• NZ Booklovers

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

Updated: Nov 16


As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Ken Follett is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels who has sold more than 160 million copies of his books worldwide.


The Evening and the Morning is a prequel novel to Ken Follet’s mega-million selling novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Set at the end of the Dark Ages, life is harsh for people living in England. They face attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. The king’s grip on the country is fragile, so chaos and bloodshed are the norm, and those with local power often bend the rules to suit themselves.

There are many characters, but there are three in particular that stand out. There is Ragna, a Norman noblewoman who travels to England to marry for love, but she is soon in conflict with her husband’s family. Edgar is a young boatbuilder whose life is changed forever after a Viking raid and he is forced to become a poor farmer. The third main character is Alfred, an educated monk who dreams of transforming his church into a centre of learning to enrich people’s lives. These three characters’ lives become intertwined, and they all come into dangerous conflict with a wealthy bishop who is determined to do anything to increase his wealth and power.

This is an epic story from an author who is a superb storyteller. Don’t be put off by the size of the book as you’ll be hooked and swept along by the story. I found this book to be addictive, I couldn’t stop turning the pages, it was truly a novel to get lost in. The story is powerful and the characters are beautifully drawn. The Evening and The Morning is a historical saga you won’t forget. Also, it is definitely recommended for anyone who has enjoyed the Netflix TV Series, The Last Kingdom.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan Publishers

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