Helpful Score: 19
A really good read. I only just picked it up despite its being originally published almost 20 years ago and it kept my interest throughout, all 900 plus pages. No romanticizing past times here, just the raw data and descriptions of 12th century life as it was...a continuous struggle to meet even the most basic needs. The corruption of the church, the tenuous reign of Kings, and relationships within the classes is all depicted. Then we get to learn how these magnificent cathedrals were really built. The craftsmen and workers each have their story. Depressing at times? yes, but that's because Follett pulls you in to caring about the lead characters, feeling their anguish and rejoicing in their brief moments of joy.