Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

(1 customer review)


Determined to live peacefully in their new land, Te Rauparaha urges his people of Ngati Toarangatira to end their revenge killing tauas. It doesn’t last long when Te Rauparaha is lured into a trap intended to murder him and his family. This is the story of Ngati Toarangatira and their chief Te Rauparaha settling around Manawatu and both sides Cook Strait. The island of Kapiti becomes their political and military base from there the dominate the region as far south as Akaroa.

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ISBN: 978-0-473-56811-5 Second edition published by Kirsten Wilson Publishing. Trade paperback. 150 x 230mm (6″ x 9″ a conventional novel size). 322 pages.

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 in the trilogy after Tides of Kawhia and Pathways of Taranaki.

Te Rauparaha was the acknowledged leader of the biggest alliance of tribes ever to be formed in New Zealand. Thousands of men and women and hundreds of proudly independent tribal leaders were prepared to follow him anywhere. Maintaining that loyalty, keeping the peace between and convince them all that he came in peace was to be the most demanding challenge of his life. It would only take a small spark to set an unstoppable fire in the dry ferns of tribal society. Was this the treacherous cunning and unprincipled old cannibal of early journals? Or was he really a Polynesian Napolean? or just lucky?

The following 25 years were some of the bloodiest and darkest in our history as powerful tribes armed with muskets and other Pakeha technology brought death and destruction to tens of thousands of people. Life became a constant, unrelenting and seemingly ever-increasing round of bloody raids and reprisals. Some tribes never fully recovered.

On the edge of this dangerously violent society a new people began to arrive in growing numbers. The mysterious land-hungry Pakeha with their huge ships, strange philosophy, and deadly weapons are seen for what they were through Maori eyes.  Once again the author pulls no punches and tells the story like it was, harsh, bloody, fascinating and true.

Shadows of Kapiti is the third historical novel in a series on the life of the Ngati Toarangatira fighting leader Te Rauparaha and covers their arrival in the lower North Island and incursions into the South Island at the height of the phenomenon which recently came to be known as the Musket Wars. While most of what happened at this time is known by historians and many senior Maori, few people outside these circles know the reasons behind many of the actions taken by tribal leaders.

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

1 review for Shadows of Kapiti – second edition

  1. George Moss (verified owner)

    Excellent read and gives one a real feel for what life was like at the time. Definitely not all “peaches & cream”. I am heartened by the knowledge that the events written about have been are known to have occurred. The book gives flavour to the facts.

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