Having gotten to page 400 I would say that I have given this book a really fair trial ... and am putting it down with a sigh of relief at not making myself go the full 1,000 pages. I started out liking it fine but as I went on really became dissatisfied with the writing style and picking it up became a chore for which I had to steel myself. Perhaps a little too much of "The Day of the Jackal" remained with Follett on this one for me to like it. There was a tendency for modernism to creep into the way that characters were portrayed. For example, the malicious peeping Tom had thoughts racing through his head that just struck me as too much "here and now" versus the way they would have been framed back in the day. I understand that he may have been motivated in those ways from our point of view but, although human nature remains the same now as it did then, the way that humans understood their own nature and that of others ... and framed that understanding to themselves and others is quite different.
I know that this book has a lot of fans and that's ok ... but it isn't for me.
For the moment, anyway, I'll have to stick with Kenneth Roberts and Samuel Shellabarger for my historical fiction.