'Fall of Giants' follows five linked families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women. The story opens in 1911, on the Coronation Day of King George V - but the novel focuses on thirteen-year-old Billy Williams as he works his first day in a coal mine. The Williams family is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal 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. Equally involved are two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, whose plan to emigrate to America falls foul of war, conscription and revolution.