The other day I finally finished Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. I say “finally” because at just about 1,000 pages in the print version, this is one long book and I have been picking at it for the past several weeks.
In addition to the satisfaction that comes with finishing a long novel, I now can’t wait for the third and final installment in Mr. Follett’s Century Trilogy. Winter of the World, the book I just finished, is the second in the series and takes off shortly after where the first book, Fall of Giants, left off.
I loved Fall of Giants and the families and character Mr. Follett introduced us to within its pages as they navigate the early days of the 20th century through the First World War. In Winter of the World, we meet the next generation of the families from the first book and pretty much follow them through World War II to the brink of the Cold War.
About Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett: “Ken Follett follows up his #1 New York Times bestseller Fall of Giants with a brilliant, page-turning epic about the heroism and honor of World War II, and the dawn of the atomic age. Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, the first novel in his extraordinary new historical epic, The Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as “sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks” (USA Today) and “grippingly told and readable to the end” (The New York Times Book Review). ‘If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants,’ said The Washington Post, “they should be well worth waiting for.” Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.”
I am a big fan of Mr. Follett, who I think is a master storyteller, and his deft hand at weaving multiple stories together in epic detail are on full display in Winter of the World. However, I have found that the middle book (or movie) in a trilogy can’t truly be appreciated until the series is completed. More often than not it turns out the second part of the series is the best, but until then it is just a lot middle.
There is no doubt that Mr. Follett has great plans for the final book of his Century Trilogy as he has at least one fan primed and ready.