The Taniwha’s Tear – David Hair

HarperCollins Publishers 2010

ISBN 978-1-86950-826-5 (pbk)

Matiu Douglas has promised to help the Storyteller’s daughter, but there are a few problems… The daughter is dead – she’s been petrified in stone for centuries.  And she’s no longer human… she’s a taniwha.

 When Matiu Douglas and his friends defeated Puarata, the Tohunga Makutu, they thought they’d won the war.  Instead they started one.  Now his warlocks are fighting for supremacy in a violent struggle spreading across the magical land of Aotearoa and into our world.  The outcome will be determined by the taniwha Mat has promised to save.

 But Mat is about to discover no one can be trusted when your enemies have already mastered powers he has barely begun to learn.  Can loyalty and friendship prevail over centuries-old evil?

This is the second book in the series that started with The Bone Tiki.  This story see’s Mat’s parents, who were separated, spend some time together with Mat in Gisborne, trying to reconnect with each other.  But Mat met a mysterious lady who asked him to save her daughter.  A taniwha cursed by her own father.

Mat is a typical 16 year old teenager, unsure of himself when it comes to girls, and especially the beautiful, but cold Lena, who apparently shares some of his gifts, but Lena uses them to serve her own purposes.  The angst that Mat suffers over his conflicting feelings for Lena is evident as the story progresses.

The adventure begins when they meet a DJ, who invites them to a 3 day party and they end up in Aotearoa Wairoa, fighting their way towards Lake Waikaremoana and the taniwha Haumapuhia.  What happens is frightening in its confrontations and the unexpected consequences.  I love that this story takes place in the East Coast of the North Island, a place where Maori traditions are still very much alive and well today.

I enjoyed this story as it was a separate story from the Bone Tiki, yet was linked into that story.  More characters were introduced and the mystery surrounding Matiu is becoming clearer.  The fusion of Maori culture and European is deftly and expertly written in this story and I look forward to reading the next enthralling chapter of this saga.

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