Mini Reviews: Winter of the World, by Ken Follett

30/03/13 – Winter of the World, by Ken Follett. I’ve reviewed the first part of the Century trilogy in full, and there are many similarities between the books so a shorter review seems appropriate here. Winter of the World opens some years after the conclusion of Fall of Giants, and continues to tell the stories of the families which feature in the first book. The characterisation continues to be a major strength, as is the way in which Follett deals with the momentuous events of the twentieth century. The rise of Nazism and the oppression of the German people is the crucial and most effectively narrated part of this novel, as are the intricacies of international spy networks, which set the stage nicely for the third book, which will see the families struggling through the Cold War. I have the same reservations about this book as I did the first – the situations the characters find themselves in are astoundingly coincidential, but again it is difficult to narrate the story of the second world war without the characters being present for key events. However it does stretch belief when key international decisions are attributed to the characters, no matter how fond we may be of them. Overall a gripping read, perhaps slightly less cohesive than Fall of Giants, but still certainly an amazing epic – I look forward to part three.

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