Shepparton News - - WEEKEND PETS - By Ken Fol­lett

Book: A Col­umn of Fire Pub­lished: Pan Macmillan Aus­tralia, RRP$39.99

Christ­mas 1558, and young Ned Wil­lard re­turns home to Kings­bridge to Ånd his world has changed. The an­cient stones of Kings­bridge Cathe­dral look down on a city torn by re­li­gious ha­tred. Europe is in tur­moil as high prin­ci­ples clash blood­ily with friend­ship, loy­alty and love, and Ned soon Ånds him­self on the op­po­site side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzger­ald.

Then El­iz­a­beth Tu­dor be­comes queen and all of Europe turns against Eng­land. The shrewd, de­ter­mined young monarch sets up the coun­try’s Årst se­cret ser­vice to give her early warn­ing of as­sas­si­na­tion plots, re­bel­lions and invasion plans. El­iz­a­beth knows that al­lur­ing, head­strong Mary Queen of Scots lies in wait in Paris. Part of a bru­tally am­bi­tious French fam­ily, Mary has been pro­claimed the right­ful ruler of Eng­land, with her own sup­port­ers schem­ing to get rid of the new queen.

Over a tur­bu­lent half-cen­tury, the love be­tween Ned and Margery seems doomed, as ex­trem­ism sparks vi­o­lence from Ed­in­burgh to Geneva.

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