16 Jun 2021


 Given that The Pillars Of The Earth is one of my favourite books EVER but that I didn't enjoy its sequel,  World Without End, which is set some two centuries later, it was with some, pleasure and yet some, what, trepidation that Mr T presented me with a copy {a hard back copy to boot} of its prequel, The Evening And The Morning. Today I'm excited to be sharing my thoughts on ...


GENRE: Historical Fiction


SERIES: First book in a series though the third to be published.




It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, and England faces attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Life is hard, and those with power wield it harshly, bending justice according to their will – often in conflict with the king. With his grip on the country fragile and with no clear rule of law, chaos and bloodshed reign.


Into this uncertain world three people come to the fore: a young boatbuilder, who dreams of a better future when a devastating Viking raid shatters the life that he and the woman he loves hoped for; a Norman noblewoman, who follows her beloved husband across the sea to a new land only to find her life there shockingly different; and a capable monk at Shiring Abbey, who dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired throughout Europe.


Now, with England at the dawn of the Middle Ages, these three people will each come into dangerous conflict with a ruthless bishop, who will do anything to increase his wealth and power, in an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, death and birth, and love and hate. {Inner Front Cover Blurb}

It was hard to stay awake all night, Edgar found, even on the most important night of your life. {First Sentence}

'With my own eyes I witnessed the depravity and sin of the church at Dreng's Ferry. It was my duty to report what I had seen.'

'You shut your mouth lad,' said Wynstan, although he was only a couple of years older. 'I'm talking to the sorcerer, not the sorcerers cat. It's your abbot, not you, who is trying to seize my minster and add it to his empire.' {Memorable Moment, Page 272}

MY THOUGHTS ... Though chronologically book one in the Kingsbridge series, published after the other three books, The Evening And the Morning is the prequel to The Pillars Of The Earth {one of my favourite books EVER} and its successors, World Without End and {a book I've only just discovered when searching the author's website} A Column Of Fire.*

A story of everyday folk, of nobility, of slaves, of men and women of the cloth. The author has such a way of embracing his characters, of bringing them to life that, love them or hate them, they make for great reading.

As good as if not better than The Pillars Of the Earth {which did I mention is one of my favourite books EVER? I did, didn't I?} and way better than World Without End.

Certainly characters I invested in ... and believe me when I say there's a lot, an awful lot of them to invest in for this isn't any one individual's story but that of many. 

Great strong female leads and, oh my goodness, the 'baddies'. Suffice to say I spent a lot of time waiting for them to get their come-uppance and, well worth the wait, one of them in particular {sorry but I shan't be naming names} come the end of the book gets his come-uppance big time and in a very public way.

Set at the end of the Dark Ages. An epic read in all senses of the word; over 800 pages of love and loss, loyalties, religion, revenge, power struggles, battles, rape, beatings, murder ... its all here in a wonderfully woven power tapestry.


FOLLOW KEN FOLLETT ... ~ Website ~ Goodreads ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~

 Chronologically in order with the publication dates in brackets ...

  1. 997 The Evening And The Morning {2020}  
  2. 1135 The Pillars Of The Earth {1989}
  3. 1327 World Without End {2007}
  4. 1558 A Column Of Fire {2017}


Kelly said...

I read Pillars of the Earth when it first came out. I've had World Without End sitting on my shelf since its release, but have always been hesitant to begin it since I didn't know if it would matter that it had been so long since I'd read the first. Maybe I should just start over and read them all in chronological order. I don't normally do re-reads, but I'm sure Pillars of the Earth would read like new for me. I've certainly slept since then...

Glad this one was such a hit for you!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I can't wait to read this!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad you enjoyed this one, Felicity! I loved The Pillars Of The Earth and never read the books that came after. I may have to try this prequel though.

nightwingsraven said...

I am glad that you enjoyed this
book so very much. And from what
you said in your enthusiastic and
excellent review it sounds like a
very compelling story with truly
memorable characters. I will
definitely keep it in mind.

Melliane said...

Oh it looks intriguing!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

What a lovely review, your strength of feeling about this storyline really shines through in your narrative.

Not one for me I'm afraid, as this simply isn't an era which particularly excites me, hence I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never read any of the series.

This was obviously a great choice of present by Mr T though, so I guess he earned quite a few 'smarty points'? :)

DMS said...

Pillar of the Earth is one of my favorite books ever. Loved it! I was so happy to read this one and love it too. Of course- there were some characters I just hated. So glad to read your review and see you enjoyed it too! :)

the bookworm said...

Glad you enjoyed this one, great review. I've had his other book The Pillars Of The Earth on my TBR pile for so long.