About Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii
Discover the saga of Hawaii’s Kamehameha the Great.
Condemned to death at birth by a ruler fearful he will become a slayer of chiefs, Kamehameha becomes Hawaii’s greatest warrior.
In 1778 Kamehameha witnesses the arrival of explorer James Cook, whose chance “discovery” of Hawaii ends the Hawaiians’ 900-year isolation from the outside world.
Hawaiians initially believe Cook is one of their gods. But Kamehameha realizes Cook is a man. He senses that the foreign explorer’s arrival will change everything for his people. Later, Kamehameha exploits his keen understanding of the foreigners’ military technology to defeat all rivals for rule of the Hawaiian Islands; end generations of fratricidal warfare; and found the Kingdom of Hawaii.
A compelling story of an indigenous people and their culture told from their viewpoint, Once There Was Fire invites you to see Hawaii as the Hawaiians may have seen it on the cusp of their passage to a wider world.
Learn More About The Author
A former journalist, political and corporate speechwriter, and marketing communications writer, Stephen Shender wrote professionally for nearly 30 years before he turned to novel writing in 2004. Once There Was Fire, published in 2016, is his first novel. A frequent visitor to Hawaii, Mr. Shender lives with his wife, cat, and blue and gold macaw on California’s Central Coast. He is presently at work on sequel to Once There Was Fire. A native of Chicago’s North Side (or as true Chicagoans call it, the “Norside”) he is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.