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The Evening and the Morning

(Kingsbridge #0)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  44,550 ratings  ·  4,460 reviews
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 boatbuilde
Hardcover, 817 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Macmillan
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Glenda Advance review copies are given to anyone with an audience (book reviewers, librarians, other authors, etc.) to help generate buzz and interest prior …moreAdvance review copies are given to anyone with an audience (book reviewers, librarians, other authors, etc.) to help generate buzz and interest prior to release of the final product. Most find it helpful to hear what others think and how they rate it to determine if it is a book they want to purchase.(less)
Cass Having just read it, it feels much closer in tone to Pillars than Column of Fire did, IMO. It doesn't end *right* where Pillars begins (it spans from …moreHaving just read it, it feels much closer in tone to Pillars than Column of Fire did, IMO. It doesn't end *right* where Pillars begins (it spans from years 997 to 1007), but it definitely sets all the foundations for the Kingsbridge we see later on. And it has far more of the tight community focus than Column did.(less)

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Debra (having surgery will be back in a few days)
It's 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages in England and one man is attempting to make his Abby a center of learning while others are fighting/manipulating/using corruption for Control. Who you marry is hardly ever a choice but an arrangement, there are power plays, wars, corruption and greed. There is also a sense of family, love, hope, survival and friendship.

This book is the prequel to The Pillars of the Earth (which happens to be in my top 10 favorite books of all time). Needless to say, I quick
Angela M
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a while to be pulled into this story, but once I was - I was in for the over 900 pages ! The novel follows the stories of three main characters and how their lives cross, and there’s a slew of other characters in England from 997 CE to 1007. This was a chaotic time filled with violence and power struggles over land and other riches. The power of men vs men, men vs the church, men vs their king, men vs women, slavery, the have and the have nots, deceit, violence, brutal punishments, lies, ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Escapism from the first page............Just what the doctor ordered and perfect October reading. A vivid, absorbing and dark historical fiction tale of good versus evil, love and hate and a time when corruption and injustice was the norm. An unputdownable saga and yet horrifying in places.
It certainly took me out of my comfort zone but I loved escaping back to the dark ages with this one every evening after work. It make me realise that life in 997 certainly wasn’t for the faint hearted or fo
Emily May
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, arc, historical
I wasn't sure if I was going to review this book because, honestly, I feel pretty ambivalent towards it. I liked The Evening and the Morning more than A Column of Fire, but still quite a lot less than the previous two books.

I agree with the reviews that say this has a closer feel to the first two books than A Column of Fire. It has that pastoral, everyday life feel that I came to love so much in The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I felt like CofF spun off in an entirely new directi
Carolyn Walsh
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars raised to 5 for its entertainment and enjoyment value.

At first glance, the book seems formidable with 928 pages. Once I started it moved swiftly with scarcely a dull moment. It begins in the year 997 when the Dark Ages are drawing to a close and the start of what we refer to as Medieval times. The growth and transformation of a crude, small village to the thriving town of Knightsbridge, England, the setting of Pillars of Earth, is described through the hard work, tribulations, joys,
I am officially in a book coma now... after reading all 3 previous books in the Kingsbridge series, was there any chance I'd miss the newest one, the prequel, entitled The Evening and the Morning? Nope... it was gonna happen as soon as possible. NetGalley declined me. I waited until the library had it available because I promised myself no new books until I read some on my TBR. I thought it would take 2 months to get to me on the list, then four days ago, NYPL told me I was next on the list. So. ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite interesting prequel, long but worth the time it takes. I guess it was my first HF on the times before Hastings, so I award the fourth star for the historical backgound.
The story of Kingsbridge begin seventy years before the Norman invasion, and the relations with the Normans, differences in law, cultural clash, Viking raids etc are neatly integrated into the story.
Time well spent, especially in company with Mr Lee's voice.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Such a disappointment. It’s Follett’s usual intermingling of characters’ stories but it fails to engage. The characters lacked depth and the plots lacked momentum. Overall, this is just lacking.
This is an excellent epic novel that begins in 997 CE, set in the fictional township of Dreng’s Ferry before it becomes Kingsbridge. Although some scholars, believing the height of human civilization was the Greek and Roman Empires, call this the Dark Ages, there are others who believe it wasn’t so dark. Ken Follet’s fictionalized account of life during this time period, reflects a busy and industrious period in the lives of English folk. It was often brutal with hardships that couldn’t be predi ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have so enjoyed Mr Follett's Pillars of the Earth series so to be able to read the prequel to that trilogy was something I so wanted to do.

