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Shadows of Kapiti

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Tom O'Connor
April 2021
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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 novel after Tides of Kawhia and Pathways of Taranaki. The acknowledged leader of the biggest alliance of Maori tribes, Te Rauparaha led thousands of men and women and hundreds of proudly independent tribal leaders. Maintaining that loyalty, keeping the peace between them and convincing the anxious people that he came in peace, was the most demanding challenge of his life. Tales of heroism, tragedy, a strict code of chiefly conduct and the impact of muskets from European ships are all historically accurate. Driven by competition for trade with the new Pakeha, many tribes put aside ancient protocols that limited warfare which led to decades of intertribal conflict and left many hapu extinct. Drawing on written histories, oral traditions and ancient songs, the author tells a little known but fascinatingly true story behind the actions of the Maori leaders. The author pulls no punches and tells it like it was, violent, bloody, sad and inspiring.