Hope you all are doing well and keeping safe out there. We are almost at the end of this year and I just hope 2021 would treat us better. How has your reading going? How many books did you manage to read this year so far? Any Favourites? Let me know in the comments down below! 😊💜
I had the opportunity to be a part of the month long historical fiction readathon organised by Pan Macmillan India and managed to read three historical fiction novels! Well, it would be four if I were to count Hidden in Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer which will be releasing soon. Today, I’ll be discussing Ken Follett’s The Evening and Morning which is the prequel to The Pillars of Earth. If I was being completely honest, I have to admit that I never read a book by Ken Follett before. Yes, I am that girl. 🙈
Keep reading to find out what I thought about the book!
It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns.
In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined. A young boatbuilder’s life is turned upside down when the only home he’s ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. . . . A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband’s homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. . . . A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.
The Pillars of Earth was published in 1989 and after almost 31 years, Follett writes The Evening and Morning which is the prequel to The Pillars of Earth!
If you are familiar with Follett’s writing, you would know that he really takes his sweet time in fleshing out the characters. I am someone who isn’t all that familiar with his writing but this girl LOVES a book with well-sketched characters!
Set in 997 CE, The Evening and Morning tells the story of three main characters–Edgar, who is an excellent boatbuilder but often finds himself haunted by his tragic past, Aldred, a monk whose ambitions lie in building a centre for excellence and knowledge and Lady Ragna, the Norman Count’s Daughter who later marries an Englishman. All these characters often cross paths with each other throughout the course of the novel. There’s also another important character, Bishop Wynstam, whose arrival in the novel is linked to power, politics and economy. We get to see a lot of political power play that affects the poor. There are a lot of sub-plots which adds up to the main plot and makes the story all-encompassing resulting in a pleasurable reading experience.
We see the town of Dreng’s Ferry and learn the backstory of the infamous Kingsbridge. I also liked all the little descriptions about the building and the construction process. The setting truly feels like that of the 10th Century. With that comes all the descriptions of what life was like in the 10th century. All the characters felt real. Follett does follow a descriptive style of writing but I think all the details really adds up to the atmosphere in the novel.
One thing that did bug me was the fact that it says on the jacket cover that Pillars of The Earth beings right where The Evening and Morning ends. But that isn’t quite true. There’s a gap of 120 years between the two novels. The Evening and Morning is a big book which would ask for a long period of time to finish. The starting of the book was a bit boring but Follett was able to dazzle me with the 10th century atmosphere that he created! So, yeah, go ahead and read this book, lovelies!
So as not to give any spoilers, I am keeping my review short today. If you did like the Kingsbridge series and are a fan of Ken Follett, then I am pretty sure you will LOVE this book!
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