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  • The Armour of Light

  • Kingsbridge, Book 4
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 21 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (365 ratings)
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The Armour of Light

By: Ken Follett
Narrated by: John Lee
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Summary

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 listener 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.

©2023 Ken Follett (P)2023 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic reviews

'Follett's storytelling skills make their adventures riveting' The Times

'An effortlessly engaging and entertaining read' Daily Mail

'Bold in scale and meticulously researched' The Sunday Times

What listeners say about The Armour of Light

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Decent yarn, not up to the earlier novels.

A enjoyable way to while away a few hours but not as well written as the earlier novels. No real twists in the tale and other writers capture infantry battles far more effectively. Follets great strength was in describing medieval construction, a subject which he had clearly gone to enormous lengths to understand.

Also, Follet has fallen into the trap of writing historical fiction through the prism of 21st century preoccupations. He doesn’t seem to have made much effort to grasp the tenets of 18th/19th century Methodism for example, a movement which set great store by the idea of personal holiness. It seems highly unlikely that many Methodists of the time would have turned a blind eye to quite so much adultery and homosexuality, for example! I much prefer it when authors give their characters opinions plausible by the standards of the time.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance. Story weaker than expected

John Lee’s narration was top class but the rags to riches story lacked credibility. Enjoyable but not great.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As always, a great listen

Never fails to want me to listen more - cannot wait for the next historical instalment.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing like as good as it's predecessors

I was really looking forward to this book being released but it was quite disappointing. Very formulaic and predictable, good guy, bad guy etc. It was an effort to finish it. The delivery wasn't up to the mark either.
Its saving grace is that it's quite lengthy so you can fall asleep and not miss much.
Not terrible, one to buy if you want an unexciting time killer.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

As ever the characters are absorbing and the historical detail is fantastic. Another fab read from Ken Follett

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An engaging historic saga.

A worthy follow on from the previous books in the series that easily stand’s alone in its own right. A good blend of well worked history and family sagas covering an interesting period of British early social industrial development. Altogether an enjoyable story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Continuing a great series

I love the work by Ken Follett. Bringing history to life through human stories. John Lee is a fantastic narrator.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Villains, unrequited love, lowly peasants elevated, good old Follet Opera

Another epic from Kingsbridge Follet epic, same formulaic story line. Like a putting a pair of very old trousers on, you know how it works, you know what the end result will be but they’re still comfy without being too taxing

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful storyline

very well narrated, the storyline was excellent. a great insight into the 18th and 19th century.
Thee whole series is fantastic.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as gripping as other books in series

I found the beginning to be really good and boring towards the end.
Struggled to finish the last hour and half.
Narrators are excellent.

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1 person found this helpful