River of Darkness Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery down the Amazon

ISBN-10: 0553807501

ISBN-13: 9780553807509

Edition: 2011

Authors: Buddy Levy

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Description:

From the acclaimed author ofConquistadorcomes this thrilling account of one of historyrs"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 Americars"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. Interweaving eyewitness accounts of the quest with newly uncovered details, Buddy Levy reconstructs the seminal journey that has electrified adventurers ever since, as Orellana became the first European to navigate and explore the entire length of the worldrs"s largest river. Levy gives a long-overdue account of the native populations-some peaceful and welcoming, offering sustenance and life-saving guidance, others ferociously hostile, subjecting the invaders to gauntlets of unremitting attack and intimations of terrifying rituals. And here is the Amazon itself, a powerful presence whose every twist and turn held the promise of new wonders both natural and man-made, as well as the ever-present risk of death-a river that would hold Orellana in its irresistible embrace to the end of his life. Overflowing with violence and beauty, nobility and tragedy,River of Darknessis both riveting history and a breathtaking adventure that will sweep readers along on an epic voyage unlike any other.
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Book details

List price: $37.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/22/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.672
Language: English

Buddy Levy is the author ofnbsp;Conquistador,nbsp;River of Darkness, and American Legend. He is co-star of Brad Meltzer'snbsp;Decodednbsp;on H2 (History Channel), and has been featured or reviewed innbsp;The New York Times,nbsp;The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Booklist,nbsp;andnbsp;Library Journal.

Map
Prologue
A Confluence of Conquistadors
Birth of the Golden Dream
Into the Andes
El Barco and the San Pedro
The Split
The Plight of Gonzalo Pizarro
St. Eulalia's Confluence-The Amazon
The Victoria
River of Darkness, Brothers of Doom
The Assassination of Francisco Pizarro
On the Maranon to the Realm of Machiparo
Among the Omagua
Big Blackwater River
Encountering the Amazons
The Trumpeter's Tale
Tides of Change and a Sweetwater Sea
The Homeward Reach
The Last Stand of the Last Pizarro
The Expedition to New Andalusia-Return to the Amazon
Epilogue
Chronology
A Note on the Text and Sources
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Index
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