Kimberly Cogswell Law Library Intern Spring 2012

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Fall of Giants

I am a huge fan of historical fiction, but I realized recently that most popular historical novels involve either the Tudor dynasty or World War II. While both time periods are fascinating, I was thrilled when my favorite author of historical fiction, Ken Follett, came out with something a little different: a new novel about the First World War.

Fall of Giants is the first book in The Century Trilogy. The second installment, due out later this year, involves the ever-popular topic of World War II, and the third book will take place during the Cold War. At over 1000 pages, Fall of Giants is quite an undertaking, but it is a surprisingly quick read. The book starts on a day in 1911 when a 13-year-old Welsh boy begins his first adult job as a miner. That same day, King George V is crowned. This juxtaposition of rich and poor is the first in an exciting series of story lines that unfold over a 15-year span. The story expands to follow characters in Wales, England, Germany, America, and Russia as they struggle through war, revolution, poverty, and the beginning of the feminist movement. There’s something for everyone in this novel – bloody battles, love stories, espionage, politics, and even a Downton Abbey-esque plot that allows us to peer into the minds of both master and servant.

Critics have long praised Ken Follett’s attention to historical detail. As such, Fall of Giants isn’t just an exciting summer page-turner – it’s a fascinating history lesson, masterfully told.