An American myth and a contemporary portrait of the scars of the past that run through a family and of our desperate need to escape our history, to subsume it with pleasure - or to rise above it with glory.
Hellsmouth, a willful thoroughbred filly, has the legacy of a family riding on her.
The Forges: one of the oldest and proudest families in Kentucky; descended from the first settlers to brave the Wilderness Road; as mythic as the history of the South itself; and now, first-time horse breeders. Through an act of naked ambition, Henry Forge is attempting to blaze this new path on the family's crop farm. His daughter, Henrietta, becomes his partner in the endeavour but has desires of her own.
When Allmon Shaughnessy, an African American man fresh from prison, comes to work in the stables, the ugliness of the farm's history rears its head. Together, through sheer will, the three stubbornly try to create a new future - one that isn't determined by Kentucky's bloody past - while they mould Hellsmouth into a champion.
The Sport of Kings has the force of an epic. A majestic story of speed and hunger, racism and justice, this novel is an astonishment from start to finish.