In the early 1800's a French veteran of Napoleon Bonaparte's wars escapes to New Zealand from the penal settlement of New South Wales. After being captured, he chances his way into the inner-sanctum of a powerful Maori tribe. Soon he is within a hairs-breadth of becoming heir to the throne. He is caught-up in a terrifying inter-tribal war, and even as a seasoned campaigner, he is over-awed by the brutality and bravery of it all.
Intertwined through this riveting tale is an abandoned nymph-like white girl who captivates our French adventurer to the point that she costs him his position and standing among the Maori.
Amidst all of the beauty and savagery that is New Zealand, the author brings the reader with him into the valleys and dells of the lush tropical rain forests, to the snow-capped mountain peaks, and to the peaceful bays and inlets of a country so abundant in natures finery we can touch each dew-drenched leaf and be intoxicated by each delicate plant and flower. One can immediately feel absorbed in this land, abounding in beauty in all its untamed forms just prior to white settlement in the late 1840's.