All 38+ Ken Follett Books In Order: Historical Fiction By The Master Storyteller

There is no doubt that British author Ken Follett has made it into the ranks of the best authors of all time.

His historical novels are a classic staple of every library, online retailer, and second-hand bookstore.

All 38+ Ken Follett Books In Order Historical Fiction By The Master Storyteller

From his very early works, such as “The Eye of the Needle” to his popular Kingsbridge series, Follett knows how to create a page-turner.

During his 40-year writing career, Ken Follet has penned more than 38 fiction and nonfiction books.

But this successful author started his career originally as a reporter for his small hometown newspaper.

After he moved to London, he worked for a publishing house.

While his first books in the mid-1970s aren’t famous today, Follett’s name became famous when his World War II thriller “The Eye of the Needle” received the Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America in 1979.

But this was only the beginning of his extensive collection of masterpieces. Follett continues to write incredibly engaging stories.

Here are a couple of different ways to enjoy all of Follett’s books in reading order.

About Ken Follett’s Books

Ken Follett has written so many exciting books that it’s difficult to know where to start.

From thrillers and dramas to mysteries, his novels cover a wide range of different historical eras.

Ten years after the success of his book “The Eye of the Needle”, he wrote the first book of another famous series today known as the “Kingsbridge” saga.

“The Pillars of the Earth” is a fantastic introduction to the fictional town of Kingsbridge and life during the Middle Ages.

It is no surprise that the book was turned into movies, games, short films, and stage plays.

“The Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End” also ended up as a miniseries.

But also other Ken Follett books made it onto the screen, including “The Key to Rebecca” and “The Third Twin”.

All Ken Follett Books In Order Of Publication Date

One of the best ways to read all of Ken Follett’s books is according to the publication date.

While many of his earlier works are out of print, Follett is a popular writer whose books often appear in second-hand bookstores.

  • The Big Black (1974)
  • The Big Needle (1975)
  • The Big Hit (1975)
  • Shakeout (1975)
  • Amok: King of Legend (1976)
  • The Modigliani Scandal (1976)
  • The Mystery Hideout (1976)
  • The Power Twins (1976)
  • Paper Money (1977)
  • Capricorn One (1978)
  • Eye of the Needle (1978)
  • Under the Streets of Nice (1978)
  • The Gentlemen of July 16 (1978)
  • Triple (1979)
  • The Key to Rebecca (1980)
  • The Bear Raid (1982)
  • The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)
  • On Wings of Eagles (1984)
  • Lie Down with Lions (1986)
  • The Pillars of the Earth (1989)
  • Night Over Water (1991)
  • A Dangerous Fortune (1993)
  • A Place Called Freedom (1995)
  • The Third Twin (1996)
  • The Hammer of Eden (1998)
  • Code to Zero (2000)
  • Jackdaws (2001)
  • Hornet Flight (2002)
  • Whiteout (2004)
  • World Without End (2007)
  • Fall of Giants (2010)
  • Winter of the World (2012)
  • Edge of Eternity (2014)
  • A Column of Fire (2017)
  • Bad Faith (2017)
  • Notre Dame (2019)
  • The Evening and the Morning (2020)
  • Never (2021)
  • The Armor of Light (2023)

All Ken Follett Books In Series Order

Another great way to enjoy Ken Follett’s dramatic novels is by reading them as a series. Follett has written a number of series throughout his career.

The Pillars of the Earth saga, also known as Kingsbridge, is one of his most popular collections, followed by the Century Trilogy.

Kingsbridge Series In Order

  • The Pillars of the Earth (1989)
  • World Without End (2007)
  • A Column of Fire (2017)
  • The Evening and the Morning (2020)
  • The Armor of Light (2023)

The Century Trilogy Books in Order

  • Fall of Giants (2010)
  • Winter of the World (2012)
  • Edge of Eternity (2014)

Apples Carstairs Series

  • The Big Black (1974)
  • The Big Needle (1975)
  • The Big Hit (1975)

Piers Roper Series

  • Shakeout (1975)
  • The Bear Raid (1982)

Ken Follett Standalone Books in Order

  • Amok: King of Legend (1976)
  • The Modigliani Scandal (1976)
  • The Mystery Hideout (1976)
  • The Power Twins (1976)
  • Paper Money (1977)
  • Capricorn One (1978)
  • Eye of the Needle (1978)
  • Triple (1979)
  • The Key to Rebecca (1980)
  • The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)
  • Lie Down with Lions (1986)
  • Night Over Water (1991)
  • A Dangerous Fortune (1993)
  • A Place Called Freedom (1995)
  • The Third Twin (1996)
  • The Hammer of Eden (1998)
  • Code to Zero (2000)
  • Jackdaws (2001)
  • Hornet Flight (2002)
  • Whiteout (2004)
  • Never (2021)

Ken Follett Non-Fiction Books In Order

Book Summaries Of Ken Follet Books In Order

In his long writing career, Ken Follett has written over 30 books.

