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Maori: A Novel

September 25th, 2015 Kindle Books


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Maori: A Novel


Maori: A Novel


A thrilling historical novel that follows an English family through five decades of passion, adventure, war, and upheaval in the breathtaking wilderness of nineteenth-century New Zealand
 
The only son of a poor British coal miner, Robert Coffin sets sail for the far ends of the Earth in search of his fortune, leaving his young bride and infant child behind in England. In the sordid and dangerous South Pacific port of Kororareka, on the sprawling island the native Maori call “the Land of the Long White Cloud,” Coffin builds a successful new life as a merchant. He gains an unwavering respect for the aboriginal people and their culture, and finds comfort in the arms of his fiery Irish mistress, Mary.
 
But the unexpected arrival of a China-bound clipper bearing his wife, Holly, and son, Christopher, throws Coffin’s world into turmoil—compounded by the ever-increasing tension between the Maori tribes and the mistrusted “pakehas” who are plundering their land. As the years of a volatile nineteenth century progress, the indomitable family of the stalwart adventurer the Maori have named “Iron Hair” will struggle, sacrifice, and endure through war, chaos, catastrophe, and change.

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What customers say about Maori: A Novel?

  1. 47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An Epic Historical NOVEL, February 18, 2003
    By 
    Pam Hanna (Thoreau, New Mexico United States) –

    This review is from: Maori (Mass Market Paperback)
    Ever since I saw the movie “The Piano”, I’ve been curious about the Maori of New Zealand. It is assumed that they are descendents of Polynesians, but their culture and character are unique. They are a most intelligent and beautiful people. When the English moved in to colonize, they were much quicker to learn the language and customs of the intruders than the British, Irish, Australians and Germas were to learn about them. So they had a distinct advantage. They had heard what happened to the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia, Africa and Asia when European Imperialists took over, enslaving and killing the natives and appropriating their land. Inevitably, the same thing happened to the Maoris too but not to such an extent. Forewarned is forearmed.
    The story starts in 1839 and spans more than 50 years. It concerns an English sea captain of his times (who nevertheless learned the Maori language), and his sons by his English wife, his Irish mistress and the Maori love of his life.
    What bothers me about *Maori* is that it’s called an “epic historical fantasy.” This is a misnomer since the fantastic elements in it are a matter of historical record. After his epilogue, the author states that,
    “Although real and fictional personages mix freely in this tale, the sighting of the death canoe by two separate parties of travelers and the entombment and subsequent rescue and death of the 104-year-old Maori, Tohunga [a shaman] known as Tuhoto, are a matter of historical record.”
    As is the eruption in 1886 of the volcano Tarawera and the burying of the “eighth wonder of the world”, the pink and white limestone terraces that drew sight-seers from all over the 19th century world.
    Alan Dean Foster is known primarily as a science fiction writer, so his publishers probably assumed it had to be “historical fantasy.” It’s an historical novel. Period. I’m amazed that it has received no other Amazon reviews because it’s quite simply the best historical novel I’ve ever read.

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  2. 5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Good story, factually distorted, November 28, 2014
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Maori (Kindle Edition)
    Don’t let my review put you off reading this book which is a good enough yarn. However, as a Kiwi of mixed Maori and Pakeha descent, whose first known Maori ancestor is reputed to have ridden here on the back of a whale and who first European ancestor came here in 1829, I found myself becoming progressively more outraged as I read Alan’s reinvention of my country’s history and geography. My objections are to matters of detail and timing which aren’t really all that significant to the story line but do create a false impression of what happened in this country. Whoever did Alan’s research was about as slack as they come. When putting real people such as Hone(Johnny) Heke and Julius Vogel into a fictional story, I’d expect their substance to be true, and it isn’t. Neither is the discovery and founding of Auckland which was built on the Wai Te Mata Harbour at Tamaki Maka Rau (Tamaki of the thousand lovers) a very well known place coveted by Maori the length and breadth of the North Island and fought over many times. This officially happened in September 1840 officiated over by Governor Hobson, several years before the sacking of Kororareka. It was at a spot chosen by Captain Cook in 1769. And by the way, the natural range of kauri in NZ extends only to the base of the Coromandel peninsular and the last time it grew naturally in the South Island was about 80 million years ago, although, with global warming, its range will probably extend there in the next 50 years. Reading the reviews makes me even more mad because the clearly intrigued readers seem to be accepting the book’s background as fact. My one exception is the eruption of Tarawera which Alan has done well including the tohunga and the ghost waka (canoe) although the waka was a traditional single hulled war craft not the double hulled craft that he describes. The names of most of the Maori individuals don’t ring true to me either but he has grasped both Maori and Pakeha attitudes fairly well which is the best part of the book.

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  3. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    An excellent tale in the vein of historical fiction., August 29, 2015
    By 
    David Williams
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Maori: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
    A story of the life of a fictional fellow living during the founding of British New Zealand. While perhaps not factually accurate, the story well addresses many social issues: whaling, gold and economic dependence on non-renewable resources, problems created by religious indoctrination of native peoples, how conservative classism takes hold in aging people who socially succeed and a peek into the subject of cultural relativity.

    The book is easy to read and written in the simple, clean style for which Mr. Foster is well known. It reminds me of Neil Shute’s writing style- focusing on dialogue and action to develop character rather than on internal monologue or physical description.

    Not a fan of historical fiction, I enjoyed the book immensely. While I would recommend this book to anyone, I’d especially recommend it to parents with teenagers because of Mr. Foster’s outstanding use of vocabulary and his observations of important social issues without taking the soap box. That said, there are some brief and rather subdued sexual scenes in the book.

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