I waited anxiously for this book to come out after reading Fall of Giants, which is one of the best historical novels that I have read. The historical research is impeccable, and, as in the first installment in the trilogy, I felt as though I learned as much as I could from reading a textbook but it is presented so skillfully that it in no way feels like a dry lecture. Follett presented many important events of WWII from slightly different points of view than is typical giving a fresh picture of the time. He continues to follow the families from Fall of Giants into the next generation, though for some reason I never felt as attached to any of them. In contrast to FoG, there are several major character deaths which were surprising but did not not cause the emotional turmoil for me that I would have hoped for. Because they were too sudden? After the first death it wasn't as surprising, maybe? I'm not sure, but a couple of times I thought to myself, "I should be in tears right now." But I was not. I still gave Winter of the World 5 stars because this was really my only critique and the rest of the writing is so amazing and beyond the standard for modern fiction that I just could not rate it anything less. Can't wait for the trilogy's final installment!