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A Bridge to the Sky
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A Bridge to the Sky

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From the Benedictine monasteries of England to the sacred tombs of darkest Egypt, from the ancient temples of Jerusalem to the great cities of Italy, France and Hungary, here is a riveting saga of medieval times told through the lives of the passionate men and women who envisioned and engineered history's most triumphant and timeless monuments to huma
Mass Market Paperback, 592 pages
Published June 1st 1990 by Bantam Books (first published 1990)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  40 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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This is one of those epics that sweeps through time and place, and Ball brings settings to life through all the senses. Stephen travels from England to Outremer (Egypt, the Holy Land, etc.) to France to Hungary. Momentous events come up throughout his journey: the death of King John, the Children's Crusade, the founding of the Franciscan Order, and the Mongol invasion of Europe. Brutality abounds, but so does beauty. Stephen is a gifted builder and at times my eyes glazed over the length archite ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of involved historical with a great deal of research and detail that satisfies my inner reader. Unfortunately, in some ways the depth of character for the protagonists seemed sacrificed for the joy of sharing the intricacies of architecture in the age of great medieval cathedrals.

In addition there were abrupt point of view shifts in some scenes which I find off-putting, but YMMV. Overall it was a fascinating look into an age of faith and wonder, and would be enjoyed by readers
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kind of like Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth, but not as good. There was a lot of unnecessary "plot" going on. And Aude was insufferable.
Scott Joseph
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book while deployed to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war, and I am forever grateful to the American people for sending books to the troops. The phrase that "war is 95% boredom and 5% terror" is very true.

I had already been to the part of England described before picking up the book and Margaret Ball was able to put me back in East Anglia as I read the first few chapters. The author is able to communicate the difficulties of medieval life accurately while also making the protagon
Meredith Galman
Oct 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance
Margaret Ball's work is very variable in quality. Her best books (such as Flameweaver)are both well-crafted and interesting. Others such as Disappearing Act are rougher in style while still engaging and full of ideas. This bland historical romance is smoothly written and accurate in detail while being completely predictable and pedestrian. That said, Aude's transformation from wild girl of the fens to sophisticated beauty is more plausible than many similar stories I've read.
Margaret Pinard
An interesting story starting in Dunwich, then Ely, then getting kind of long-winded and taking in the known world: Italy, Cairo, France, Hungary, etc. I don't usually read fiction set in medieval times, but this one was less trope-y and I liked the connection Stephen had with stones and that supernatural aspect. His lady love Aude I liked too, even though she occasionally did silly 'womanish' things for the plot to continue grinding along. A long story, it could've been shorter. Good read.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my shelf for years and finally got around to reading it and was happy I did. It's an older book so the writing style isn't modern but I really enjoyed the story and the characters.
John W.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was one book I simply could not put down!
Aug 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wide and sweeping epic. Very interesting and well-written.
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Margaret Ball lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and near two grown children. She has a B.A. in mathematics and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Texas. After graduation, she taught briefly at UCLA, then spent several years honing her science fiction and fantasy writing skills by designing computer software and making inflated promises about its capabilities. She has written a nu ...more