Tides of Kawhia – third edition

Tides of Kawhia – third edition

(2 customer reviews)


The first of a historical fiction trilogy based on the true events of Ngati Toarangatira and their fighting leader Te Rauparaha. Told through the eyes of a slave, Rou, the story gives incredible insight to the way Maori people lived before Europeans arrived.

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ISBN: 978-0-473-56810-8 Third edition published by Kirsten Wilson Publishing. Trade paperback. 150 x 230mm (6″ x 9″ a conventional novel size). 312 pages.

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

Crammed with fascinating historical details, this novel introduces the reader to the enigmatic figure of Te Rauparaha. In the late eighteenth century, Kawhia is the prosperous heart of the people of Ngati Toarangatira. But, beyond the borders ominous changes threaten to drive the iwi from their coastal stronghold. In the north, Nga Puhi acquire muskets, and to the east the Waikato tribes cast envious eyes on the bountiful waters and forests of Kawhia. Into this mix the child Maui Potiki is born. He is later called Te Rauparaha, a name that today ripples down the pages of New Zealand history. The young Te Rauparaha uses his wits, courage and audacity to become a military strategist, accomplished politician and tribal leader. Sharing his exploits is Te Rou Rou, born into slavery who, like the young man of rank, uses intelligence to improve his status in the often dangerous tribal life of the time. When simmering animosities between the inland peoples explode into all-out-war, hundreds of warriors are left on the battlefield. In Tides of Kawhia, deadly fights and ancient Maori ritual mingle with delicate poetry and an impetuous hot-blooded people, bringing to life a period of history and a society unknown to many.

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.

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Weight 0.6 kg
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by Tom O'Connor, mint condition – no autograph

2 reviews for Tides of Kawhia – third edition

  1. Terry Kitson

    Totally engaging Tom makes history exciting . First of a trilogy-highly recommend all three, hard to put down .

  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 ???

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