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Publisher's Summary

Number-One New York Times Best Seller

An Amazon Best Book of 2020

A thrilling and addictive new novel - a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth - set in England at the dawn of a new era: the Middle Ages

"Just as transporting as [The Pillars of the Earth].... A most welcome addition to the Kingsbridge series." (The Washington Post)

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 boatbuilder's life is turned upside down when the only home he's ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in.... A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband's homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic.... A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

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.

©2020 Ken Follett (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“[A] richly told, complex story...Follett is a powerful storyteller...[whose] fans will enjoy this jaunt through the days before England was merry.” (Kirkus, starred) 

“Follett vividly re-creates the ancient era...in this feast for his fans.” (AARP) 

“[An] absorbing and lengthy saga of life in a chaotic and unstable England on the cusp of the Middle Ages...Fans of Follett's ever-popular Kingsbridge series...will flock to this...while intrigued newcomers can start here.” (Booklist

“Follett has done it again. Readers will gobble up this exciting prequel.” (Library Journal

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What listeners say about The Evening and the Morning

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT STORY TELLING

Immediately engrossing and the pace and the entertainment dont slacken. Echoes of Pillars and other Follet tales of the middle ages with monks, priests, artisans, nobles, nuns, heroes and heroines - with the type of plotting and character interactions that have you cheering and sneering and cursing and reaching for the next chapter to see how it all comes out. And then you wish it was double the length.

All with the refreshing political incorrectnesses with which real life resonates.Highly, highly recommended.

82 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I was really waiting for this book!

I love Ken Follett's long, winding stories so I even pre ordered this one...but I had to stop. I simply could not stand the narrator one more minute! His inflection, his voices, his cadence - whatever - simply made me so distracted I hardly felt like I was listening to the story. I have heard him read other audio books and had the same reaction. Maybe it's me, but I recommend at least listening to a sample prior to purchase.

75 people found this helpful

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Great read, despite it being my least favorite of the Kingsbridge series thus far

Ken Follett is the greatest novelist of our age, his Kingsbridge Series and Century Series are masterpieces, and I believe will be some of the few books scholars read 200 years from now.

In this book, Follett follows the same formula he always does. Strong minded/proud female protagonists, smart male heroes who like to build things, love stories that seem destined to fail for most of the book, city folk who believe women don’t know their place, and incredibly devious villains who get their way for most of the book. If you’ve read his other books, you already know what happens in the end.

That being said, I enjoy every book he writes, but one of my favorite aspects of his books is that it puts fictional characters in real world events. In this book there’s very little in the way of real world events. The towns have to put up with Viking raids, and a weak king, but there seemed to be very little in the way of major events that actually happened, unlike: Pillars, End of the World, and Column of Fire that we’re riddled with historical events.

Be that as it may, I still loved it, just loved it the least of the Kingsbridge series thus far. I will continue to read everything Follett writes, as he is the greatest novelist of our time.

43 people found this helpful

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Book Zero

As summer has come to an end and today is the first day of fall, I am saddened to be writing this review. “The Evening and the Morning” will probably be the last book in the Kingsbridge series unless Ken Follett writes another (pre) prequel to these books. I ended up reading the first book in 2012 and adored the next, next, and next novels. I don’t like to read any book twice just because there are too many new and old books out there that I still need to read, but I would not regret reading the Kingsbridge series in sequence. Book Zero has definitely completed my summer.

20 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I have read many KF novels and always enjoyed learning of history through them. This book read like a harlequin romance. Sex, torture and shallow characters. I could see the ending within the first couple of chapters.

19 people found this helpful

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Great Story

I just finished listening to this for the first time. It was a great story of how Kingsbridge became to be. There’s so much going on and so many characters to keep track of that I eukaryote have to listen to it again in order for it to all fit together. I’m old so I’ll put the blame on me. I have all four of the Kingsbridge books on Audible and they are one of my favorites to listen to over and over.

19 people found this helpful

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An Epic Story

Ken Follett has written an epic tale of politics, love, betrayal, and revenge.

This story begins at the end of the Dark Ages in England and follows the lives of three people. During a time of chaotic rule and political intrigue, these three navigate their way through the corruption, decadence and upheaval of the land. As time moves on their lives become intertwined and they work together to bring down a corrupt and power hungry Bishop and his deceitful family.

The book was written with such detail that you can't help but be drawn into this majestic world. If you love history then I recommend delving into this magnificent story.

15 people found this helpful

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A masterclass in storytelling

Follett's Kingsbridge series is phenomenal, and this may be the best one. He has a way of slowly ratcheting up the tension that spans decades across Europe, and collides worlds and worldviews like no one else can. John Lee is one of the great narrators, and pulls you into Follett's world with a whole cast of distinguishable and captivating voices. I can only hope Follett has more planned.

14 people found this helpful

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Very Poor

Not historical rather gross and humdrum dialog! Very disappointed
In Ken Follett! Winston sounds like Trump! Regret buying this book! Not what I expected!

11 people found this helpful

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Great story, excellent performance.

I have always enjoyed Follett’s books, but the Knigsbridge series is in a different category, the style and characters on this prequel follow a similar pattern and if you liked the other books this will not disappoint. I was unable to stop listening and can only hope for a 5th maybe set between the English Civil War and the Restoration.

John Lee’s narration is as always great.

11 people found this helpful