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Review: The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

English Dark Ages page-turner

The Evening and the Morning (Kingsbridge, #0)The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ken Follett plots a great novel, that’s for sure. Although we’re pretty sure the hero will win in the end, the story has numerous unexpected twists and turns, making it a joy to read, and difficult to put down.
Edgar is a ship-builder in 10th century England who suffers a number of setbacks and tragedies. However, he is resourceful enough to put his hand to whichever trade comes his way. Ragna is a noblewoman from Normandy who marries an English aristocrat. She is a clever strategist in a man’s world, a trait that helps as well as hinders her. These two characters are drawn together and pulled apart as English society tumbles through power struggles and Viking raids.
I love the detailed descriptions of life in the dark ages: farming, clothing, food, building methods, religious and social structures. Also intriguing was the cast of characters that Follett constructed, with their interweaving aspirations and flaws.
The only reservation I have is the slightly clunky way Follett describes emotions, particularly in the romantic scenes. Having said that, this was also true of the Kingsbridge Trilogy (the books of which this one is the prequel), and I still enjoyed the books enough to purchase this one as well.
Definitely recommended for Dark Ages/Medieval fans.

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