Posts Tagged ‘Aotearoa’

A bird’s eye view of New Zealand, the land that time forgot.

Shrouded in cloud at the bottom of the world, this was the land that time forgot: the last sizeable piece of undiscovered land on Earth. Two hundred million years after breaking away from the vast southern continent of Gondwana, Man had yet to leave his footprints on this prehistoric place.

Mythology would have it the land was fished up out of the ocean. In fact, earthquakes and volcanic activity forced it to literally erupt from the sea bed. This violent birth left it with a majestic ruggedness that would always reflect its former turbulence. The legacy of those fiery beginnings includes still-active volcanoes amidst the mountain chains that dissect the land.

Over time, its features softened. Scenes of beauty emerged out of the mists. There was a haunting stillness about the land. It was a place of mystery – of magical forests and sparkling lakes and rivers.

And the sea surrounded it – like some huge tidal moat.

Its isolation ensured it wouldn’t be until well into the First Millennium AD that Man would step foot on these shores. The brown-skinned people who settled here would call their new home Aotearoa – land of the long, white cloud.

Not until its rediscovery centuries later by European explorers would the land receive the name by which it is known today…

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The storyline:

New Zealand: A Novel spans 500 years and covers the respective discoveries of New Zealand by Maori and European, starting with the journey of the first fleet of Polynesian migrants from Hawaiki and ending with the historic circumnavigation of New Zealand by Captain James Cook’s bark the Endeavour as seen through the eyes of 17-year-old surgeon’s boy Nicholas Young.

Separated in time by more than four centuries, the adventures of the many Polynesian and European characters in this epic tale are told in parallel until they collide in dramatic circumstances with the arrival of the latter in the land the indigenous Maori people called Aotearoa. The land England would claim as New Zealand.

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The author: Lance Morcan – co-author of other historical fiction titles including White Spirit (A novel based on a true story), World Odyssey, Fiji: A Novel, Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story).

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View the upcoming title New Zealand: A Novel on Goodreads:

Updates to follow as the countdown to publication continues. Watch this space!


My inspiration for this short story was the real-life abduction by Maori of a young white girl who happened to be one of two identical twins living in 19th Century New Zealand. The girl’s bereft father spent years unsuccessfully searching for his missing daughter.

That true story had a happy ending many years later after a chance sighting in Wellington saw the separated twins reunited. It turned out the abducted sister had been raised as a Maori by the tribe that had taken her; she’d had two loving husbands, both Maoris, and had children by them both; she spoke fluent Te Reo Māori and had no desire to return to her previous life.    

In Once were Brothers, seven-year-old Daniel Thomas is abducted from the family farm in New Zealand’s Far North by Maoris opposed to the presence of white settlers. Daniel’s father devotes his remaining years to searching for his missing blue-eyed, blond-haired son. Until his death a decade later, he’s assisted in his search by Daniel’s identical twin brother Benjamin.

Twenty years later and now a family man himself with children of his own, Benjamin receives a tip-off that could confirm one way or another whether his brother is alive or dead.

Once Were Brothers by [Morcan, Lance]

Once Were Brothers is available via Amazon.