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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  22 reviews
One man . . . on the journey of a lifetime. Ship captain and adventurer, his name was Robert Coffin. The native Maori called him Iron Hair. His women called him by other names. In the raw wilderness of New Zealand he had come to forge a nation at the end of the known world . . . only to encounter triumph and tragedy beyond his wildest dreams . . .
Paperback, 504 pages
Published February 6th 2006 by Wildside Press (first published February 1st 1988)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  299 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's the first I've read about the Maori and the story which is a blend of fact and fiction flows so well. I was a bit worried as the reviewers I saw rated it 3 stars but for me that means I liked the book. It is certainly worth reading. Believed by many of the settlers in New Zealand to be ignorant heathen, the intelligence exhibited by both individuals and the tribes seems quite complex. The role of Maori beliefs in their gods is fascinating. The eruption of Mount Terawera was fortold by a 104 ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“The Maoris are as adept at lying, […] as they are at making war.” (Kindle Locations 1049-1050)

Although never quite rising to the level of epic storytelling of a Follett, a Michener, a Clavell, or a Rutherfurd novel; Alan Dean Foster’s historical novel, Maori, is nonetheless entertaining and enlightening, with very engaging characters.

I was hoping to learn just a bit more about the Maori civilization/culture, though. I was disappointed that Foster’s story seemed to
Kahurangi C
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't let my review put you off reading this book which is a good enough yarn. However, as a Kiwi of mixed Maori and Pakeha descent, whose first known Maori ancestor is reputed to have ridden here on the back of a whale and who first European ancestor came here in 1829, I found myself becoming progressively more outraged as I read Alan's reinvention of my country's history and geography. My objections are to matters of detail and timing which aren't really all that significant to the story line ...more
I got sidetracked with other books, and never got the interest to pick this up again, and now it is due back at the library. I will try another day.
Jean St. Pierre
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok Read

The first half, while informative, droned on regarding the war. The time sequences were awkward. The protagonist was unlikable. For these reasons I did not enjoy this book as I might have. The one thing it does do is develope a respect for the Maori, which was the intent.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, historical
This is NOT a fantasy or science-fiction novel. This is a historical drama. It just was written by a guy who typically writes science-fiction and fantasy.

(view spoiler)
Rachael Dunn
Jun 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Konys
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone thinking of traveling to New Zealand, or just interested in its history, would get a lot out of reading this book. Gives you a good idea of the differences between Europeans and Maori, the general topography and dangers ( like tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes) and the overall culture. It was all contained in an historical work of fiction, with great characters with whom you could easily relate. Good read!
Michelle Schulten
Another of my favorites

New author for me. Very well written. Just the right amount of everything. I don't usually stray from reading non-fiction unless it is historical fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Edward L. Golamb
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed books by Alan Dean Foster for many years and this was no exception. There were details in the story I wanted to know more about, but that is just my own curiosity being peaked. I was a little bothered at the several misspellings in the story though.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
It’s a good way to get interested in NZ history; a decent read, but a bit “eh” (for lack of a better term) on the actual narrative. Rather than feeling engaged by the plot, I found myself researching the various events mentioned throughout the plot
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird, wild stuff. Not really fantasy, though...
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Just couldn't get past the things that aren't correct. e.g. the distribution of Kauri
Luke Van Santen
Jun 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Can't believe I read the whole thing. A late 80s print version of a tawdry soap opera with some historical New Zealand tidbits. Certainly a beach book.
Diego Palomino
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, well written and researched, predictable. I dislike books ir stories were everyone or every incident is related or implicated to everyone else. Nevertheless i loved the depiction of Maori life and customs.
Nancy Dougan
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little afraid to read this book.

After all, the author's credits include "Jed the Dead". But I was well rewarded. I'm not an expert on New Zealand history,but this story rings true in every way. You see the world in all it's splendor through the eyes of the characters. They seem so real it's like they are in the room telling you the story. Great read.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know little of New Zealand or the Maori so it was somewhat of a learning experience as well as a well-written tale of the early days of the island's development by Europeans. It did have some highly surprising twists and turns to the plot line that lifted it up just a bit from being a bit too formulaic historical fiction. All in all a pretty darn good read.
Ron Johnson
Apr 15, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sf
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Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, ...more
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