I think I ruined these books by reading them backwards. I loaned Granny Cathedral by the Sea and when I told her it was about cathedral building in Barcelona in the 1400’s she disappeared into her bedroom and came back with At World’s End. She mentioned it was the second book in the series but said that she had lost the first and they were autonomous enough that it wasn’t necessary to read them in order. I do agree with that statement after reading them both, but I’m slightly frustrated that I didn’t read them in the correct order (some connections would have made more sense if I had).

I’m combining them into one post rather than reviewing them individually because they were so damn similar. Maybe it was meant to highlight the fact that even as time marches on and things change, they don’t ever really change. It was disappointing that what I found amazing and ingenious in the second book had already been done in the first. I highly recommend reading them in order.

The first book has been made into a mini-series that’s available on Netflix (when I get my act together, I’m totally getting Netflix!). I haven’t mentioned it before, but I LOVE RUFUS SEWELL. I’ve seen him in numerous parts and every time he’s superb. He has an aloofness but that just screams nobility – he’s played a Noble or Royal in The Illusionist, Tristan & Isolde, The Last King, Helen of Troy, A Knight’s Tale

Plus he’s super fine! See!?!

Right, back to the book review. For some reason I like the second book more – maybe it was the novelty of the plot or just that I identified with some of the characters more. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the first book too. In both books there were some awesome themes going on – especially some ironic twists concerning the sins of the father/mother being visited upon the son/daughter.

I also loved how it follows a few key people and some broader characters through their lives. Plus, I got to learn some more British history. I’ve always loved learning about Henry VII, Elizabeth I, Bloody Mary, Charles I…but this went further back to Stephan vs. Maude vs. Henry II which I didn’t know much about.

I’d highly recommend this series!

NOTE: I was in no way asked, solicited or paid to review these books.