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The River of Kings by Taylor Brown
“The most exciting literary adventure fiction I've read since Deliverance.”
—Howard Frank Mosher, author of God's Kingdom
''Captures the essence of an enchanting place with a story combining adventure, family drama, and local history.''
''Like a great body of water itself, The River of Kings is one moment grace and serenity, and the next moment hazard and threat, shifting in wonderfully unexpected ways, yet always in possession of a natural beauty you cannot help but admire."
—Michael Farris Smith, author of Desperation Road and Rivers
The Altamaha River, Georgia's Little Amazon, has been named one of the seventy-five Last Great Places in the World. Crossed by roads only five times in its 137-mile length, the blackwater river is home to thousand-year-old virgin cypress, descendants of 18th-century Highland warriors, and a motley cast of rare and endangered species. The Altamaha has even been rumored to harbor its own river monster, as well as traces of the most ancient European fort in North America.
Brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins set off to kayak the river, bearing their father's ashes toward the sea. Hunter is a college student, Lawton a Navy SEAL on leave; both young men were raised by an angry, enigmatic shrimper who loved the river, and whose death remains a mystery that his sons hope to resolve. As the brothers proceed downriver, their story is interwoven with that of Jacques Le Moyne, an artist who accompanied the 1564 expedition to found a French settlement at the river's mouth, which began as a search for riches and ended in a bloody confrontation with Spanish conquistadors and native tribes. In The River of Kings, SIBA-bestselling author Taylor Brown artfully weaves three narrative strands the brothers journey, their father's past, and the dramatic history of the river's earliest people to evoke a legendary place and its powerful hold on the human imagination.
Taylor Brown was born on the Georgia coast. He is the author of a short story collection, In the Season of Blood and Gold, as well as two novels: Fallen Land and The River of Kings (St. Martin's Press). He is the recipient of a Montana Prize in Fiction, and a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards, Machigonne Fiction Contest, and Doris Betts Fiction Prize. His work has been short-listed for Best American Mystery Stories, and his short fiction has appeared in The Rumpus, Chautuaqua, Southwest Review, and many others. He lives in Wilmington, where he edits the cafe racer blog www.BikeBound.com. You can find him at www.taylorbrownfiction.com.