If you are not sure where to start reading this master teller’s novels, then follow this easy reading order.

The Modigliani Scandal (1976)

The Modigliani Scandal

Art historian Dee Sleign is on the hunt to find a lost painting by the great artist Modigliani.

But she is not the only one who is after the priceless artifact.

Three more competitors turn up throughout the story who have very different motives to find the painting.

But who will uncover the treasure first? The chase for a lost 20th-century artwork around Europe is on and everyone will have to pay a price.

Pros

  • This early Ken Follett book is a fantastic thriller with a fast pace.

Cons

  • As one of Follett’s first books, the writing style is very different from his later masterpieces.

Paper Money (1977)

Paper Money

When underworld villains clash with the high-finance world, then a scandal is bound to erupt.

Reporters quickly uncover connections between a bank official, a group of criminals, and an attempted suicide.

But who is really responsible for all these events? Within 24 hours, lives are lost and fortunes turned, and all because of money.

Pros

  • This super-fast thriller takes place in just 24 hours.

Cons

  • Paper Money doesn’t have the typical Ken Follett ending.

Eye Of The Needle (1978)

Eye of the Needle: A Novel

Follett’s most popular book follows the story of a German master spy known as “The Needle”.

Despite his intelligence and violent history, his fate is in the hands of a young English woman who could save his life and secure a victory for the Nazis.

Pros

  • Follett’s greatest masterpiece is not just a historical representation of the Nazi era but it is also an engaging thriller with plenty of emotions.

Cons

  • The villain in this story is complex, so it can be easy to lose your thread.

Triple (1979)

Triple

It is the end of the 1960s and Israel is under threat from Egypt which developed a range of nuclear weapons.

If Israeli agent Nat Dickstein can’t turn the fates of the country, then Israel may be doomed. But there are unexpected enemies lurking in the shadows.

From the frightening discovery to an impossible mission, time is running out for Dickstein as the nuclear arms race in the Middle East picks up pace.

Pros

Cons

  • The storyline is very fractured, so it can be challenging to follow all the details.

The Key To Rebecca (1980)

Key To Rebecca

A genius master agent working for the Nazis is running around Cairo, trying to reveal military secrets to Rommel’s army just outside the Egyptian capital.

Only a vulnerable Jewish girl and an unknown English officer can stop Rommel from taking the city and winning the war in Africa.

Pros

  • This is such an exciting story that’s no surprise it was turned into a film.

Cons

  • The ending wasn’t the usual Follett style.

The Man From St. Petersburg (1982)

The Man from St. Petersburg

Feliks is a master manipulator who comes to London with only one intention: to commit a murder that will turn the fates of history.

But he has more than just the police to get off his back. The young Churchill and a dashing lord also plan to stop this criminal in his tracks.

Perhaps any other man would have given up by now but this man from St. Petersburg is made of stronger stuff.

Pros

  • This historical fiction novel is a fantastic reflection of an often underrated period in history.

Cons

  • The characters weren’t too well developed and the plot was predictable at times.

Lie Down With Lions (1986)

Lie Down with Lions

A Frenchman and an American are on opposite ends of the Cold War. And it is not just the tremors of battle that divide these two characters.

The love of a woman connects both men and a love triangle ensues with the backdrop of bombed houses in Paris.

Pros

Cons

  • The final chapters are very descriptive and loaded with information.

The Pillars Of The Earth (1989)

The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge)

The “Pillar of the Earth” is Follett’s first venture into writing about the Middle Ages.

He takes a departure from his classic thriller genre towards an equally gripping period in history.

The story follows Philip who is prior to the fictional town Kingsbridge. He is a devout monk who wants to build a large, Gothic cathedral.

Architect and mason Tom is set to make Philip’s vision a reality but he is distracted by the beauty of young Lady Aliena.

