Mullane Literary Associates

Stone of Kings by Gerard Helferich

Stone of Kings Gerard Helferich

Selected for the December 2011 Indie Next List

Praise for Gerard Helferich’s Stone of Kings:

Helferich delivers a lively narrative....[in this] fusion of geological treatise and adventure yarn, exploring the mysteries of Central American engaging cross-cultural tale of ancient peoples and modern desires.”


An absorbing and exciting story about a stone that ancient Mesoamericans prized above gold. The search for the sources of this mysterious rock reads like detective fiction, and involves geologists, archaeologists, entrepreneurs, poachers, and a host of other characters, but it's all true.”

Michael D. Coe, author of Breaking the Maya Code

“While others were anticipating the dubious 2012 Long Count apocalypse, Gerard Helferich was chasing an answer to a much more interesting Maya mystery—where had the legendary Maya jade come from? Stone of Kings is a rare creature in the world of adventure literature: equal parts fascinating travelogue, rich history, and good old-fashioned detective story.”

Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu

A well-written and fascinating book...For the ancient Maya and other pre-Columbian Mesoamerica civilizations, jade was the most precious and powerful substance in the universe. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of these civilizations, and a history of conquest, revolution, and civil war, Gerard Helferich describes how archaeologists, geologists, adventurers, and entrepreneurs rediscovered the long lost source of Mesoamerican jade.”

Robert Sharer, author of The Ancient Maya

A delightful and exciting book...a perfect mix of science and adventure, plus a fascinating cast of real characters, the jade hunters themselves. Recommended to anyone who likes tales of archaeology mixed with adventure--and vice versa!”

Arthur Demarest, author of Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization

Praise for Gerard Helferich’s previous books

Humboldt's Cosmos

“A fascinating snapshot of European thought at the cusp of the Romantic era and the uncompromising rationalism of modern science...but the book succeeds best as a thrilling tale of adventure travel.”

Los Angeles Times

His story is a great read.”

Gregg Easterbrook, The New Republic Online

Fascinating...offers a bold hypothesis about the origins and evolutionary significance of language...original and full of implication.”

Boston Globe

Helferich's lush and engaging biographical adventure tale...recreates the New World when it was still very novel to European eyes....does justice to Humboldt's own obsessive culling of observed particulars about the world around him, laying bare in the process many of the foundations of modern scientific method.”

Publishers Weekly

High Cotton

In the mode of John McPhee...High Cotton is a microcosmic look at work....A perceptive and unaffected look at an occupation that, however changed, is almost as ancient and venerated as human civilization.”

Business Week

A fascinating look at the crop that affected a nation.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“One year with a Mississippi cotton farmer reveals the harshness and fragility of life in the Delta....a generally genial portrait of a rugged man shaped and shoved by geography, weather, economics and race.”


About the Author

Gerard Helferich worked in publishing for twenty-five years as an editor and publisher. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he is the author of the widely praised Humboldt's Cosmos, which was a Discover magazine Science Bestseller, and High Cotton, which was a Book Sense Notable Title and received the 2008 Authors Award for nonfiction from the Mississippi Library Association. He lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Yazoo City, Mississippi, with his wife Teresa, a writer and the author of the memoir Buryin' Daddy.