The story blends many characters both sinister and well intentioned into the village that would one day be Knightsbridge. The story takes us through the interweaving of a cast of characters that would eventually shape the town and the cathedral that many of us came to know in Mr Follett's previous books.

This is a long saga, one that relates and intermingles
12/25 (48%) 2 stars
Dear Ken Follett,

thank you for everything, but this is the end of our common path.
You don't have to be sad: Since the moment I first read "The Pillars of the Earth," your books have given me a lot. You certainly played a big part in my aim to become a history teacher: Tom, Phillip and Aliena, even William, they all piqued my interest for the English Middle Ages. Thank you for the beautiful hours, the great characters, thank yo
Maria Espadinha
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Prelude for a Prequel

Edgar is at the beach waiting for Sunni. They’ve been planning a escape for sometime, and... if everything goes according to plan ... tonight will be the night!

But... unfortunately... nothing went the way he planned...

Whilst searching for the graceful figure of Sunni, Edgar eyed one... two... three... manny... Viking caravels sailing silently towards the British coast. Their fierce occupants were all holding giant fire sticks and, for a moment, Edgar could do nothing but
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another masterful work of historical fiction by Ken Follett, and an improvement, I think, on 'Column of Fire'.

'The Evening and the Morning' is thoroughly enjoyable even if you are not familiar with the rest of the Kingsbridge series. The time and place are both excellently-rendered. Follett has a remarkable talent for showcasing the priorities of people in history -- what was most important to them in their cultural context. In a broad scope, those things don't change much over time: we yearn fo
Maria Espadinha
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kingsbridge Backwards

What can you expect of a book about the Dark Ages?
Darkness, what else?!
Well... in fact there is something else, cos in spite of all the darkness, we humans have also been genetically programmed for Love, and Mr. Follett didn’t forget about it — romance is also there, struggling to shine in a net of wickedness and obscurity... 😉

I just gave you a short glimpse of this giant book; however, since it’s a prequel, I’ll complement this brief review with another prequel. For that, M
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Pillars of the Earth. Thought books 2 and 3 were meh. I was very hopeful that this book would be in line with the depth and breadth of an epic tale as I felt when I read Pillars. Alas, it is not.
The writing is wooden and even stilted at times. Follett's characters are a regurgitation of previous books' characters, just with different names. I could predict exactly what was going to happen for the entire 900+ pages.
Again, as with his other books, Follett's treatment of women is inferior
Rebecca Crunden
Apr 06, 2020 marked it as to-read

Ken, you legend.
For you reading pleasure, I present the long-awaited prequel to The Pillars of the Earth (1989), The Evening and the Morning (2020). TPOTE is long thought of as a classic historical masterpiece, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with, but don't concern yourself, because this latest installment of the Kingsbridge series is just as immersive, dramatic, captivating and spellbinding, and I guarantee you will be as glued to all 832 pages as I was.

Set at the end of the dark ages, on the cusp of the
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)

This was actually the first Follet novel that I have ever tackled. Shortly after I started, one of the first things that caught my attention was the extent to which everything was described, even in conversations between characters. At first, it gave the book a bit of an over-explanatory kind of tone, and I quickly found myself wondering just how long it was going to take to eventually work my way through the several hu
Blaine DeSantis
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fine effort by Ken Follett. This time we are looking at the Prequel to his Kingsbridge Cathedral Series, and while it ends about 125 years before Pillars of the Earth begins, he tells a story of how Kingsbridge developed.

As with all of Follett’s works he is meticulous in his history research, and I particularly enjoyed learning how important Eels were to the British diet! He has his usual assortment of villains and in this book there are a lot of people to dislike!!

