April A-Z Challenge, April 7, Letter F

Book Review – Fall of Giants – Ken Follett


▪   Book: Fall of Giants

▪   Author: Ken Follett

▪   Genre: Historical Fiction

▪   Year of Release: 2010

▪   Read 922-page paperback edition in March 2014.

Book Description: This expansive historical novel tells the dramatic and intense interplay of people and countries during World War I. Many characters from Britain, Germany, Russia, America, and elsewhere are introduced, and we see this diverse cast of people weave in and out of the storyline as they interact with each other and with the various intense events of WWI, whether in a political backroom, the front lines of a battlefield, or the mansions of aristocratic England.

Book Review: This was a wonderful novel from Ken Follett, and the first of his “Century Trilogy.” Follett does an incredible job bringing to life a huge cast of characters from all walks of life, showing the reader their positive and negative traits, and allowing us to empathize with many people in many situations, often at odds with one another. Follett takes history and brings it to life not simply through speaking of battles and war, but by showing us these horrendous realities of our history through the eyes of characters we come to care about. The challenge of wartime for all sides is brought to life vividly, and Follett does a great job creating a cast of characters we care about. The novel is fascinating and fast-paced, to the point you don’t want to put it down, which is always a good sign in a novel! The novel also felt educational; the reader knows this is fiction, but at the same time based in history, so that one gets the sense there has been some learning about what life must have been like during this turbulent time period. Great characters, great story based in part on historical fact of a violent time, and interesting exploration of many themes, including workers rights, women’s rights, why war happens, and how attempts to stop war often get overshadowed or ignored. Well done!

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.