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Tides of Kawhia

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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 late 1700's. Tides of Kawhia is the first of a trilogy followed by Pathways of Taranaki and Shadows of Kapiti. Kawhia is the prosperous heart of the people of Ngati Toarangatira but beyond the borders ominous changes threaten to drive them 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 but manages to improve his status against odds in the 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. Deadly fights and ancient Maori ritual mingle with delicate poetry and impetuous hot-blooded people, bringing to life a period of history and a society unknown to many.