War to the Knife, or, Tangata Maori
A Romance of the Maori War
A Romance of the Maori War.
If New Zealanders generally, and Aucklanders in particular, do not derive much edification from Mr Rolf Bolderwood's romance of the Maori War, just published as "War to the Knife," they will certainly get some amusement from the extraordinary manner in which he has jumbled up past and present. I read nearly a quarter of the book before I could make out where I was. The events were the events of the sixties, but the persons and localities belonged to 1899. The hero arrived at Auckland in a Shaw, Savill or New Zealand Shipping Company's steamer direct from England, and put up at the Grand Hotel, the magnificent view from which is truthfully extolled. He then engaged "Rotorua" Warbrick (who figures under the thin pseudonym of Albert Warwick) to take him around up country. I wondered why they didn't start by train till I began to realize we had somehow or other got back in the sixties. Warbrick figures prominently in the story, and a very fine picturesque figure he would make, if Mr Brown were not prosy and stodgy to a degree. Some colonial critics complained that Mr Marriott-Watson had not done justice to his subject in the "Web of the Spider," but that, at least, was a story that carried you along. "War to the Knife" is largely linked dullness, and trivialities long drawn out.