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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 12/2016
  • B01N7IMIQI
  • 564 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2016
  • 9780692771334
  • 564 pages
  • $18.99
Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

A work of fiction informed by history, Once There Was Fire is the story of Kamehameha the Great, who rose from inauspicious beginnings on the Big Island of Hawai'i in the mid-1700s to conquer the entire archipelago by 1810. As a young man, Kamehameha witnessed the arrival in the Islands of the English explorer, James Cook, in 1779--a culturally seismic event for the Hawaiians. Kamehameha was the first among his people to grasp the transformative implications of Cook's visit, an understanding he would later turn to advantage in struggles with his rivals. Once There Was Fire brings a little-understood, historically remote era to life through the words and actions of its memorable characters: Kamehameha, his strong-willed and rebellious consort, Ka'ahumanu, his favorite brother, Keli'imaika'i, and Kamehameha's sons, nephews, comrades in arms, haole advisers, and bitter enemies. The novel invites readers to see Hawaii of the mid-18th and early 19th centuries as the old Hawaiians themselves might have seen and experienced it on the cusp of their passage from splendid isolation to the wider world.
Reviews
Book Viral

A bold and stirring historical novel ... Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, it is first and foremost entertaining with confident pacing and compelling characters, but it also proves an intriguing and enlightening foray into a tumultuous and pivotal period in Hawaiian history. 

Historical Novel Society

"The descriptions of phenomenal storytellers, feast makers, drinking contests, blood bonds, sacrifices of prisoners, polygamous relationships, remarkable physical prowess in sport and war, military strategies that guarantee success or failure, and so much more fill these pages into what one can only call a mesmerizing saga." 

Kirkus Reviews

"...this novel should gratify historians and general readers alike....A thoughtful, well-written work that breathes new life into past personalities and events."

Midwest Book Review

"Skillfully written and consistently entertaining, Once There Was Fire is an extraordinary work of literature, a compelling read from beginning to end, and unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections."

Rabia Tanveer, Readers Favorite

Stephen Shender does a wonderful job of bringing the rich and complicated history of Hawaii to the reader in the simplest, eloquent and most splendid way. The descriptions of the scenery and the imagery were so real that you could almost taste the salt of the ocean and understand the way the 18th century Hawaiians lived.

Rick Chatenever, Maui News

What makes this historical novel impressive is its author’s feel for his epic subject matter, and his ability to tell the story so lyrically, with a Hawaiian lilt to the language. His Kamehameha resembles larger-than-life Western literary figures, from the classical myths of antiquity through King Arthur to Shakespeare in this page turner that vividly paints a way of life worlds apart from the one we now know on Hawaii’s shores.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 12/2016
  • B01N7IMIQI
  • 564 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2016
  • 9780692771334
  • 564 pages
  • $18.99

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