• France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Brazil

Fall of Giants

Published in September 2010, and debuted at #1 on The New York Times’ hardcover fiction bestseller list. The paperback edition reached #1 on The New York Times’ bestseller list in September 2012.

Fall of Giants is a magnificent 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, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters 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, Ken brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.

Excerpts and more

Read the first chapter

Listen to an excerpt

See the cast of characters

Discussion guide for reading groups and students

Read the reviews

See the bestseller rankings

Read about a stage adaptation by Humboldt Grammar School, Solingen, Germany

Read a light-hearted explanation of what really happened in World War I

Published as

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, Dutton, New York, September 2010.

Fall of Giants has been published in 15 languages, and almost two million copies were bought worldwide in the first ten weeks.

Digital editions

  • The iBook edition is available at the iTunes store
  • The Kindle edition is available through Amazon

The Century Trilogy

The second novel in the Century trilogy, Winter of the World, was published in September 2012. The third novel, Edge of Eternity, was published in September 2014.