Published: Nov 18 2016
In the winter of 1846 the barque, Levant, delivers a company of British soldiers to Port Nicholson in New Ulster. Her Majesty’s 65th Regiment of Foot has arrived at the bottom of the world. Within weeks, Sergeant John Barr and his men are fighting for their lives against the savage inhabitants of these South Seas islands – the cannibal Māori. The Queen’s Redcoats soon learn that they face a formidable foe. Keen to know more of his enemy, Sergeant Barr attaches himself to a contingent of friendly Māori. In the crucible of battle, John Barr and Rewi Takahe become friends. When the 65th is sent to garrison the town of Petre on the Whanganui River, the friends are thrust into war once again. During a respite from battle, Sergeant John Barr saves Nurse Jane O’Fee from assault. Romance results. Treaties are signed and peace descends upon the land. John and Jane marry and settle in the beautiful Turakina Valley, home to Rewi Takahe and Caroline, his Pakeha bride. But Rewi’s marriage enrages Tamati, his brother. Murder is attempted. When Jane is kidnapped and held hostage, John and Rewi pursue. Finally, brother battles brother in a fight to the death.