Title:
Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1)
By:
Ken Follett
Pages:
985
Rating:
4

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This is an epic of love, hatred, war and revolution. This is a huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.

nIt is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot 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.

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) book cover

This isn’t my usual sort of story, but I’m very glad I read it (Thanks to Becky). The opening hit home, of course; the Williams family could’ve been my forebears, after all.

From that, I got sucked in, enjoying Billy’s exploits, feeling proud of both him and his sister, as well as Grigori Peshkov, who I also liked. Then, there’s the history – the sheer and overwhelming scope of the First World War, and as events move on you really do get into these people’s heads and feel for them. It’s an excellently written character work, with the tone set by the period and the real historical events serving only to enhance the drama.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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