With everyone’s ambitions, the building project quickly becomes a battle between good and evil.

Pros

  • Both film and book, “The Pillars of the Earth” is a truly epic and spellbinding stories showing the true depth of medieval life.

Cons

  • While the story is relatively basic, there is a lot of description.

Night Over Water (1991)

Night Over Water

It is the late 1930s and a luxurious airline is about to set off to America.

With high society and criminals mingling on the plane, there is danger ahead for everyone.

Pros

  • There are some amazing twists and turns in this Nazi-era book.

Cons

  • “Night over Water” has a number of different storylines going at the same time which can be confusing for the reader.

A Dangerous Fortune (1993)

A Dangerous Fortune

It is the middle of the 19th Century and a young student is found drowned at an exclusive School outside of London.

The aftermath of his tragic death stretches across three decades and it will affect many lives.

Pros

  • From the good, bad, and the ugly, the character development in this book is just masterful.

Cons

  • The story isn’t as suspenseful as some of Follett’s other pieces.

A Place Called Freedom (1995)

A Place Called Freedom

Mack McAsh may be a rebel at heart but as a slave by birth, he has little chance to break out of his fate as a miner in the 18th Century.

On the other end of the social ladder, Lizzie Hallim is equally rebellious but she struggles to understand the privilege and wealth she was born with.

As both Lizzie and Ash fight for their freedom, their paths cross on the other side of the Atlantic.

Pros

  • This epic story is full of emotions, heartbreak, and hope.

Cons

  • The ending felt unusually sudden.

The Third Twin (1996)

The Third Twin

This New York Times bestseller follows the search of genetic researcher Jeanie Ferrami who is looking for identical twins born to different parents.

But discovering the truth leads her into an unexpected scandal.

Pros

  • This gripping suspense novel has everything you would expect from a Ken Follet thriller.

Cons

  • As this book is all about the latest technology in the 90s, it feels a little antiquated decades later.

The Hammer Of Eden (1998)

The Hammer of Eden: A Novel

FBI agent Judy Maddox is on the hunt for eco-terrorists who want to unleash a giant earthquake across California.

Time is running out and just when Maddox just starts to feel the earth shake underneath her, there is another problem.

Pros

  • The female lead character in this thrilling story is just so well written.

Cons

  • It would be nice to learn more about Judy’s background.

Code To Zero (2000)

Code to Zero

Luke Lucas wakes up in a railway station with no memory.

He has no idea how he got there, or why but it is clear to Lucas that it is not all as it seems.

Pros

  • This suspenseful thriller bears the classic marks of a Ken Follett novel.

Cons

  • The plot itself is too predictable but still a good read.

Jackdaws (2001)

Jackdaws

Flick Clariet is a responsible senior agent who loves the risk of her job but as D-Day is approaching, the stakes for her are higher than she ever imagined.

Pros

  • A bit more unusual for a Ken Follett book, this story has mostly female characters.

Cons

  • There are a few obvious inconsistencies in the plot that interrupt the reading flow occasionally.

Hornet Flight (2002)

Hornet Flight

The war isn’t going as well for England as they had expected in the early 1940s. The Germans are forecasting their bombings with surprising accuracy.

When Harald Olufsen discovers an incredible secret on a German island, time is ticking to deliver the news into English hands.

Pros

  • Hornet Flight is packed with action and excitement.

Cons

  • This is not Follett’s usual complex thriller story.

Whiteout (2004)

Whiteout

Director of a pharmaceutical company, Stanley Oxenford is developing a new drug. But he is not the only one who has his eyes on the big money.

Pros

  • The thrill-seeking fans of Ken Follett novels will love the plot. No surprise “Whiteout” was also turned into a movie.

Cons

  • Many of the characters are unlikable, although the story itself is well written.

World Without End (2007)

World Without End: A Novel (Kingsbridge)

“World Without End” is Follett’s second book of the Kingsbridge saga.

As the sequel of “Pillars of the Earth”, this story takes place two hundred years after the famous Kingsbridge cathedral was built.

The characters of this fictional world follow new discoveries in medicine, architecture, and science.

Pros

  • This book takes the reader to an exciting time in history when the world was a scientific playground.

Cons

  • Some fans of the Middle Ages might find this a difficult read as the book combines fiction and historical events.

