Ken Follet's book, Pillers of the Earth, had a host of characters, but it had order … chronological order. The movie has all the characters and title, but it is completely different. Having previously read the book, I found it difficult to follow and for someone unfamiliar with the characters, it would be very confusing.
The story takes place in 12th Century England in the era of the Anarchy and the wars between Stephen and his sister, Maud and the Duke of Gloustershire. A stone mason, Builder Tom is looking for and eventually finds work and builds a cathedral while all around him there is murder and intrigue.