Kings of Colorado by David E Hilton
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



A heartfelt portrait of a bygone age.

William Sheppard had never ventured beyond his Chicago neighborhood until, at thirteen, he was sent away to the Swope Ranch Boys’ Reformatory, hundreds of miles from home, for stabbing his abusive father in the chest with a pocketknife. Buried deep in the Colorado mountains, Swope is shrouded in legend and defined by one prevailing rumor: that the boys who go in never come out the same.

Despite the lack of fences or gates, the boundaries are clear: prisoners are days from civilization, there exists only one accessible road—except in the wintertime, when it’s buried under feet upon feet of snow, and anyone attempting escape will be shot down without hesitation in the shadow of the peaks. At 13,000 feet above sea level, the mountains aren’t forgiving, and neither are the guards.

With twenty-four months of hard time ahead of him, Will quickly learns to distinguish his allies from his enemies. He also learns about the high price of a childhood lost. At Swope, herds of mustangs are trucked in to be broken by a select group of inmates. Once the horses are gentled, they are sold to ranchers and landowners across the Southwest. Horses come and go, delinquent boys come and go. The boys break the horses, Swope Reformatory breaks the boys. Throughout this ordeal, Will discovers three others who bring him into their inner circle. They are life preservers in a sea of violence and corruption.

But if the boys are to withstand the ranch, they must first overcome tragedy and death—a feat that could haunt them for years to come.

About David E Hilton

See more books from this Author
David E. Hilton is a former middle school teacher who helps university and state employees figure out why they can’t access Google, print non work-related documents, or listen to their desktop speakers stream the latest Top Twenty. He and his wife, Amy, live just outside Austin, with their two boys and a beagle. Kings of Colorado is his first novel.
Published January 11, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 293 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Westerns. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kings of Colorado

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

An abused boy finds comrades-in-arms among his fellow inmates when he’s sent to a remote reform school high in the Rocky Mountains.

| Read Full Review of Kings of Colorado: A Novel

Dallas News

The boys broke the horses, Swope Reformatory broke the boys."

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Kings of Colorado: A Novel

Hilton, except that he lives outside Austin and grew up partly in Alpine in West Texas admiring King's short stories (which likely will be remembered long after King's best-selling horror novels have crumbled to obscurity).

Feb 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Kings of Colorado: A Novel

Culture Mob

Kings of Colorado (Simon & Schuster, $24) is the story of Will Sheppard, sent at age thirteen to a juvenile detention center for stabbing his abusive father.

Jan 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Kings of Colorado: A Novel

Reader Rating for Kings of Colorado

An aggregated and normalized score based on 62 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review