Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Kolea By Russell Cahill

By Russell Cahill
Genre: Historical Fiction

Book's Description:  

The illegitimate child of Maui’s King is spirited away and raised in seclusion by a mysterious Hula Dancer and a blind warrior. Follow the child, Kolea, to Molokai where he is trained by the warrior and pursued by an evil half-brother. A daring escape in a voyaging canoe leads north and the adventure continues as the Hawai’ian men and women warriors meet natives of the North American Coast. The voyagers join a community of Tlingit Indians and Kolea grows in wisdom and courage. Thoughts and yearning draw the voyagers south and point their hearts and the bows of their canoe toward home.

My Review

This story is incredibly beautiful and eloquently written. The Hawaiian history is full of wonderful legends and I feel Russell Cahill successfully created a tale that does his culture justice. I fell completely into this book as each page divulged vivid descriptions of the land and the Hawaiian people.

I was drawn into the magic between Pueo and Ko'i, along with the reasoning behind taking baby Kolea on as their own. This story follows Kolea as he grows into a powerful warrior who faces the past which was determined to remove him from the world, but didn't succeed. 

This story is rich in history, family, and the supernatural powers of nature.

Author Bio: 

Russell Cahill, a retired park ranger, lives in a forest adjacent to a salmon stream near Olympia Washington. He is of Native Hawaiian ancestry and writes about the people of Hawaii and Western North America. Russell was born in San Francisco prior to World War Two and says he is old enough to have played American Football while wearing a leather helmet. He is married to Narda Pierce and is the father of three children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Mr. Cahill is a graduate of San Jose State College, (now University) with a degree in Biology. He has served in Yosemite, Glacier Bay, Katmai and Haleakala National Parks and has been the Director of the Alaska and California State Park Systems and the Deputy Director of Washington’s State Parks.

During the 1970s Russell with his late wife Susie took their children to a remote place in Alaska and built a cabin using only hand tools. He spends part of each summer at the cabin in Gustavus, Alaska. He and his wife Narda have kayaked in Alaska, Mainland United States and Western Australia. Since his retirement he has served as a member of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, State Parks Commission, and as a Community Services volunteer. Russell and his wife have travelled extensively based on the theory, “retire early and often.” The two of them once walked from Idaho to Seattle just for the heck of it. He claims his most interesting job was as a bouncer at a go-go club during college years.


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