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Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii Kindle Edition
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The result is an easy to read, compelling tale that is as epic in its scope as it is endearing in its portrayal of everyday life and the relationships between the key players in the book, most notably its main character, King Kamehameha, his primary wife Queen Keōpūolani and family members. The novel is the story of Kamehameha's life and the events that lead to his unification of the Hawaiian Islands, at a time when foreigners visited the islands, changing the course of history.
The book is told in the first person by a nephew, then in his late 60s, of Kamehameha at the behest of his young wife. This necessitates several leaps in time, all handled well by Shender, who is a veteran journalist and communications specialist.
I've read a number of historical novels about some of my favorite places over the past couple of years and this is my favorite. It's a great story full of drama, adventure, war, rivalries, and love. I strongly recommend it.