Kenneth Martin Follett, also known as Ken Follett, is a Welsh author who is mainly known for a few of his best-selling thrillers and historical novels, most of which you will have a look at on our list of novels by Follett. He has written many best-sellers throughout his long career, but it wasn’t always the same when he was just starting.
Kenneth was no stranger to books and writing in general. He worked as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News after he finished his three years at Cardiff University. Ken found this job uneventful and unchallenging, which is why he later moved on to become managing director of a small publishing company called Everest Books.
Best Ken Follett Books
|Kingsbridge Series||9.64/10||4 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Century Trilogy||9.56/10||3 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|Eye of the Needle||9.42/10||364 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Dangerous Fortune||9.18/10||578 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Jackdaws||9.06/10||487 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Place Called Freedom||9.06/10||580 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Key to Rebecca||9.02/10||352 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Man from St. Petersburg||8.98/10||320 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Night over Water||8.86/10||448 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Hornet Flight||8.84/10||429 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
It was after this when he started writing fiction himself and slowly began finding a bit of success. At first, it was only enough extra money for car repairs and other similar expenses, but then, one of the best Ken Follett books he has ever written, Eye of the Needle, turned into an international best-seller and sold more than 10 million copies. Aside from that, here are a few more of Follett’s best-selling novels that you simply can’t afford to miss out on.
The first book that’s going to be launching our list of Follett novels is The Evening and the Morning, the first book from his Kingsbridge series.
If you wish to make sense of the entire story, you should read the four of Follett’s books in order. Even though it is the first book of the series, it is one of Ken Follett’s recent books as it is a prequel published in 2020.
Evening and Morning
Those books are Follett’s medieval novels as it all starts near the ending of the Dark Ages, in 997 CE, to be exact. This book focuses on three main characters, all leading different lives during the same hard times. Speaking of hard times, these were intense for England, as it was facing brutal attacks from both Vikings and the Welsh.
The three characters you will be reading about and the ones who make this book among the best Ken Follett books from the entire series are a young boatbuilder, a Norman noblewoman, and a monk.
All of them have inspiring stories to tell that are all filled with unpredictable and dangerous events. During the Dark Ages, England was indeed something worth writing about and something that makes this one of the best Follett book series of all time.
Pillars of the Earth
The second book from Follett’s Kingsbridge series holds another story that takes place during the Dark Ages. You will get to meet a few of the main characters mentioned in the first book, but there will also be a few even more thrilling ones to get to know in this one as well.
The main event that will be bringing most of the fun and making this one among the many other best-selling Follett books is the building of the cathedral. While it’s being constructed, there is much to witness all around as this is a story filled with love, hate, revenge, and more drama than you can handle.
World Without End
The third one in order from Follett’s Kingsbridge novels is World Without End, another story taking place in the town of Kingsbridge. The place might be different, but the time isn’t as this story takes place two whole centuries after the Gothic cathedral that took over the story in the previous book was built.
There are plenty of new characters to meet here that will undoubtedly turn this book into another one of Follett’s best books. Several new topics taking over this story will be new medicine, architecture, commerce, justice, and much more. There’s one more thing that will surely take over the spotlight, and that’s the beginning of the Black Death plague.
Column of Fire
The last book from this Follett’s series brings you a story about a battle between royalty and the commoners, Catholics and Protestants, and more. It is the perfect way to end the series as long as you made sure to read this Ken Follett series in order. You will dive deep inside the unpredictable world of the monarchs, where there is plenty of murder, treason, backstabbing, and much more to be seen.
Follett’s Century Trilogy series is another fantastic historical fiction gem that should definitely be considered if you are a true fan of his work. The story inside these three books spans for quite a while. The events you will get to read about go on throughout the First World War, The Russian Revolution, and a bit more.
There will be many characters to meet here, as well. Most of them include members from five families which the story follows. These families will each be from different countries, including German, American, Russian, Welsh, and English. There are too many characters to count, but you will easily spot the most important ones that make this one of the best Ken Follett series of all time.
Fall of Giants
Fall of Giants is the title of the first book from Follett’s Century series. Here, you will get to know a few of the main characters, beginning from the prologue itself, where you will meet Billy Williams. Billy is a thirteen-year-old boy who opens the story and introduces you to a few crucial aspects. After the prologue, the real story begins, taking place three years later.
