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Cover for The Gold Eaters

The Gold Eaters

A Novel

Ronald Wright


List Price: 28.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (11/2/2015)
Paperback (11/1/2016)


“Utterly irresistible…The Gold Eaters is truly the gold standard to which all fiction — historical and otherwise — should aspire.” — Buzzfeed

A sweeping, epic historical novel of exploration and invasion, of conquest and resistance, and of an enduring love that must overcome the destruction of one empire by another.

Kidnapped at sea by conquistadors seeking the golden land of Peru, a young Inca boy named Waman is the everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Forced to become Francisco Pizarro's translator, he finds himself caught up in one of history's great clashes of civilzations, the Spanish invasion of the Incan Empire of the 1530s. To survive, he must not only learn political gamesmanship but also discover who he truly is, and in what country and culture he belongs. Only then can he be reunited with the love of his life and begin the search for his shattered family, journeying through a land and a time vividly depicted here.

Based closely on real historical events, The Gold Eaters draws on Ronald Wright’s imaginative skill as a novelist and his deep knowledge of South America to bring alive an epic struggle that laid the foundations of the modern world.

Praise For The Gold Eaters: A Novel

Praise for The Gold Eaters

“Utterly irresistible…The Gold Eaters is truly the gold standard to which all fiction — historical and otherwise — should aspire.” — Buzzfeed

"Wright’s fast-paced historical novel unfolds in the early 16th century... Diligent research [and] colorful details capture the flavor of Peru… Part coming-of-age novel, part first-contact saga, The Gold Eaters tells the story of Spain’s battle for Peru through the eyes of its participants."
— New York Times Book Review  

The Gold Eaters is majestic in its sweep and gives the reader a tangible sense of a culture that is being destroyed, its weaknesses as well as its wonders, as well as the semi-demented state of conquerors, separated from home and driven by desperation as well as greed. And always, the beauty and epic scale of the land around them, colored with the pain of small individual lives which both are, but are not, history.”
— Sarah Dunant, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Beauty and The Birth of Venus

“[An] epic adventure of conquest, war, and cultural differences…Wright displays his mastery of the historical fiction form with this terrific novel that will enlighten anyone interested in the conquest of Peru.” — Library Journal  *starred review*  
Readers are treated to a riveting account of the wealthy, culturally superior Incans and the encroachment of the Spaniards on their civilization...Wright’s fictionalized treatment brings those abuses home in a visceral way—readers will never again think of conquistadors without shuddering." — Booklist *starred review*
“Wright’s narrative deftly juggles the elements of historical fiction, war story, and coming-of-age novel.” — Kirkus Reviews
“This is a rousing adventure tale of bold exploration and conquest, but best is Wright’s vivid portrayal of unrestrained 16th-century Spanish imperialism, complete with villains, victims, and a few heroes.” — Publishers Weekly

"[R]ichly evocative, skillfully paced..." — Globe & Mail

The Gold Eaters is more than a heart-pounding epic; it is a brilliant and difficult reflection on the breaking of an Indigenous people on the wheel of ‘progress.’ Ronald Wright is a storyteller at the height of his powers.”
— Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda
"Ronald Wright has dug deep in the treasure of the Spanish-American chronicles and come up with a golden, fabulous story of courage, greed, political intrigue and the treacherous bridges we build between clashing civilizations."
— Alberto Manguel, author of Curiosity

Praise for Ronald Wright’s fiction

“An elegant novel . . . gripping and lyrical; you struggle to slow down but find yourself rushing forward.” The New Yorker

“Powerful . . . cunningly fashioned . . . The novel works on all levels [and] its flair for description can be positively Dickensian.” The New York Times Book Review
“An unforgettable novel, meant to be read again and again in disbelief and understanding.”
USA Today

Riverhead Books, 9781594634628, 384pp.

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

About the Author

Novelist and historian Ronald Wright is the award-winning author of ten books published in 16 languages and more than 40 countries. His first novel, A Scientific Romance, won the David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and the Sunday TimesA Short History of Progress, his CBC Massey Lectures, won the Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and inspired Martin Scorsese's 2011 film Surviving Progress. Wright’s other books include Stolen Continents and Time Among the Maya.  He lives on Canada’s west coast.