Fall Of Giants (2010)

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy

The “Fall of Giants” is Follett’s first book of the Century Trilogy saga.

From the deep pits of a mine to the house of power, five families find their fates bound together in a time of struggle.

Pros

  • “Fall of Giants” is such an exciting read that it is hard to put down.

Cons

  • This book is very focused on WWI and not so much on the lives of the people in the early 20th Century.

Winter Of The World (2012)

Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy

The second book of the Century Trilogy picks up where “Fall of Giants” left.

Five families work their way through the difficult times of the early rise of the Third Reich.

Pros

  • This is another epic drama from the master of historical storytelling.

Cons

  • There is not enough reference to real historical events in this book.

Edge Of Eternity (2014)

Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy)

“Edge of Eternity” is the final book of the Century Trilogy.

The five families are now taking their lives into their own hands as they emerge out of the rubble of WWII.

Pros

  • Ken Follet combines historical events with the real-life dramas of five families and their very personal struggles during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Cons

  • The characters aren’t as well-developed as the previous Follett books.

A Column Of Fire (2017)

A Column of Fire: A Novel (Kingsbridge Book 3)

As the third book of the Kingsbridge series, “A Column of Fire” plays in the middle of the 16th Century when Kingsbridge Cathedral towers over the war raging between Protestants and Catholics.

Pros

  • This historical Scottish fiction novel is an absolute masterpiece.

Cons

  • Just like many other Follett stories, this plot is extensive and complex.

The Evening And The Morning (2020)

The Evening and the Morning: A Novel (Kingsbridge)

While this is the fourth novel of Follett’s Kingsbridge saga, “The Evening and the Morning” takes the reader back to 967AC when England was under threat by the Vikings and the Welsh.

In these challenging times, three lives are bound together by fate and their desire to survive.

Pros

  • As a sequel to “Pillars of the Earth” and “A Column of Fire”, this book stays true to the classic Ken Follett style and his fictional world of Kingsbridge.

Cons

  • As this book was written over 30 years after the first Kingsbridge novel, Follett’s writing style is very different.

Never (2021)

Never: A Novel

Catastrophes always start off with a small problem that didn’t get fixed by someone.

The female President of the United States, a Chinese soy master, a female intelligence officer, and a spy working with Jihadists all try to prevent the outbreak of a war that’s coming ever closer.

Villains and heroines live so close to each other that it can be difficult to see who belongs to the good and who is evil.

Pros

  • This story is so compelling that it feels frighteningly realistic.

Cons

  • This is a truly epic book with equally lots of pages.

The Armor Of Light (2023)

The Armor of Light: A Novel (Kingsbridge)

The fourth book of the Kingsbridge saga explores the human side effects of the Industrial revolution.

1770 saw the invention of the Spinning Jenny and an extraordinary era of industrial growth around the world.

But who has control over these inventions as they pick up the pace? From work accidents to childhood poverty, much of mankind suddenly seems to go backward.

Still, there will always be people who protect their wealth, no matter how much it costs.

Pros

  • Between love and greed, this electrifying novel from the Kingsbridge saga makes you wonder how much new inventions are truly worth.

Cons

  • There are no clear distinctions between where real historic events begin and where fiction ends.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that Ken Follett has had a long career as a writer but he managed what so few authors before him achieved: his writing is on a consistently excellent level.

From spy dramas and political thrillers to historical fiction, Follett explores a range of different historical eras in his novels.

If you are interested in a specific time in history, then you may want to take a look at each book individually.

On the other hand, if you love “The Pillars of the Earth”, then you can easily read the entire Kingsbridge saga in order.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Ken Follett’s Best Selling Book?

The Ken Follett book that sold the most copies is “The Eye of the Needle”. His famous novel also won a popular Edgar Award.

Is World Without End A Sequel To Pillars Of The Earth?

Yes, Ken Follett’s book “World Without End” is the sequel to his famous historical novel “The Pillars of the Earth”.

The series also includes “A Column of Fire”, “The Evening and the Morning” and “The Armor of Light”.

How Historically Accurate Is Pillars Of The Earth?

Book critics consider Ken Follet’s historic drama “Pillars of the Earth” an accurate reflection of life in the Middle Ages.

The story centers around the fictional town of Kingsbridge where a new cathedral is built. Follett’s description of the people, their lives, and Gothic architecture is a precise representation of the time.

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Noah Burton