This is the sequel to "Pillars of the Earth." It's set 200 years after that original book but is very similar in terms of plot and especially character. Every main character from "Pillars" has their parallel in this book: the intelligent, noble builder; the feisty, born-before-her-time love interest; the evil, corrupt nobleman who rapes and pillages his way into power. It gets to the point where you start to wonder why you're bothering reading it. There's absolutely nothing new here.
Like "Pillars," this one starts with a "mystery" that goes nowhere. When the big revelation comes, I was left thinking, "That's it?"
I enjoyed the parts about the Plague but could have done without the lesbian nuns and the numerous rape scenes (especially the scenes where the woman being raped starts to enjoy it. Talk about offensive!).
And once again, an aggressive editor would have done wonders. 1,000 pages is just a bit much, especially when the entire thing is a retread of the original anyway.