09 October 2008

A Crossbowman's Story review by Denis Minev

A Crossbowman's Story
Availability: Currently unavailable

4.0 out of 5 stars ACCOUNT OF ORELLANAS TRIP DOWN THE AMAZONMay 15, 2006
This book tells the story of Francisco de Orellana?s trip in 1541 and 1542 down the Amazon river. It is written from the perspective of one of the crossbowmen in Orellana?s party. 

If you are interested in Amazon history, especially as it relates to explorers, this is a book you must read. It goes into detail not only on the region that is explored but also of the social connections between the Spaniards and their motivations. It tracks the expedition from its beginning, when Orellana races to catch up with Gonzalo Pizarro?s group (Francisco?s brother), to the moment the parties get separated, to the decisions made along the way that caused deaths or allowed them to stay alive. It also provides a very good description of the local environment and the account allows the reader to discern many of the main local features, mainly tributaries meeting the Amazon. 

I recommend this book for people who are knowledgeable of the Amazon already and would like to know more about this first white man to see the great river from its insides.

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