• United Kingdom
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Winter of the World

Winter of the World - US

Debuted at #1 on The New York Times’ hardcover and e-book fiction bestseller lists.

Fall of Giants, the first novel in Ken’s extraordinary historical epic, the Century trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as “sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks” (USA Today) and “grippingly told and readable to the end” (New York Times Book Review). The Washington Post said, “If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants, they should be well worth waiting for.”

Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide, until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak…

American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific…

English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism…

Daisy Peshkov, a driven social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war but also the war to come…

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.

As always with Ken, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With passion and the hand of a master, he 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 a table of the principal characters

Discussion guide for students and reading groups

Real Stories of World War Two, inspired by Winter of the World

Timeline of major events

Winter of the World timeline

A timeline of the major events of the era, kindly provided by Editora Arqueiro, the publishers of the Brazilian edition, Inverno do mundo. Click on the image for a larger version or download it.

Bestseller lists

  • #1 on Spain’s La Razón bestseller list (8 November 2012)
  • #1 on the New York Times fiction hardback and e-book bestseller lists (7 Oct 2012)
  • #1 on the Canadian Booksellers Association bestseller list (22 September 2012)
  • #1 on the German fiction bestseller list (19 September 2012)
  • #1 on the Italian fiction bestseller list (15 September 2012)
  • #1 on the Bog & idé bestseller list – Denmark (19 September 2012)

Published as

Winter of the World has been published in 15 languages, and almost two million copies were bought worlwide in the first ten weeks.

  • The United States edition is published by Dutton/Penguin
  • The British and Commonwealth edition is published by PanMacMillan
  • The Canadian edition is published by Penguin
  • The Brazilian edition, Inverno do Mundo, is published by Sextante
  • The Danish edition, Verdens Vinter, is published by Cicero
  • The Dutch edition, Nacht van het kwaad, is published by Unieboek
  • The Italian edition, L’inverno del mondo, is published by Mondadori
  • The French edition, L’hiver du monde, is published by Robert Laffont
  • The German edition, Winter der Welt, is published by Lübbe
  • The Hungarian edition, A Megfagyott Vilag, is published by Gabo
  • The Norwegian edition, Vinter over verden, is published by JW Cappelens
  • The Polish edition, Zima świata, is published by Albatros
  • The Portuguese edition, O Inverno do Mundo, is published by Presença
  • The Spanish edition, El invierno del mundo, is published by RHM
  • The Swedish edition, Världens vinter, is published by Albert Bonniers Förlag

The Century Trilogy

The first novel in the Century trilogy, Fall of Giants, was published in September 2010. The third novel, Edge of Eternity, was published in September 2014.