u003cbu003e#1 u003ciu003eNEW YORK TIMESu003c/iu003e BESTSELLERu003cbru003e u003cbru003e "Absorbing . . . impossible to resist." u003ciu003e--The Washington Postu003c/iu003eu003cbru003e u003cbru003e As Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? #1 u003ciu003eNew York Times u003c/iu003ebestselling author Ken Follett takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with his magnificent new epic, u003ciu003eA Column of Fireu003c/iu003e. u003c/bu003eu003cbru003e u003cbru003e In 1558, 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, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. u003cbru003e u003cbru003e Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned 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 Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.u003cbru003e u003cbru003e 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.u003cbru003e u003cbru003e Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, u003ciu003eA Column of Fireu003c/iu003e is one of Follett's most exciting and ambitious works yet. It will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and is the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.