Fall of Giants

Fall of Giants

2010 | Historical Fiction | 864 pages

The first in Ken Follett’s bestselling Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants is a captivating 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. 

A World in Chaos
1911, a thirteen-year-old boy, Billy Williams, begins working down the mines as George V is crowned king. The escalating arms race between the empire nations will put not only the king but this young boy in grave danger.
A Terrible War
Billy’s family is inextricably linked with the Fitzherberts, the aristocratic owners of the coal mine where he works. And when Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London, their destiny also becomes entangled with that of Gus Dewar, an ambitious young aide to Woodrow Wilson, and two orphaned Russian brothers, the Peshkovs, whose plan to emigrate to America falls foul of conscription, revolution and imminent war.
A Revolution that will Change Everything
When Russia convulses in bloody revolution and the Great War unfolds, the five families’ futures are entwined forever, love bringing them closer even as conflict takes them further apart. What seeds will be sown for further tragedy in the twentieth century and what role will each play in what is to come?

 

22 June 1911

 

On the day King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, Billy Williams went down the pit in Aberowen, South Wales. The twenty-second of June 1911 was Billy’s thirteenth birthday. He was woken by his father. Da’s technique for waking people was more effective than it was kind. He patted Billy’s cheek, in a regular rhythm, firmly and insistently. Billy was in a deep sleep, and for a second he tried to ignore it, but the patting went on relentlessly. Momentarily he felt angry; but then he remembered that he had to get up, he even wanted to get up, and he opened his eyes and sat upright with a jerk. ‘Four o’clock,’ Da said, then he left the room, his boots banging on the wooden staircase as he went down.

 

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"Follett is masterly in conveying so much drama and historical information so vividly . . . grippingly told.” - The New York Times Book Review

 

"Fall of Giants is a book for you to savor, one in which you can lose yourself for hours on end. It is a big book that tells a big story, but it is one you will not want to end.” - The Huffington Post

 

"He’s pulled it off again with Fall of Giants: it’s classic Follett with the brewing cataclysm of war given a human angle." - Sunday Express