The novel does a wonderful job of showing Ken’s thoughts on what society does to the commoners. The stories of the First World War and the collapse of the Russian Empire will present amazing tales from which you can extract a few valuable lessons about these events, as well as the struggle for women’s suffrage, making the book one of the top Ken Follett books ever.
Winter of the World
The second novel from Follett’s Century Trilogy books is not without its surprises. The new set of characters you’ll be meeting here are the second generation of the families you met in the first book. Most of them are born to the main characters you read about in Fall of Giants.
This story begins in 1933 and takes place when the Nazis had a lot of power. You also get to read through the Second World War events and finish off when the book ends during the beginning of the Cold War in 1949. A few of the most exciting events include the rise of the Nazis, British fascism, the Battle of Moscow, the Normandy Landings, and much more.
Edge of Eternity
This is the final book that concludes the series. Another great thing to mention about this one as well is that the new characters you will be meeting here are also children of the generation of the families you met in the second book. They are the third and final generation you will read about, as there is much to learn about them as well.
One of the things making this one of the best books by Ken Follett is the fact that the main characters here are also going to be living through a series of major global events that take place during those times. This list of important international events includes the Cuban Missile Crisis, the British Invasion, the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy Administration, and the Watergate Scandal.
Let’s take a break from Ken’s series and have a look at his especially important stand-alone novel. This is one of the best-rated Follett books you’re ever going to read, as it is the book that rose the author to fame and fortune. If you plan to read Follett’s novels in order, you should know that this is the book to start your journey.
Struggles of WWII
The story opens in 1940, as you meet a German spy named Henry Faber. Henry is also known as “die Nadel,” which is German for the Needle. This is mainly because he always uses the stiletto as his primary weapon. Henry will become an essential character as he might be the one person who will be responsible for bringing victory to the Nazis. However, this is not certain as there is one woman who stands in his way and may foil the entire operation.
There are many reasons why this book is considered Ken Follett’s best book, and it will be up to you to decide whether that is true or not. Just know one thing, you might have the ending figured out only to be surprised by Ken’s masterful writing and knowledge on how to write some of the most mind-blowing twists ever seen. Let’s now proceed further with our reviews of the best books by Ken Follett.
The drowning of a young student at the Windfield School in 1866 is what starts off this book and makes sure it becomes another one of the most popular Follett books out there. There is much more to this drowning than meets the eye as this is one mystery that will set off a series of events. If we made this list of best Ken Follett books in order, it would be at the top.
Three Decades of Treachery
The following events span for nearly three decades and introduce you to many memorable characters. A few of the ones who are going to leave the most significant mark are the boys who were together when the so-called accidental drowning took place. Eventually, it will turn out to be much more than a simple drowning as the long-kept secrets start unraveling one by one.
One of the most exciting parts of the book, and what makes it one of the best Ken Follett novels ever, is that no matter what happens, everything seems to lead the main characters back to when the boy drowned. Their lives revolve around this mysterious event, and you will be glad to know that the story is quite unpredictable and full of mysterious surprises. It might even be the best Follett book of all time.
Jackdaws is an exceptional World War II spy thriller by Ken that tells an adventurous story about an almost impossible mission that is carried out by an all-woman team of untrained soldiers. Felicity Clairet, also known as Flick, is a British operative who barely knows the meaning of failure. She is the character that will be doing a lot to make this one of the best Ken Follett books ever, as she is full of plenty of unpredictable surprises.
Flick’s missions were going amazingly, she was doing and giving her best to make sure they win their battles, but all of that is about to change when she finally witnesses what it’s like to lose. Her entire world changes in an instant after her and her husband’s assault fails miserably and takes away everything she loves.
One More Shot
However, this will not be the last the Germans will hear of Felicity as she gives it one more shot. She assembles an all-woman team of untrained soldiers and takes a different approach. We won’t spoil how things pan out on our review of the best books by Ken Follett, as all of that will be left for you to have fun with.
Out of all of Follett’s historical novels, A Place Called Freedom is one you must read, as it tells a moving story about a young coal miner who sets out to find a better life for himself.
This is the story of Mack McAsh, a 21-year-old coal miner who begins to wonder if working tirelessly all day is all there is to life. His search for a better life takes him to London, where Mack rises up the ranks amongst the working classes, only to become a target for those who don’t look at things the same way as he does.
From Bad to Worse
Mack is framed for a crime and gets sent to serve seven hard labor in the Colony of Virginia. Mack tried to escape the hardship of working in the coal mines only to end up in an even worse position than he was.
