Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii

| September 14, 2018

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Discover the epic story of old Hawaii James Michener never told. The Hawaiian people lived in an isolated Garden of Eden and fought over it for centuries. Then one day, strangers came from beyond the horizon on floating islands. At first, the Hawaiians thought they were gods. Having no metal of their own, they marveled at the visitors’ iron daggers, axes, muskets, and cannons. One man, Kamehameha, was the first among the Hawaiians to understand that the strangers’ arrival had transformed everything for his people. He would go on to use these new weapons to defeat his rivals, unite the Hawaiian Islands, and found a new kingdom at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean.
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.

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