Hellsmouth, a willful thoroughbred filly with the blood of Triple Crown winners flowing through her veins, has the legacy of the Forges riding on her. One of the oldest and proudest families in Kentucky, the Forge family is as mythic as the history of the South itself. Descended from one of the first settlers to brave the Gap, Henry Forge, through an act of naked ambition, is attempting to blaze a new path, breeding horses on the family's crop farm. His daughter, Henrietta, becomes his partner in the endeavor, although she has desires of her own. Their conflict escalates when Allmon Shaughnessy, a black man fresh from prison, comes to work in the stables, and the ugliness of the farm's past and the exigencies of appetite become evident. Together, the three stubbornly try to create a new future through sheer will--one that isn't written in their very fabric--while they mold Hellsmouth into a champion.
The Sport of Kings has the grace of a parable and the force of an epic. A majestic story of speed and hunger, racism and justice, this novel is an astonishment from start to finish. A vital new voice, C. E. Morgan has crafted an American myth, 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.