Yes, I am still alive! Things takes time when you pull Ken Follett out of your TBR jar because the man simply cannot write short books! Not gonna lie though, this one I love him for! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. In a plot 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.
First of all, I can’t even tell you how long this book has been on my bookshelf! It’s at least 6-7 years for sure which is really horrendous now that I’ve finally read it and seen what an amazing story it is! For this, ladies and gentlemen, is nothing but a masterpiece! A masterpiece of 985 pages no less but the amazing thing is that it doesn’t feel like 958 pages when you read it! Whilst reading it I felt that the pages just flew by because I was so absorbed in the story. Before I knew it I had read 100-200 pages which I think is a bit crazy, haha. Follett has an amazing eye for details and this creates for the most amazing backdrop of an amazing storyline. We’re mainly located in the UK but we simultaneously move between Russia, USA and France as well in their representative historical periods and it’s truly amazing to move within this world with out characters and I truly got the feeling that I was in pre-WW1, WW1 and post-WW1 Europe whilst reading this book. With all the drama going on I love the way Follett seems to move the story effortlessly along all the time. The contrast of where our characters finds themselves during their stories is sometimes so massive and the flow of the book makes these contrasts even greater which I’m just so amazed by!
For characters there really is an interesting mix in the gallery! We follow five different families where our perspectives alters in between the people within one family. There’s the Williams family, the Fitzherbert family, the Dewar family, the von Ulrich family, and the Peshkov family. It was very fun and engaging to follow these families on their adventures and to see how they were affected by the historical events that took place around them. We’re introduced to politics, culture, and tradition and this clearly paints a picture of where our characters belong within the social order. I feel that there is a great diversity among our characters and that makes the book even more interesting. Since they’re from different classes of society this give the readers different perspectives on the time periode the storyline is set in. My favorite is definitely Ethel Williams! This woman has some serious bones in her nose and the way she figure things out when her life gets complicated is just amazing! I feel that she’s a proper picture of what women in her time really could go through and how difficult simple situations in today’s society could be for them. I think she’s the character that develops the most throughout the entire book, and I loved following this development! All our characters goes through dramatic changes but I feel that Ethel really finds her spot and that made me really happy!
Fall of Giants is an amazing start to a trilogy about one of the most eventful centuries in our history. It’s full of amazing characters and settings which makes the reader feel like the pages is just flowing by so fast! I’m super excited to start the next book in this series and hopefully I get to see more of the characters I’ve grown to love so much in this book!
Genre: Historical fiction
Theme: Politics, family, war, friends, enemies, change
– The Book Reader