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The third volume in the hard-hitting, best-selling Once Were Warriors trilogy.

The third volume in the hard-hitting, best-selling Once Were Warriors trilogy.

The millennium has changed but have the Hekes? Where are they now, Beth, Jake, and what of their other children? Son Abe who has rejected violence but violence finds him. Polly, as beautiful as her sister Grace, who committed suicide; is that a Heke running around with the wealthy polo-playing set and growing rich herself? And the gang leader, Apeman, who killed Tania, what's prison like, does it change a man, grow him or not?

We meet another tragic female figure, Sharneeta. And Alistair Trambert, a middle-class white boy sunk into the same welfare dependency trap as the Maoris his class criticises. Meet Charlie Bennett, Beth's husband, a fine man, and yet . . . And yet there's Jake Heke, casting his long shadow over everyone. Has he really grown up?


With the same skill that he demonstrated in Broken Hearted, Duff weaves together a multitude of storylines and voices so we see all sides of this fractured community. . . . while this one has moments as shockingly violent as Warriors and Broken Hearted, there is a quietness that is slowly layering itself over the gore. . . New Zealanders can be awfully polite when it comes to expressing ideas or passionate opinions. Well, there is nothing polite about Duff: he's out there, stirring us all up, tearing down shibboleths, facing up to public opinion with great courage, armed only with his mighty weapon, the written word. . . . Duff is revealed as an eloquent optimist, a powerful advocate for the possibility of individual transformation. Whether his work will be read by the people who could most benefit - those still trapped in that social wasteland of Once Were Warriors - is doubtful, as Duff acknowledges. But for the rest of us, it makes extraordinarily compelling reading.

Margie Thomson, NZ Herald

Formats & editions

  • EBook


    December 16, 2013

    Random House New Zealand

    240 pages

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