Chosen by Suzy
The fictionalised true story of Paratene Te Manu’s journey to London in 1863 to meet with English royalty and gentry
© “Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu a tupuna of the author. He was a warrior who won many battles, who then converted to Christianity. In 1863, along with 13 other chiefs, he made the journey to England to meet Queen Victoria, to learn more about the English way of life and to showcase how well the European settlers were getting along with Maori.
“However the high hopes for the trip disintegrate into poverty, mistrust and humiliation, with the Maori chiefs having conflicted feelings over their engagement with, but also exploitation by, the English.
“Morris has made Paratene himself the narrator of the story. Twenty years after the journey, he is sitting for a portrait by the famed Gottfried Lindauer (which is used as the cover of the book) and while doing so recounts the experience and the lessons learned from it.
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?’
© “I love good historical fiction and this book definitely ticked all of the boxes for me. Great insight and clever research pulls you into this story and it is great when you can be completely entertained and educated all at once.” – Suzy
© “I learnt a lot about an important part of New Zealand’s history by reading Rangatira. Not only that, I was entertained and moved by the mellifluous nature of the narrative. What an amazing opportunity for Paula Morris to write something that is so important not only to her own history but to New Zealand’s as well. Beautiful cover to boot. Recommended reading.” – Rachel