straightforward and summary.  The violence is more explicit, but I've never felt it was gratuitous.  It doesn't drag on.  A long or complicated battle action will take up some space but it's very fast-paced and the focus is more on the action than on explicit details. 

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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Linda, if you like ancient settings, I recommend Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series (starting with The First Man in Rome). It might be a bit tough to get through if you're not keen on getting hip-deep (or more!) in the political chess matches of the old republic, but I loved it. They're all doorstoppers and littered with awesome characters and nefarious plots. I've read all but the last book and it's quite a journey to see the republic decline into a soulless empire.

Just a different suggestion than the usual Penman/Chadwick/Cornwell trifecta. There are other great books out there, youse guys (and better than Chadwick *ducks*)

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,451
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I agree with Karla.  The Masters of Rome books are wonderful.  Might have to start re-reading them again sometime soon.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 2,087
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I agree about the Masters of Rome series, but they are in-depth.  A fun historical mystery series that takes place in ancient Rome is the Falco series by Lindsey Davis.

http://www.lindseydavis.co.uk/

For ancient Roman Britain there is the Medicus series by Ruth Downie - about a doctor in the Roman army who is sent to the wilds of Britain, starting out in ancient Deva (modern-day Chester) and eventually sent up north to the area where Hadrian's Wall will be built (where I'm currently doing an archeology dig).

For more medieval fiction there are:  the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, the Catherine LeVendeur mysteries by Sharan Newman.   I also got my start in medieval historican fiction with Roberta Gellis Roselyne Chronicles.  Good stuff.

Barbara Erskine writes good historical fiction as well, sometimes with a reincarnation, time-slip theme.  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/e/barbara-erskine/

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Linda, did you know that Follett has a new H/F book coming out?  It's called "Fall of Giants" and is set during the WW1 era.

Click the link and add it to your wishlist!

http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780525951650-Fall+of+Giants+Century+Bk+1

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,825
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I really liked Pillars and WWE, but I'm still relatively new to HF.

I've read Gabaldon~can't say enough good things there.  I love that series!

I've read the first in the John Jakes series~The Bastard,

and I just finished Noah Gordons, The Physician, the first in his Cole trilogy.

I did read the first in the Sara Donati series~ Into the Wilderness, and I liked it, but Gabaldon is a hard act to follow, lol.

Anyhow, this thread is giving me some good ideas, thanks!

 

 

Date Posted: 7/1/2010 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 4
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This is great ....now I just have to figure out how to fit in going to work ........  ..you are all correct this could lure you in thanks again .