In 1886 Maori Priest Tuhoto Ariki, angered by his tribe's descent into debauchery, exerts his metaphysical powers to cleanse the land in an act of violence. His curse brings about the death of a powerful tribal chieftain in a matter of days.
Out on the lake a doleful chanting heralds the arrival of a war canoe entering through the fog, driven by a phantom crew of Maori warriors. Days later Tarawera mountain erupts in one of the most powerful detonations on earth, destroying the indescribable beauty of the world famous Pink and White terraces and wreaking havoc havoc on the villages below.
The novel tells the story of documented events before during and after the eruption.