Review: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Description (from cover):

“Ken Follett’s World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics as ‘well-researched, beautifully detailed [with] a terrifically compelling plot’ (The Washington Post) and ‘wonderful history wrapped around a gripping story’ (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

Fall of Giants is Follett’s magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families–American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh–as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…Billy’s sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London…

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action is fast-moving, and the characters are rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.

In future volumes of The Century Trilogy, subsequent generations of the same families will travel through the great events of the rest of the twentieth-century, changing themselves–and the century itself. With passion and the hand of a master, Follett brings us into a world we though we knew, but now will never seem the same again.”

 My thoughts:

          This book is beautiful. One of the best books I have ever read, hands down. Ken Follett is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to historical fiction. The attention to historical details is amazing and his characters become like family. You genuinely care what happens to them as they wage war in Europe during WWI. This book ends in the early 1920’s and introduces us to Hitler and sets the scene for Europe to be dragged into another devastating war with WWII. The next in this trilogy is Winter of the World and I expect that this will lead up to WWII and take us through the war years and the years following the war.

         Follett writes with rich historical facts and you actually feel that you were there fighting along for peace instead of wanting to lead Europe into a devastating world war. You follow along with the characters as they go through the fight for Women’s Suffrage and go through the Russian Revolution and meet the Lenin and watch as the rebels murder Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1917. This simply is a book that must be read by European historical fiction fans. I still can’t get over how wonderful this books was. It was a long read with 985 large pages, but it moves so fast you find yourself reading hundreds of pages a day. The story line flows with ease and before you know it, you’re sucked into an historical fiction masterpiece. Highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to read the next and see what is in store in the future for these characters and their families.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Title: Fall of Giants
Author: Ken Follett
Series: Century Trilogy #1
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Pages: 985
Genre: Historical Fiction

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind.  All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

10 thoughts on “Review: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

  1. I would love to read this series (and Game of Thrones), but they're sooooooo thick that it's hard to justify the time right now (I work in an Independent bookshop and need to read a lot to keep up to date for the customers!)Hearing such rave reviews makes it hard to leave them be though!


  2. Kimberlee, thank you so very much for following Bibliophile's Corner and the invite to stop by. You have a lovely blog and I'll be following you back just as soon as I'm finished with this comment 🙂 Since you loved this book I would like to recommend Follett's Pillars of the Earth. It is a wonderful book set in medieval England that centers around the construction of a cathedral and spans several decades. It is also a hefty tome but worth every minute spent reading it.


  3. Thanks for your lovely comment. I have read 'Pillars of the Earth'. In fact that is the book that made me fall in love with Ken Follett. I read the other one also, but my mind is blank at the moment and I can't remember for the life of me what it is called. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you around.Kimberlee


  4. I've thoroughly enjoyed other historical fiction doorstoppers by Ken Follett (Pillars of the Earth, World Without End) but haven't read this one yet. I was wondering how I'd go with the more recent time period, but you've made it sound just as irresistible. Great review!


  5. Thanks for the lovely compliment. This was a book that I am still in awe of and that rarely happens for me. I really loved this book and cannot wait to get to the next one in the series.Kimberlee


  6. Oh, this is one I have to read soon! I have never really understood WWI. My grandfather was in it (I didn't know him) and when I read about this book, I knew I had to read it! I read Pillars also and this past month I read A Place Called Freedom by Follett. I read it in two days. It was a really fast read for one of his books! I'm very interested in Scottish history and I really enjoyed it. You have a wonderful blog and I see you are reading Anna Karenina which is one I hope to read soon! Have a lovely weekend 🙂


  7. This book is great for understanding WWI. I highly recommend it and if you loved Follett's other books, I'm sure you will love this one too..Pick it up when you get a chance. A fabulous read.Kimberlee


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