I got the Evening And The Morning, by, Ken Follett, from NetGalley, for a fair and honest review.
15th September 2020
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The reason why I requested this book, is for a number of reasons the first is, I have always enjoyed the way Ken Follett, writes as his style for me has always been enjoyable. In Edition as a Prequel, it would be nice to know the origins of Kingsbridge and its monastery
The Evening and the Morning, starts in the year 997ce a time when England is being attacked by both the Welsh from the west and the Vikings from the east.
In this world the plans of a young boat builder are destroyed in one night after the Vikings kill is father and the woman he plans to run away with. A french noble woman, who follows the lover of her life to England. In addition to this, we have an ambitious monk who wants to turn his abbey into a seat of learning.
When I started reading this novel it felt like I had put on a pair of comfortable slippers not only because of Ken Follett’s writing, style, because we are in the region of Kingsbridge a place were as a reader we have been before.
Although Ken Follett examines the balance of power at the time between Church, State and the local leaders who collect rents and supply men to defend the country. What the writer does well is concentrating on personalities and personal relationships with how this has an effect on what people do.
The novel does not concentrate on one individual who is the centre of events but has three people, Norman lady who comes over after falling in love with the local Lord, a young monk who has to fight his urges constantly. Joining them together is the young ship builder turned farmer when after a viking raid one night both his first love and his family’s wealth were destroyed in one night.
One thing I must point out is the way that the books events were laid out, one way to descridbe it would be, driving over a number of rolling hills. This gave the novel an almost writing by numbers feel.
For example at the start of the book, you got Egbert the boat builder leaving his home to meet, the woman, he his going to run away with, the Vikings then attack and every one is in danger, there is a fight with the Vikings, which leads to a conclusion of that event, however this sets up the next action of the book.
The book is not just, one event after another, as there are some events quicker than others , in addition there are multiple events happening most of the time throughout the book. Although it did feel like just as you thought the story was coming to an end, the writer added another conflict to extend the book, although even it is a big book it did not seem longer than necessary.
I did actually think that this was a good book, however it does have its minor problems, it would be remiss of me for not mentioning them.
Who would I recommend this book to, in some ways that easy, as this is a prequel any one who has read the first three books in the series to find out things like why there is an abbey in Kingsbrige or even why its called that name in the first place.
Another group I would recommend it two is the Ken Follett fans who have not read any of this series before, why not start with the one set in the earliest time period. After all as I said going back to read on of this writers books is like putting on an old pair of comfy shoes, it would be worth reading this book as it will give you a new pair of comfy shoes.
In addition to this if you are in to historical fiction outside of a World War II setting then I would recommend Ken Follett’s prequel to the Kingsbridge series, The Evening and the Morning, is for you.
About Ken Follett
Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
He started his career as a reporter, first with his hometown newspaper the South Wales Echo and then with the London Evening News. Subsequently, he worked for a small London publishing house.
Ken’s first major success came with the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978. A World War II thriller set in England.
In 1989, Ken’s epic novel about the building of a medieval cathedral, The Pillars of the Earth, was published. It reached number one on best-seller lists everywhere and has sold over 24 million copies worldwide.
It was turned into a major television series produced by Ridley Scott, which aired in 2010. World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, proved equally popular when it was published in 2007.
Loving music almost as much as he loves books, he, is an enthusiastic bass guitar player in two bands. He lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with his wife Barbara, the former Labour Member of Parliament for Stevenage
Slected books Ken Follett
Buy the first three books in the series from amazon
Buy the Centuray Trilogy from Amazon
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