FICTION

The Evening and the Morning

Viking. (Kingsbridge, Bk. 4). Sept. 2020. 928p. ISBN 9780525954989. $36. F
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It’s still the Dark Ages in 997 CE, England, where a young man, Edgar, steals away from his house to flee with his love, Sunni. But the Vikings attack and Sunni is killed; so are his mother and father. Edgar’s livelihood—boatmaking—is gone, too. Ragna is an aristocrat, daughter of the Norman count of Cherbourg. Her father’s plans for her are upended when she meets an English thane, Wilf, and sparks fly. Soon Ragna is in England and married to Wilf, all she had hoped for. But life doesn’t proceed as she’d expected. Wilf’s family proves to be her enemy, and her hold over him isn’t as absolute as she’d thought. The Vikings attack again, and Wilf returns from battle an invalid, his wits addled. The vultures gather. During these times, Ragna and Edgar cross paths several times. Their feelings for each other grow, but Edgar’s a commoner and Ragna’s a noblewoman and married. It takes 10 years, during which calamity after calamity rolls over them, before there is any possibility for them to be together.
VERDICT Follett has done it again. Readers will gobble up this exciting prequel to his 1989 classic, The Pillars of the Earth.

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