Buying Options

Unlimited reading. Over 2 million titles. Learn more
Read for Free
OR
Kindle Price: $2.99

Save $19.00 (86%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

You've subscribed to ! We will preorder your items within 24 hours of when they become available. When new books are released, we'll charge your default payment method for the lowest price available during the pre-order period.
Update your device or payment method, cancel individual pre-orders or your subscription at
Your Memberships & Subscriptions

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.
Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Select quantity
Buy and send eBooks
Recipients can read on any device

Additional gift options are available when buying one eBook at a time.  Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

Share <Embed>
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii by [Stephen Shender]

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 57 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Kindle
$2.99

Editorial Reviews

Review

An "eye-opening chronicle of the Hawaiian Kingdom..."--Publishers Weekly"Skillfully written and consistently entertaining, 'Once There Was Fire' is an extraordinary work of literature, a compelling read from beginning to end ..."--Midwest Book Review"Overall, this novel should gratify historians and general readers alike....A thoughtful, well-written work that breathes new life into past personalities and events."-- Kirkus ReviewsThe descriptions of phenomenal storytellers, feast makers, drinking contests, blood bonds, sacrifices of prisoners, polygamous relationships, remarkable physical prowess in sport and war, military strategies that guarantee success or failure, and so much more fill these pages into what one can only call a mesmerizing saga.--Historical Novel Society "What makes this historical novel impressive is its author's feel for his epic subject matter, and his ability to tell the story so lyrically, with a Hawaiian lilt to the language....this page turner vividly paints a way of life worlds apart from the one we now know on Hawaii's shores."
-- Rick Chatenever, Maui News"The descriptions of the scenery and the imagery were so real that you could almost taste the salt of the ocean."-- Readers Favorite"A bold and stirring historical novel .... entertaining with confident pacing and compelling characters ...  it's clear from the start that Shender has an innate talent for storytelling whilst his character portraits are quite simply captivating as he transports his readers to an altogether different age." -- Book Viral 

From the Back Cover

A work of fiction informed by history, Once ­ there Was Fire is the story of Kamehameha the Great, who rose from inauspicious beginnings on the Big Island of Hawai'i in the mid-1700s to conquer the entire archipelago by 1810. The founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha was born into a Neolithic society, unchanged for generations since the islands' settlement by voyagers from distant Polynesia a thousand years earlier. As a young man, Kamehameha witnessed the arrival in the Islands of the English explorer, James Cook, in 1779--a culturally seismic event for the Hawaiians. Kamehameha was the ­ first among his people to grasp the transformative implications of Cook's visit, an understanding he would later turn to advantage in struggles with his rivals. Once There Was Fire brings a little-understood, historically distant era to life through the words and actions of its memorable characters: Kamehameha, his strong-willed and rebellious consort, Ka'ahumanu, his favorite brother, Keli'imaika'i, and Kamehameha's sons, nephews, comrades in arms, haole advisers, and bitter enemies. The novel invites readers to see Hawaii of the mid-18th and early 19th centuries as the old Hawaiians themselves might have seen and experienced it on the cusp of their passage from splendid isolation to the wider world.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N7IMIQI
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pai'ea Press; 1st edition (December 14, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 14, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3617 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 564 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 57 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

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.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
57 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 9, 2018
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 18, 2018
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 13, 2021
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 7, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 11, 2017
4 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 9, 2018
Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction in Polynesia.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on March 23, 2019
Colin Madill
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 14, 2017
Report an issue

Does this item contain inappropriate content?
Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?
Does this item contain quality or formatting issues?