The Evening and the Morning (Kingsbridge Series #0) by Ken Follett

Published: 2020 Genre: Historical fiction This book is a prequel to the Kingsbridge Series published between 1989 and 2017. 1. First lines: 2. Cover: Pan Macmillan 3. A photo of the inside cover of the book. 4. An illustration of the typical clothing worn by Anglo-Saxons in medieval England, c. 500 – c. 1000 CE. (‘Costumes of all Nations’, 1882 CE) [Public Domain] via World History

Set in 997 CE in England, the Vikings attack the small fictional town of Combe in England. The town is destroyed and many of the inhabitants killed. A young boatbuilder called Edgar survives, and he moves with the rest of his family to a village called Dreng’s Ferry, which in time transforms into the town of Kingsbridge, the setting of the Kingsbridge series. The story follows the lives and relationships of Edgar, his local Alderman, Wilwulf and his French wife Lady Ragna of Cherbourg, and Aldred a monk who dreams of transforming his abbey into a centre of learning.

“When the Roman Empire declined, Britain went backward.”

“The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett
  • Glanceabook: Even though this is a chunkster at around 900 pages, this story is so well-told and the characters so realistic, it is not an onerous read. The text takes the reader on a fascinating journey into Dark Ages Britain, with everyday life brought to life in cinematic detail.
  • Washington Post: Ken Follett’s ‘Pillars of the Earth’ prequel is just as transporting — and lengthy — as his famous epic. Follett presents his worlds in granular detail, but the narratives never stand still. Something dramatic, appalling or enraging happens in virtually every chapter. Rape, murder, arson, infanticide and betrayals of every stripe follow one another in relentless succession. The result is a massive entertainment that illuminates an obscure corner of British history with intelligence and great narrative energy. “The Evening and the Morning” is a most welcome addition to the Kingsbridge series. I hope it won’t be the last.
  • The AU Review: “The usual character archetypes are here: the gifted young builder, the driven noblewoman, the corrupt bishop, the devoted monk. And they’re as well rounded and interesting as ever. Well paced and packed with events both historical and fictional, Follett’s writing is straightforward and well researched throughout, making for easy and immersive reading. … Follett continues to explore the minutiae of historical life in compelling and character-driven detail. Quite simply, he knows how to tell a story, and page after page, he does exactly that, all while somehow making the building of a local bridge seem every bit as exciting as a Viking raid. The Evening and the Morning marks another excellent trip to Kingsbridge – and hopefully not our last.”

Quotes:

“It was curious, but a wrongdoer found out could often be morally indignant, as if the discovery were the offense, rather than the original transgression.”

“You want a grand passion, a lifelong romance, but those exist only in poems,” Genevieve said. “In real life we women settle for what we can get.”

Author: Ken Follett

Awards: British Book Awards shortlist 2021

The Kingsbridge Series:

  1. The Pillars of the Earth published 1989
  2. World Without End published 2007
  3. A Column of Fire published 2017


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