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Short Synopsis
From the acclaimed author of Conquistador comes this thrilling account of one of history's greatest adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous attention to historical detail, here is the true story of a legendary sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold.

Full Synopsis
From the acclaimed author of Conquistador comes this thrilling account of one of history's greatest adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous attention to historical detail, here is the true story of a legendary sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold.

In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana set off from Quito in search of La Canela, South America's rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, "the golden man." Driving an enormous retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, hunting dogs, and other animals across the Andes, they watched their proud expedition begin to disintegrate even before they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the course of a powerful river. Soon hopelessly lost in the swampy labyrinth, their numbers diminishing daily through disease, starvation, and Indian attacks, Pizarro and Orellana made a fateful decision to separate. While Pizarro eventually returned home barefoot and in rags, Orellana and fifty-seven men, in a few fragile craft, continued downriver into the unknown reaches of the mighty Amazon, serenaded by native war drums and the eerie cries of exotic predators. Theirs would be the greater glory.

"A richly textured account of the rogue, rebel and visionary whose discovery still resonates today." ---Kirkus

"[A] fluid account . . . Levy does a fine job of organizing an enormous amount of historical material and balancing the accounts of Orellana and Pizarro after they separated." ---Publishers Weekly

"River of Darkness is a worthwhile read because of such swashbuckling adventure, and Levy is a gifted writer who makes it all the more enjoyable; his narrative flows as smoothly and rapidly as the Amazon River." ---BookPage

In River of Darkness, Buddy Levy proves that the scariest stories are the true ones. Filled with fascinating details and the terror that comes with exploring something for the very first time, this is history coming back to life.” ---Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The Book of Fate

River of Darkness

Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon

Author Buddy Levy

Narrated by Jonathan Davis

Publication date Dec 22, 2017

Running time 10 hrs

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$17.99

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