The River of Kings

In a rich, atmospheric novel, brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins paddle down Georgia's Altamaha River in kayaks, carrying their father's ashes to his final resting place. Taylor Brown (Fallen Land) also transports his audience to the 16th century to discover a French expedition on the same river that included Jacques le Moyne, the first European artist to travel to North America. As the mystery and mystique of the ancient waterway washes up on the shores of both time periods, the long-hidden secrets of a father and those of an early explorer weave together to create a beautifully layered story of love and regret, fidelity and honor, courage and cowardice. Brown tests the limits of humanity along the River of Kings, and the result is a gripping novel.

The Altamaha demands to be treated as a character. Brown willingly complies with exquisite imagery and a deference befitting royalty, writing: "Bald cypress rise round and gray from the banks on roots splayed like the feet of elephants, their gnarled toes marked by dark lines of old flood. Their limbs spread horizontally, edged high over the water like rotors, each draped with long beards of moss."

Readers are sure to experience the journey through all of their senses. The inclusion of maps and illustrations to coordinate with le Moyne's story enhances this effect, making The River of Kings a dynamic reading experience that fully engages its audience. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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