In The River of Kings, award-winning author Taylor Brown artfully weaves three narrative strands-two brothers' journey, their father's past, and the dramatic history of an ancient river's earliest people-to evoke a legendary place and its powerful hold on the human imagination.
Brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins set off to kayak Georgia's Altamaha 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, leaving the fort in ruins and a few survivors fleeing for their lives.
Twining past and present in one compelling narrative, and illustrated with drawings that survived the 1564 expedition, The River of Kings is Taylor Brown's second novel: a dramatic and rewarding adventure through history, myth, and the shadows of family secrets.
"I read Taylor Brown's new novel in a state of astonishment--at the bold undertaking, the exhilarating narrative, and the vivid language. I was mesmerized by the way he weaves three separate stories together over time to create a startling portrait of America's soul." --Bobbie Ann Mason, author of In Country and The Girl in the Blue Beret"With language as rich as floodplain soil, The River of Kings is a stunning Southern epic of tremendous heart and scope. Taylor Brown takes risks few other writers would chance and somehow manages to traverse those waters with an astounding grace and beauty." -David Joy, author of The Weight Of This World"In The River of Kings Taylor Brown offers a brilliant braided history, water-tight and blood-bound. Each strand of time is laid atop the one before it to make an intricate fable: two brothers, paddling back against the past, and whatever monsters lurk beneath its surface. This book haunts itself. And Mr. Brown keeps getting better and better." -Ashley Warlick, author of The Arrangement"The most exciting literary adventure fiction I've read since Deliverance. Taylor Brown's The River of Kings has it all: crackling drama, unforgettable characters, myth, the unspoiled natural world, love, laughter, and tragedy - all rendered in Brown's gorgeous, precise prose. The River of Kings is truly a great American novel." -Howard Frank Mosher, author of God's Kingdom"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"Taylor Brown spins fantastic and riveting historical fiction like no one else. The River of Kings is engrossing, exciting, poetic, with surprising moments of tenderness, and crafted with a master hand. The writing exhibits shades of Philipp Meyer, Richard Ford, Annie Proulx, and Anthony Doerr, but every book by Brown is all his own. If your curiosity is piqued by an exciting river adventure with rich character study and language that fairly leaps off the page, look no further--you've found your book." -Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night"Captures the essence of an enchanting place with a story combining adventure, family drama, and local history." --Publishers Weekly"The River of Kings is almost impossibly visual--cinematic in the best sense. Like Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx, Brown possesses rare and wild gifts, writing with the arresting precision and unremitting intensity that can keep a reader's jaw clenched for books at a time." --Paste Magazine"For all its twists, this is a novel worth every turn of the page." - The Providence Journal
Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of western North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than 20 publications, he is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and was a finalist in both the Machigonne Fiction Contest and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Fallen Land was his first novel; his third novel, Gods of Howl Mountain, will be published in March 2018 by SMP. He lives in North Carolina.