Edgar’s life is upended when a Viking raid leaves his father dead and the family boat building business destroyed. Looking for a new start, the family moves to the village of Dreng’s Ferry. There his life becomes entwined with Ragna, a Norman noblewoman, and Brother Aldred who hopes to turn his abbey into a center for learning. The year is 997, and England is in turmoil, with Vikings attacking from the east and Welsh from the west. The king has little power, so the nobility mostly do as they please.
As usual, Ken Follett transports the reader to another time with wonderful descriptions of place and characters. I was totally immersed in the book and was sorry to see it end. This is a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth. The village of Dreng’s Ferry will one day be Kingsbridge and Brother Aldred’s little abbey is destined to be the magnificent cathedral.
eGalley review Publication date 9.15.2020