Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life - at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes; and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and senses of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.
Includes the song "Birds Fly South", performed by the author and Elin Palmer.
"The Serpent King is a book you won't be able to resist or forget. The Southern boy in me savored every syllable and the reader in me fell in love with every page." (John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner)
"Zentner explores difficult themes head on - including the desire to escape the sins of the father and the fragility of happiness - while tempering them with the saving grace of enduring friendship." (Publishers Weekly)
"Zentner combines the melancholy of being 17 with the melancholy present in the best of Southern fiction and gives us a novel that will fill the infinite space that was left in your chest after you finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower." (BookRiot)
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Once and future king
- aaron robinson