But, this is not the end of the book, as the ending that makes this one among Follett’s best-selling novels will be left for you to uncover. Will Mack’s search for a better life pay off, or will he regret ever leaving the coal mines?
The Key to Rebecca is another one of Ken Follett’s best novels that was adapted into a film. The main character who will be making this story full of surprises is called William Vandam. If we had to list Follett’s books ranked, this one might be the best espionage book you can ever read.
The story is set in Cairo during the Second World War. Much of the fun you’re going to be reading about inside has a lot to do with the British officer who is out to located and bring down a German Nazi spy. These characters will be the ones bringing most of the suspense your way, but there are more without whom the story would be quite empty.
Struggle for Egypt
You will find that Ken has quite a lot of experience writing about German and British spies, war, and the battlefield’s struggles. In fact, this book is also among Follett’s best books on WW2, so you would be wise to give it a read if you enjoy these types of stories.
This is a wonderful story that also has a lot to tell about the Axis-Allied struggle for Egypt’s control. Follett’s ability to write outstanding and unforgettable fiction stories that were inspired by real-life global events such as the First and Second World Wars is something many of his fans admire, and rightfully so.
This story opens and takes place before the outbreak of the First World War. The main character is an anarchist known as Feliks. His influence over the rest of the characters you meet inside the book is more than great, as Feliks is probably one of the most memorable characters from all of Follett’s books.
Among the many other wonderful characters, this book has to offer is the Russian Prince, Alexei. The Prince was sent to London on a critical mission to negotiate peace between England and Russia. It was more an alliance than peace, as these two countries were trying to band together against Germany. It was clear that a massive war was about to break out, so they were simply getting prepared.
Interrupted By Love
As Feliks was about to carry out his mission, which was to assassinate the Russian Prince, his mission came to a halt when he surprisingly came across an old lover from nearly 18 years ago. Her name was Lydia, and her presence wasn’t the only thing that started affecting Feliks. He also learned that Lydia had a 17-year-old daughter, the same number of years they haven’t seen each other.
Don’t be surprised when you get to read about Germany and the Nazis in yet another one of Follett’s most popular books, as this is a story that is probably like nothing you’ve ever read before. Night Over Water is an amazing novel by Ken that tells a fictional version of the story related to the last flight of the Pan American Clipper airplane.
It all started in September 1939. England and Germany are in the middle of a brutal war. The story then takes you to the scene of the world’s most luxurious airliner back then, the Pan Am Clipper passenger airplane. It was unknowingly taking its last flight ever, full of passengers who were trying to escape the war.
You will find that all of the characters you will read about inside this story are fictional, but the plane carrying most of them wasn’t. Ken got the inspiration for this book from real-life events and turned the story into something unforgettable to read about.
All of the individual stories about the passengers are something many Follett book reviews can’t stop talking about. It’s great to read about each of the characters, to read about the events that happen on each of the stops the plane takes, and the final moments when everything starts going down in flames.
It won’t be long before you start thinking that you’re watching an action movie instead of reading a book. The one to thank is a character named Harald Olufson. He is an 18-year-old Danish schoolboy who is about to take part in the adventure of a lifetime. That’s when this novel turns into one of the top books written by Ken Follett.
This 18-year-old is about to discover a Nazi secret that might have the power to turn everything around and make a massive change to the war’s outcome. But, in order for this newfound information to mean anything, Harald must find a way to deliver his findings to England, and time wasn’t on his side.
Part of the reason why this is on our Ken Follett list of novels is that Harald’s mission is about to become a lot more uncertain and dangerous when he is forced to fly a plane that isn’t exactly in the best shape. You can imagine how unpredictable it can get from there as this is when things start getting a lot more thrilling.
Along the way, you’ll be accompanying Harald on the mission of a lifetime, as both of you come across some of the most enjoyable characters in all of Ken Follett’s novels.
On Wings of Eagles is definitely among the best Ken Follett books you are ever going to read that is not a fiction story. Almost everything you will read is based on a true story. The only thing Ken has changed up a bit is the names of a few of the characters mentioned inside and a few conversations here and there, as it is hard to remember every word of a conversation, even if it was only a few days ago.
Two main characters you will love reading about inside this non-fiction story are Ross Perot and Arthur Simmons. The plot has a lot to do with the Middle East hostage crisis that started in 1979 and the story of how Ross Perot would stop at nothing to save his people. In fact, Ross is the one who contacted Ken Follett to use his magic to write one of the best Ken Follett books ever written.
