Five families are brought together through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for votes for women.
It's 1911, and the coronation day of King George V. Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams begins his first day at work in a coal mine.
The Williams family is connected 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 Gus Dewar, ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Two orphaned Russian brothers soon become involved, but Grigori and Lev Peshkov's plan to emigrate to America falls foul of war, conscription and revolution.
Drama and intrique unfold as 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. As always, Ken Follett's richly developed historical background only enhances fast-moving action and powerful emotion of this absorbing narrative.