Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

(2 customer reviews)


Determined to live peacefully in their new land, Te Rauparaha urges his people of Ngati Toarangatira to end their revenge killing tauas. It doesn’t last long when Te Rauparaha is lured into a trap intended to murder him and his family. This is the story of Ngati Toarangatira and their chief Te Rauparaha settling around Manawatu and both sides Cook Strait. The island of Kapiti becomes their political and military base from there the dominate the region as far south as Akaroa.

Gift Wrap + $1
Autographed + $1

SKU: SK473568115 Categories: , Tag:


ISBN: 978-0-473-56811-5 Second edition published by Kirsten Wilson Publishing. Trade paperback. 150 x 230mm (6″ x 9″ a conventional novel size). 322 pages.

A historical novel on the life of New Zealand’s legendary fighting leader Te Rauparaha in the early 1800’s.  Shadows of Kapiti is the third in the trilogy after Tides of Kawhia and Pathways of Taranaki.

Te Rauparaha was the acknowledged leader of the biggest alliance of tribes ever to be formed in New Zealand. Thousands of men and women and hundreds of proudly independent tribal leaders were prepared to follow him anywhere. Maintaining that loyalty, keeping the peace between and convince them all that he came in peace was to be the most demanding challenge of his life. It would only take a small spark to set an unstoppable fire in the dry ferns of tribal society. Was this the treacherous cunning and unprincipled old cannibal of early journals? Or was he really a Polynesian Napolean? or just lucky?

The following 25 years were some of the bloodiest and darkest in our history as powerful tribes armed with muskets and other Pakeha technology brought death and destruction to tens of thousands of people. Life became a constant, unrelenting and seemingly ever-increasing round of bloody raids and reprisals. Some tribes never fully recovered.

On the edge of this dangerously violent society a new people began to arrive in growing numbers. The mysterious land-hungry Pakeha with their huge ships, strange philosophy, and deadly weapons are seen for what they were through Maori eyes.  Once again the author pulls no punches and tells the story like it was, harsh, bloody, fascinating and true.

Shadows of Kapiti is the third historical novel in a series on the life of the Ngati Toarangatira fighting leader Te Rauparaha and covers their arrival in the lower North Island and incursions into the South Island at the height of the phenomenon which recently came to be known as the Musket Wars. While most of what happened at this time is known by historians and many senior Maori, few people outside these circles know the reasons behind many of the actions taken by tribal leaders.

Drawing on written histories, oral traditions and ancient songs the author tells a little known but fascinatingly true story behind the exploits of Te Rauparaha and his people.

The tales of heroism, tragedy, a strict code of chiefly conduct and the early impact of muskets and European ships are all historically accurate. However, driven by competition for trade with the recently arrive Pakeha, many tribes put aside ancient protocols that limited warfare. The result was a quarter of a century of intertribal bloodletting and near extinction of some tribes.

Contains violence, cannibalism and references to rape and sex.

If you would like a copy signed by the author Tom O’Connor, please add a note to your order.

Additional information

Weight 0.6 kg
Gift Wrap

Christmas Gift Wrap, Generic Gift Wrap, No Gift Wrap


by Tom O'Connor, mint condition – no autograph

2 reviews for Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

  1. George Moss (verified owner)

    Excellent read and gives one a real feel for what life was like at the time. Definitely not all “peaches & cream”. I am heartened by the knowledge that the events written about have been are known to have occurred. The book gives flavour to the facts.

  2. Tim Duff (verified owner)

    Brilliant, hard to put down and life changing read !
    Absolutely loved this trilogy, easily some of the best books I have ever read. Never have I learnt so much from reading with an incredibly well written and fascinating storyline.
    The first book “Tides of Kawhia” the main character Rou is young, the 2nd book “Pathways to Taranaki,” Rou is in his prime, the third book “shadows of Kapiti”, Rou is ageing in years and with it comes his wisdom. So the trilogy is sequential through Rou’s life.
    Although Rou is a fictional character, the way he lives is well described in Toms writing and its based on four decades of research into the old ways of Moari at the time. You will learn how they lived, sustained themselves like catching and growing food, how they travelled and fought in wars. The incredible thing is that all the events that happen in the book are believed to have actually happened, as those stories have been passed down through generations and now thanks to Tom have been documented.
    These books are true treasures that should be shared and read by everybody who wants to get a better understanding of Moari way of life around the time that Europeans started visiting and then settling in NZ.
    I found the way Tom describes detail in his book to be exceptional accurate, for example sea fearing. Ive spent a lot of time on the water paddling different Waka and Tom nails the description of what it would be like. Some people might find the Moari names used int he book tricky but what is brilliant is Tom has put a map and an index in the book so you can refer to them when you need clarification.
    Truly a masterpiece !! If you like these books you should also read Tom’s book “Irish Convict”, I was totally blown away by this book, way better than I expected. Its the same time period as the trilogy but this time the fictional character is Irish. Over about a 15 year period he is living with Moari and you gain even more understanding of how they lived at the time.
    Fascinating insight into how Europeans were able to settle here in NZ and why and how the treaty was formed.
    Incredible read ! Should be read in schools as part of the history curriculum, would make learning fun! Thanks Tom O’Conner your an absolute legend in my mind for producing these works. I cant wait for the fourth book, when Rou is of an old age ???

Add a review