Thursday, May 4, 2017

The River of Corn - #BookBeginnings on Friday & The #Friday56

     In school I learned about the conquistadors who explored the Americas -  Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, and others who were portrayed as heroes. Of course, there was more to the story! In The River of Corn, author John Rose Putnam fleshes out the conquests of Hernando de Soto and his armies in a vivid and engrossing tale. The protagonist is an African slave, called "Gomez" by his captors, who yearns for freedom. His point of view provides a different slant on this history and the effects of the conquistadors on Native Americans.
     If this sounds like a dry history, I can assure you it is not. There's drama, romance, friendship, and treachery, and a great plot to keep you turning pages. Readers who enjoy historical fiction, lots of action, and a compelling story will definitely like The River of Corn.

FYI: I have previously featured Putnam's Hangtown Creek (a California Gold Rush novel) on my blog HERE.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length of Book: 203 Pages
Amazon Link: The River of Corn (Only 99¢ in ebook format!!)
Author Website: John Rose Putnam
(You can read Chapter 1 from Putnam's newest book on his website.)

Book Beginnings:

     The thunder of many animals running together grew louder. He tensed when far more creatures than he had fingers to count loomed into view. Larger than the forest elk, each carried a warrior on its back. The tales of the old ones, so often mocked by the young, were true.

Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):

You will soon see the true wealth of the Chicora, my friend, for we go to the heart of my country along the River of Corn that is our very soul. But much trouble besets my people there for the plague passes up the river even as we speak. The Chicora suffer terribly from it.


In 1540 Hernando de Soto and 600 Spanish conquistadors crossed the Savannah River into what is now South Carolina and thus entered the empire of the Chicora, the largest and most powerful Native American civilization in the Southeast. Modern archaeologists have yet to find any trace of that once vibrant society. 

Although now considered a lost civilization, when the Spanish arrived the Chicora were led by a beautiful queen and had a magnificent temple filled with the remains of their honored ancestors. Did Hernando de Soto, a ruthless conquistador with a lust for gold, bring about their downfall? THE RIVER OF CORN is a powerful tale of the destruction of these American Indians told by an experienced South Carolina fiction writer who spent his youth in the locales he writes about, places that match the Spanish accounts almost exactly.

Who were the Chicora? What really happened to them?


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger


  1. Hi there!

    Oh, nice cover. Hope you are enjoying it. :D

    Here's my entry for #Friday56 and #Bookbeginnings :

    Have an ab fab weekend!

    Love from Sassy x

  2. Now I am definitely curious. Thanks for sharing such appealing excerpts and info. Here's mine: “A MOTHER’S CONFESSION”

  3. This sounds good. I was a college history major many, many years ago. I am reading Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beatty this week. Happy reading!

  4. Peaceful cover but I think the story inside isn't.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

    1. I think you'd enjoy Putnam's books. His depiction of Native American daily life were eye-opening for me. Evidently he has done a ton of research.

  5. It sounds fascinating. I love when fiction also provides historical facts. Sure makes for a more enjoyable experience.

    My Friday 56 from The Darkest Thread

    1. I'm the same way. It's sometimes hard to read straight history, but when there's a story involved, it can be fascinating. Putnam has achieved a great mix of fact and fiction.

  6. This sounds really interesting and I love when fiction can expand and really add a human touch to the names and dates I learned in school.

  7. Hi Sandra,

    Being a 'Brit', my only understanding of the conflicts between the Native American Indian tribes and the many settlers and conquerors who sought to destroy their civilizations, is what I gleaned from the very basic coverage the topic received as part of my World History teachings. As with the African American Slave movement, I am always keen to expand my knowledge and understanding. This mix of fact and fiction sounds like a great way to enhance the experience.

    Slightly off post and by sheer coincidence ... Today saw, amongst my new Twitter followers, one Alethea Williams, author of Western Historical Novels. This sounds like another author who has done her research painstakingly and accurately and someone you might be interested in checking out ...

    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend :)


    1. I've featured two of Alethea Williams' books on my blog: Walls for the Wind and Naapikoan Winter. Look under the "Book Featured" tab above for more info on those wonderful books.

  8. Love the cover and the sound of the book.

    Thanks for sharing and for coming by my blog.

  9. What an interesting sounding story! I really enjoy books that take historical concepts and make them a little more exciting than those school textbooks. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

  10. Probably not for me :) but hope you're enjoying your read
    Happy Weekend!

  11. Can't say I've heard of this one. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

  12. It's really great when history and story come together. This sounds like that - I'm in awe of authors that can do this well. Thanks for featuring this one, and for the visit.

  13. Such an exciting BB! Thank you for visiting my blog. I'd love for your readers to do so as well . . .

  14. Such an exciting BB! Thank you for visiting my blog. I'd love for your readers to do so as well . . .

  15. Nice cover. Sounds like a good read.

  16. I like that cover and it sounds like a fascinating read! Happy weekend!

  17. I enjoy historical fiction and this one focuses on an area and time I've not visited in my books. A great suggestion.

  18. It sounds like a very interesting read! Thanks for sharing, Sandra!

  19. This could be an interesting historical fiction novel. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me


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