The story began when two EDS executives were arrested in Tehran. The bail for these employees was extremely high, and it didn’t take long for Ross, head of the Dallas-based company, to hear about the news.
What Ross does next is something all leaders should be inspired by as he genuinely does stop at nothing to get his people out of there. He realizes that the job couldn’t be done with lawyers, so he flies out a team there to get them out by force.
This is simply the beginning that makes this book one of the best novels by Ken Follett out there, as the events that follow will make it extremely hard for you to put the book down until you are finished with the story.
The next best Ken Follett novel we have to offer is another thriller that any fan of his definitely wouldn’t want to miss. It was published in 1997 and tells the story of a secret worth killing for, no questions asked.
Jeanie Ferrami is among the first most important characters who get introduced inside the book, and she will be the one who contributes the most to making this book among the best Ken Follett books out there. Jeanie is a genetic researcher who doesn’t have it easy for her, as her father is a criminal and her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s.
We won’t spoil all the fun of how Jeanie uncovers this secret, or what exactly it is, but you should know that after she does, she gets mixed up in a dangerous series of events that are as unpredictable as death itself. This scandal she finds herself in could do much worse than just ruining her career, as the people she is up against have no trouble at all killing to protect what she has discovered.
We might be able to throw in a little tip of what this secret may be. It has something to do with a conspiracy that involves some disturbing genetic experiments. It also involves a few of the most powerful men in America. These are people not worth messing with, but Jeanie doesn’t seem to be the type of person who is going to back down, which is part of the reason why this is one of the best books of Ken Follett.
We all know by now that Follett simply loves to write about global events the world has experienced and some of the most memorable wars of all time. One of the things that make the book so amazing is the relationship between the main characters you’re going to be reading about.
Among the first who you will meet are an American called Ellis and a Frenchman known as Jean-Pierre. These two people aren’t friends or colleagues, but they are enemies who are fighting on opposite sides during the cold war. There is one more character who will triple the excitement you get to read about in this book. She is a girl who will become one more thing that comes between these two characters, rather than the war itself.
Passion and Deception
These will be among the main characters who you will follow as the story progresses. A little hint of the events you can expect inside includes running through a storm of terrorist bombs in Paris, staying alive in the middle of all the danger in Afghanistan, and much more.
Triple is another historical fiction novel by Ken. It was published in 2004, so it’s not one of his oldest books. You may have noticed that many of the books you can find here aren’t exactly new books by Ken Follett, but that doesn’t mean his newer releases are not worth reading. In Triple, you will be reading about more action-packed events that could end up in a nuclear holocaust.
Among the most important characters inside this book is Nathaniel Dickstein, also known as Nat. Nat’s story is no ordinary one, as he is a victim who suffered brutal experimentation during his time in the Nazi concentration camps. His life is full of unpredictable events, as he later becomes an Israeli agent who will make sure you have a lot of action to read about.
The story is just getting started, as you will have nothing but fun reading about Nathaniel and his dangerous missions. The risks of failure of his missions will be catastrophic, which is what makes every event you read about twice as exciting.
The reason that this book is titled Triple might have something to do with the fact that there will be two other unforgettable characters who pitch in to make the story a lot better for everyone. Alan Cortone and David Rostov are one American and one Russian, who you will also find quite interesting. Maybe even as interesting as Nat himself.
Code to Zero is the last book we have to offer for all of the Ken Follett fans out there. To avoid any confusion, this is simply the last choice we’ve picked and isn’t the actual last of Follett’s books in chronological order. Anyway, this book also offers one of the best beginnings out of all of his stories.
As the book begins, you get to meet the main character, a man who wakes up one day and has no memory of his past whatsoever. The real fun starts when this man starts researching his past to come up with a reason for his situation and an explanation for what has been done to him.
Luke Lucas, the person we were just describing above, finds hint after hint and slowly starts making sense of things. His findings lead him to a great connection with something regarding the outcome of the Cold War. Lucas discovers that he is a rocket scientist, and a pretty brilliant one, for that matter.
We guarantee you will enjoy this novel, as the space race between America and the Soviets was making sure of it. Before giving up too many spoilers, know that this story is filled with plenty of dangerous events and characters, and it is the perfect book to end this list. We are looking forward to more of Follett’s upcoming books.