Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For my latest Top Ten Tuesday, I look at the book that is probably going to be the most epic historical fiction read of 2023 with The Armour of Light by Ken Follett.
Out of all the authors who dive into the complex and impressive genre of historical fiction, few are as well-known or epic as Ken Follett, who has been dominating the genre for years with his massive and epic tomes. An accomplished thriller author, I have only really had the chance to explore Follett’s historical fiction books, with his Century trilogy being a particular favourite of mine (one of my favourite trilogies of all time). However, Follett’s most iconic work has to be his Kingsbridge series, which have long gained mass recognition and accolades.
The Kingsbridge books are a series of massive, epic novels that chronicle the complex lives of the residence of the town of Kingsbridge in historical England. Each book follows the lives of several intriguing characters as they attempt to survive the various challenges and turmoil of the age, often coming into conflict with each other in some elaborate and extended ways. The series started in 1989 with The Pillars of Earth, which is probably Follett’s most successful novel. Set over the course of 50 years in the 12th century, The Pillars of Earth showcased a range of personal, political, economic and social issues that the characters spent their lives overcoming in different ways, often loaded with dramatic or historical significance. An exceptionally epic book, The Pillars of the Earth is very highly regarded and was turned into a compelling TV miniseries with an awesome cast.
Follett has since followed up his original novel several times throughout his career, with each of the Kingsbridge books set in a different period of the town’s history. For example, the 2007 release World Without End (which was also adapted into a miniseries), is set in the 14th century around the start of the Hundred Year’s War. The 2017 novel, A Column of Fire, was another compelling sequel that mirrored the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I and featured a compelling plot involving Catholic spies and religious conflict. The fourth book was the 2020 novel, The Evening and the Morning, which served as a prequel to the rest of the series and showed the founding of Kingsbridge in the early years of Viking infested 11th century. All four of these books have been exceptionally good, and I love following a whole new group of characters while exploring the unique aspects and conflicts of their particular historical era.
Due to how impressive and addictive the first four books of this series have proven to be, I was naturally deeply excited when I found out that Follett was releasing a fifth Kingsbridge novel later this year with The Armour of Light. Set for release in late September 2023, The Armour of Light will follow several new characters amid the age of revolution and industry.
The grand master of gripping fiction is back. International No.1 bestseller Ken Follett returns to Kingsbridge with an epic tale of revolution and a cast of unforgettable characters.
Revolution is in the air
1792. A tyrannical government is determined to make England a mighty commercial empire. In France, Napoleon Bonaparte begins his rise to power, and with dissent rife, France’s neighbours are on high alert.
Kingsbridge is on the edge
Unprecedented industrial change sweeps the land, making the lives of the workers in Kingbridge’s prosperous cloth mills a misery. Rampant modernization and dangerous new machinery are rendering jobs obsolete and tearing families apart.
Tyranny is on the horizon
Now, as international conflict nears, a story of a small group of Kingsbridge people – including spinner Sal Clitheroe, weaver David Shoveller and Kit, Sal’s inventive and headstrong son – will come to define the struggle of a generation as they seek enlightenment and fight for a future free from oppression…
Taking the reader straight into the heart of history with the fifth novel in the ground-breaking Kingsbridge series, The Armour of Light is master storyteller Ken Follett’s most ambitious novel to date.
Wow, 2023 just keeps looking brighter and brighter for awesome upcoming books and I am particularly happy to see that Follett is dropping another Kingsbridge book, which is easily one of my favourite historical series of all time.
My excitement has been peeked even further by the fact that The Armour of Light is going to be set around the Napoleonic era and the following industrial revolution of the early 19th century. The hints of the turmoil and conflict that follows the industrial revolution is pretty intriguing, especially as the wool and cloth trade has always been such a centrepiece of the Kingsbridge novels, with the characters usually involved with them in some way. Seeing that entire industry get radically altered in The Armour of Light is going to be exceeding interesting, especially as two of the main characters are a spinner and a weaver. I have no doubt this is going to result in quite an epic story of revolt and a philosophical war, and that’s not even taking into account the inevitable and powerful personal conflicts that are bound to show up. Follett is bound to take this story in some extremely captivating and dangerous directions, and I am sure I will be caught up in them the entire way through.
If I’m going to be honest, there is no way that I will not have an amazing time reading The Armour of Light when it comes out. All of Follett’s previous Kingsbridge novels have been incredible and I doubt The Armour of Light is going to be any different. If it features the author’s usual impressive combination of historical detail and awesome characters, then I will power through this upcoming book in no time at all, even with its 1000+ page length. I have very little doubt this is going to be one of the absolute best historical books of 2023 and I cannot wait to get my hands on this fantastic tome later this year.
2 thoughts on “Waiting on Wednesday – The Armour of Light by Ken Follett”
I loved The Pillars of Earth but haven’t read any of Follett’s other books. I hope you enjoy The Armor of Light when you read it!
LikeLiked by 1 person
The good thing about this series is you can generally read each book as a standalone, so always an opportunity to start again here.