A Time of Conflict. It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, and England linces attacks tiers the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Life is hard, and those with power wield it harshly, bendii. justice according to their will - often in conflict with the monarchy. With the king's grip on the country fragile and with no clear rule of law, chaos and bloodshed reign. Three Lives Intertwined. Into this sucerioin world three people come to the fore : a young boatbuilder, who dreams of a hetter future when a devastating Viking raid shatters the life that he and the woman he loves hoped for ; a Norman noblewoman, who follows her beloved husband across the sea to a new land only to find her life there shockingly different ; an. a capable monk ar Shiring Abbey, who dreams transforming his humble home into a centre of learning admired throughout Europe. The Dawn of a New Age. Now, with England ar the dawn of the Middle Ages, these three people will each come into dangerous conflict with a ruthless bishop, who will do anything to increase his wealth and pawn in ins epic tale of ambition and rivalry, death and birth, and love and hate. Thirty years ago we were introduced to Kingsbridge in The Pillars of the Earth, and now in this masterful prequel international bestseller Ken Follett will take us on a journey into a rich past, which will en where his masterpiece begins.