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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Buddy Levy
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Genres: History, Biography & Memoir
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published In: December 2017
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 9 hours, 51 minutes
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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.

Author Details

Author Details

Levy, Buddy

Buddy Levy is the author of "American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett" and "Echoes on Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge," As a freelance journalist he has covered adventure sports and lifestyle around the world. He is clinical associate professor of English at Washington State University, and lives in northern Idaho with his wife, Camie, and two children.