Bestselling author Taylor Brown has received a lot of attention for his work over the last few years. In 2016, he published a collection of short stories called In the Season of Blood and Gold, which received high praise and was a finalist for an International Book Award short story prize. His first novel, Fallen Land, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and the Library Journal. I spoke with Taylor about his 2nd and latest unreleased novel The River of Kings. This book has already received glowing praise from established authors.
The River of Kings follows 2 timelines, in opposite directions up and down the river. One is from the past, involving the 16th century artist Jacques Le Moyne, the first European artist in North America, traveling with a French expedition. The other is a contemporary story about 2 brothers and their father…their father supposedly dies from a sturgeon strike-the authorities say he was hit in his boat by one of these large, heavy, armored fish.
Taylor reads an excerpt from the story; listen above. This is the point when the two brothers are presented with their father’s dead body. Listen to a WEB EXTRA about the unusual flow of time in the novel right here:
The launch party is Tuesday, March 21st at Bourgie Nights in downtown Wilmington at 7:00. Find more at WHQR.org.
Sample of praise for The River of Kings:
“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