The Serpent King

Jeff Zentner

During their senior year, three very different friends navigate their hopes and dreams that spread beyond their rural Southern town.


Dill is a disgraced preacher’s son who sings and writes songs, privately. He yearns to leave, but familial pressures make him unable to see how he could.


Lydia edits the truths of her life in her popular fashion blog, and is putting all her hope on getting to college in New York.


Travis wears his fantasy book fandom around his neck (literally, a necklace) and by toting around a staff folks give him flack for. He’s happy in their town, and hopes to share an apartment with Dill after graduation.


And oh yeah, Dill and Lydia have long been best friends, but have lots of conflicting feelings if they should be something else.

The Serpent King is a beautiful and heartfelt rumination on staying in the place you’ve known versus going, delving into the complex merits of both. It’s about trying to figure out what kind of man to be when you’re surrounded by rigid ideas of masculinity and machismo and what a man should be and do. It’s about permission—needing it, giving it, taking it—to leave, to create, to take a chance. It’s about hesitating. It’s about healing. We couldn’t recommend it more.


Page Count 384
Part of a Series? No
Age Level 12 — up

This book is . . .