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The Eel of Te Raki (Paperback)
To be asked to participate in a publication is an honour and I take the author's trust very seriously. To meld historic facts into a work of ﬁction requires judgement and consideration beyond the needs of straight ﬁction. I applaud the years of work culminating in this publication. - Timuaki Te Aika
When a fire in 2014 ravages a farmhouse where precious greenstone is hidden, Katarina Ti Toi wonders about its ownership - what will become of the treasure? Meanwhile, her cousin's daughter, Victoria, has a DNA test, for she believes she might be part-Māori. Could Victoria be related to the great chieftain, Te Raki, who, in 1667 carved an image of the mythical Yellow Eel on his tokotoko (walking stick)? And why is Katarina drawn to Taerutu Lagoon, where the wāhine (women) were sacrificed in the past?
Written in parallel storylines, The Eel of Te Raki makes great use of contrast and movement: contemporary vs. historical; warfare vs. communing with the gods; travel vs. mystical stillness; and difference vs. similarity, across generations as it tells the story of Kaiapohia Pā (a fortified village) in New Zealand's South Island.
Ultimately, The Eel of Te Raki is a story of human ingenuity, acceptance, transformation and wonderment which commemorates the power of history that is remembered in the land.