We follow the lives of
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There were a couple of reasons I chose to read this book. First, I've read several of Ken Follett's earlier novels and really liked them. Second, because I keep hearing about Pillars of the Earth and The Century trilogies and keep meaning to read them, but haven't yet. When I read that this book was a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth trilogy I thought I would pick it up as a start to the other three. I didn't expect to be blown away, especially after reading the first few pages and realizing ...more
I do not read a lot of historical fiction, but when I do, and it is a very good one like The Evening and the Morning, I always ask myself why I do not read more in this genre.
Probably because Ken Follett is such a master and I think it would be hard to find a series, or even a book, that matches Follett's books in every aspect.
Strangely enough, I wanted to re-read one of Follett's other titles, The Third Twin, and I was very disappointed. It was not at all what I remembered, mainly because it fe
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this, but can not speak to how well it compares to the rest of this series.

When Ken Follett’s Pillars Of The Earth was published I had just read Sharon Kay Penman’s When Christ and His Saints Slept (Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine #1), which is one of my favorite books of all-time, and I just couldn’t motivate myself to read another 900+ page book that takes place during the same time period.

It has, however, stayed on my TBR list. So, I was very pleasantly surprised to see Follet h
Susan Johnson
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I like a good, long historical novel to get lost in. I started with Susan Howatch and then on t0 the marvelous Edward Rutherford and the fabulous C.J. Sansom and, of course, Ken Follett. This newest book takes us to the beginning of Kingsbridge and talks about how it got established.

It's the Dark Ages, 997, when Edgar's town is attacked by Vikings and the family's boat building business and home are destroyed and his father is killed. They are given a run down farm in the very small place of D
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Staring in 997 CE, we follow the lives of the three main characters: Edgar is the gifted son of a boatbuilder whose father and married lover are killed during a Vikings raid, and his mother and brothers move to a small town called Dreng's Ferry, which becomes Kingsbridge. Ragna of Normandy falls hard for a British earl (Wilf), moving across the Channel, where she finds life to be a challenge as she is despised by her husband's two brothers, stepmother, and son. Brother Aldred, a junior monk, has ...more
Otis Chandler
I loved Pillars of the Earth, so I was very excited for this book, and I tore through all 900 pages. The middle ages were fascinating, and I loved having a picture of what life back then might have been like.

Power plays were common, and rule of law less existent, so people got away with a lot, and often those in power got there by being very corrupt and selfish. But of course, then there are our heros, Edgar the builder, Ragna the Norman nobleman's daughter, and Aldred the ambitious monk. I par
Anything Ken Follett writes is a masterpiece. His intricate plots, deep characters, and his writing voice work together to create a beautiful tapestry of a book. I’m never disappointed when I read a Ken Follett book. Never.

The Evening and the Morning was a prequel to his Award Winning novel the Pillars of the Earth. This book showed Kingsbridge’s humble origins into the city it would eventually become.

The three main characters were terrific. I liked how all three were very smart and could at t
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thirty years ago, Ken Follett published his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Now, Follett's masterful new prequel The Evening and the Morning takes us on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins and is a superb addition to the well-loved Kingsbridge series. 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 ...more
Dana Ilie
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.
Joey Gremillion
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Follett’s does not disappoint. In this prequel of the Pillars of the Earth series, a wealthy noble lady from Normandy marries the noble man of her dreams, follows him back to England and discovers that her marriage was NOT made in Heaven. Meanwhile. A young man, a brilliant architect and builder, pines for the woman he loved who was murdered by the Vikings. There’s something for everyone in this book: romance! War! Religion! SUPERB!!
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-to-read
After numerous attempts at reading historical fiction author Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, and failed, I've attempted to read his prequel (The Evening and the Morning) to his famous Kings Bridge series.

This book is very long - reminds me very much so of Edward Rutherfurd and his historical fiction sagas in that this one spans multiple years but also incorporates the main characters but also intertwines minor characters that play a helpful role in the development of the story overall.
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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 36 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.

Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of t

Other books in the series

Kingsbridge (4 books)
  • The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
  • World Without End (Kingsbridge, #2)
  • A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge, #3)

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