Daughters of Fire is a gripping adventure of romance, intrigue, myth and murder set amid the cultural tensions of contemporary Hawaii.
A visiting astronomer falls in love with a Hawaiian anthropologist who guides him into a Polynesian world of volcanoes, gods and revered ancestors. The lovers get caught up in murder and intrigue as developers and politicians try to conceal that a long-dormant volcano is rumbling back to life above the hotel-laden Kona coast. The anthropologist joins forces with an aging seer and a young activist, and these three Hawaiian women summon their deepest traditions to confront the latest, most extravagant resort as the eruption and the murder expose deep rifts in paradise.
More than a decade in its research and writing, Tom Peek’s mystical and provocative debut novel picks up Hawaii’s story where James Michener left off. Daughters of Fire illuminates how the islands’ transformation into a tourist mecca and developers gold mine sparked a Native Hawaiian movement to reclaim their culture, protect sacred land, and step into the future with wisdom and aloha.
Winner, 2013 Benjamin Franklin Silver Finalist Award for Popular Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Association
“Places come alive for the reader on every page of this taut, deftly constructed novel. . . . Peek is a storyteller extraordinaire, cut from an older cloth seldom seen today.” – Susan Y. Najita, The Contemporary Pacific
“From the historical to the scientific, the spiritual to the political, to corruption and eruptions, this carefully researched thriller MUST be made into a film!” – Victoria Mudd, Academy Award winning producer of “Broken Rainbow” and “Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion”
“This is a book about power and justice . . . one of the most factually aware novels I’ve come across.” – Anthony Pignataro, Maui Time Weekly
“Tom Peek’s understanding of place, culture, and current issues is deep and respectful . . . this is a terrific read.” – Maile Meyer, founder of Native Books / Na Mea Hawaii
“A page-turning thriller on the surface, a deep meditation on culture one level down, a spiritual tour-de-force at the core.” – Arthur Rosenfeld, tai chi master, television host and novelist
“Tom Peek has lived a life worthy of Melville, Twain and Stevenson. . . . The book, with multiple plotlines . . . has drawn comparisons to Michener’s Hawaii.” – John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald
“An epic tale . . . steeped in culture, mythology, and spirituality.” – Misty-Lynn Sanico, HawaiiReads.com
“Tight, gripping drama that exalts the power and mystery of nature over the supremacy of man. For anyone who can see and feel and know there is sacred all around us.” – Nelson Ho, past chair, Sierra Club Hawai‘i Chapter
"Takes us into the spiritual and cultural depths of Hawaiian traditions, masterfully presenting a worldview that deserves our consideration as rampant development threatens to destroy traditional cultures worldwide." – Edwin Bernbaum, author of Sacred Mountains of the World
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
John D. Dawson was born and raised in San Diego. From the age of three, he knew that art was his calling. He graduated from the Art Center School, LA, now the Art Center College of Art and Design. Over the last twelve years, John has worked continuously with the US Postal Service, illustrating its Nature in America series. He has also done commissions for the National Park Service, United Nations, National Wildlife Federation, National Geographic Society, and Audubon Society. The drawings in Daughters of Fire are in the classic style of novels in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Herb Kawainui Kane, celebrated Hawaiian artist, historian, and author, cofounded the Polynesian Voyaging Society and designed the Hokulea voyaging canoe, contributing profoundly to the Hawaiian Renaissance movement . A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kane depicted Hawaiian historical scenes realistically, but when painting spiritual or mythological aspects of the culture â€” as in Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes, the cover image of this book â€” his art was expressionistic, with bold brushwork and vivid colors. He passed away at the age of 82 in March 2011.
Read an Excerpt
Passing through the ruined village of Kalapana only affirmed Gavin
What People are Saying About This
Tight, gripping drama that exalts the power and mystery of nature over the supremacy of man.
—Nelson Ho (past Chair - Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Daughters of Fire by Tom Peek is an epic speculative novel set in contemporary Hawaii. Like a local plate lunch special, it’s a mix of many different genres, an unexpected combination of flavors and tastes that work well together. It’s a romance. It’s a murder mystery. It’s a political thriller. It’s a social commentary on traditional Pacific vs. western world views. It’s a speculative tale of ancient gods and goddesses, curses, prophecies, and traditions. It spans everything island-style from mo’o legends to bento boxes and from the politics of lounge singing to the politics of international stargazing. On the surface, Daughters of Fire is the story of three strong Hawaiian women: an anthropologist who works with corporate developers to identify and preserve ancient sites, an elderly traditional healer and seer, and a young Hawaiian rights activist. The stories intertwine as a murder occurs, a controversial mega-tourist resort opens, legalize gambling rears its head, and reports of an imminent volcanic eruption are hidden from the public. Despite its convoluted storylines, it’s an easy, entertaining read. Readers familiar with the landscape and culture will appreciate the authenticity and those new to Hawaii will get a taste of the complexity of island culture without feeling lost. If you’re looking for a book to take on a trip—or to remember your Big Island vacation—this one satisfies.
To say that this book picks up where Michener's left off is a bit misleading. Upon reading that, I expected a book centered on the history of Hawai'i from Statehood to the present. What this book is, to my joy, is a top-notch contemporary fiction book about modern day Hawai'i and the cultural, economic, and political forces that are at play there. It is truly a 'tale that illuminates the spirit of a native Hawaiian people struggling to keep faith the aloha.' I'm not sure what Tom Peek's background is, or what compelled him to write a book about Hawai'i, but I am very glad that he did. The story that he weaves of these 16 days on the Big Island of Hawai'i is a compelling one that will keep you turning the pages and stay with you after you finish. It was easy to involve myself in the lives of the main protagonist; Hawaiian born anthropologist, Maile, who is trying to balance the "old ways" that she grew up with and modern life, and Mainland born astronomer who finds himself, not only in love with Maile, but caught up in a web of murder and politics. I particularly enjoyed the way that the author used them, and the other characters in the book, to represent the various factions at play in today's Hawai'i. Giving each faction a voice, and portraying them as themselves, neither good nor evil, but trying to fit in and pursue their vision of what Hawai'i is. In addition to crafting great characters for this work, Peek's prose flows through the pages with all of the rhythm an feeling of the old Hawaiian legends. In fact, these legends are the backdrop for the story that he tells. I had read about several of the legends before in other books, but thoroughly enjoyed the way that the author used them as a backdrop for his story, giving the story as a whole a truly Hawaiian feel. In short, the combination of story and legend transported me, making me feel that I was actually on the island, dealing with the problems of clashing cultures. In the end, I really struggled with the rating for this book, and would love to have given it 4.5 stars. I ended with giving it 4 stars as it did not quite hit me the way that Michener's work did. Nonetheless, it was highly enjoyable and gets a huge recommendation from me. In fact, I think this one is a buried treasure and definitely deserves more exposure and should garner many more readers.
Daughters of Fire by Tom Peek demonstrates an immense love and respect for Hawaii and its culture. While enjoying a murder mystery and love story much will be learned about Hawaiian history and its peoples. Thank you Tom Peek for an enlightening, well researched novel and thank you John D. Dawson for the beautiful illustrations. Mary Ann Mathieu