There have only been a few trilogies or book series that I have found intriguing. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series of course, as well as The Hunger Games. And I really loved Ken Follett’s brilliant Kingbridge trilogy. In fact The Pillars of the Earth is one of my top favorite books of all time. And so I was really excited for Follett’s latest book, the prequel to Pillars of the Earth. Here is my Book Review of The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett.
The Evening and the Morning takes us to England in 997 CE, 150 years before the time of Pillars of the Earth. A brutal time of power wielding nobles and church leaders, who reign over the peasants, often in conflict with the King.
It’s a chaotic time in English history, with Vikings attacking and war with with the Welsh. This uncertain time is the setting for the story of the village of Drains Ferry and the Shiring Abbey. We are introduced to Ragnor, a noblewoman from Normandy who comes to England to marry the Alderman. She is in love with him, but finds a family and a world of deceit, greed, lies and murder. Including her nemesis, Bishop Winston who is her husbands brother.
A young boat builder named Edgar, and an honest monk named Aldred will join with Ragnor in the decades long battle of wits and conflict against the evil Bishop Winston, who will do anything for power and wealth, including murder.
It’s the dawn of the middle ages, life is hard for everyone, unless you are a noble or Church appointed leader. Most of the nobility and church leaders are hungry for power and wealth, and will risk everything. But our heroines and heroes will spend their lives fighting this evil ambition and pursuing a life of honesty and love.
Drains Ferry will become the village of Kingsbridge, and at the end of the book the stage is set for the amazing story in Pillars of the Earth and the trilogy of Kingsbridge.
As usual Follett is brilliant in his research and storytelling. I loved this book and feel so close to all the amazing characters Follett shares with us. Even after thirty years since Pillars of the Earth were published, this book and all it’s sequels and prequels is some of the best literature of the century. I am a huge fan of Follett.
*****Five stars for The Evening & The Morning by Ken Follett.
Read last week’s review of The Book of Lost Friends
My current read Anxious People by Fredrick Bachman
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