Top Ten: New Zealand Fiction
Books are not ranked in any particular order
Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier
In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.
Adult Fiction - MAR
The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe
A DARK ENEMY. AN ANCIENT WAR. A NEW CHAMPION. Young Malian is being trained to rule. Her people garrison the mountain range known as the Wall of Night against an ancient enemy, keeping a tide of shadow from the rest of their world. Malian is expected to uphold this tradition, yet she's known little of real danger until the enemy attacks her fortress home and the Keep of Winds becomes a bloodbath. Malian flees deep into the Old Keep - and when the danger is greatest her own hidden magic flares into life. But if she accepts its power, she must prepare to pay the price.
Adult Fiction - LOW
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary "whale rider." In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild--and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is up to Kahu to save them.
Young Adult - IHI
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Adult Fiction - CAT
I Am Not Esther by Fleur Beale
A young girl is left by her mother with relatives she's never met who are members of a strict religious cult. Her name is changed to the biblical Esther, and she is forced to follow the severe set of social codes of the order. Soon, Esther begins to lose her own identity.
Young Adult - BEA
Salt by Maurice Gee
Hari lives in the ruined city of Belong where he survives by courage and savagery. Pampered and beautiful Pearl is from the ruling families, which have enslaved Hari's people. Hari and Pearl are coming to grips with their strengthening powers. They become reluctant travelling companions on a desperate pilgrimage to save the world from a terror beyond their greatest imaginings.
Young Adult - BEA
The Writing Class by Stephanie Johnson
Merle Carbury, an author in her own right, also teaches Creative Writing. Amid the tension of the final semester of the year, her many and varied students prepare to submit their manuscripts. As Merle mentors their assorted ambitions, observes the romantic entanglements of her colleague, worries about her husband and is intrigued by their mysterious German lodger, she both imparts and embodies how to write a novel.
Adult Fiction - JOH
The Score by Adrienne Jansen
A grand piano crashes off a crane that’s lifting it into a block of council flats. Stefan, piano restorer and illegal immigrant, has the impossible task of trying to rebuild it. His future depends on it. And, or better or worse, a misfit bunch of tenants decides to help him.
Adult Fiction - JAN
The Larnachs by Owen Marshall
William James Mudie Larnach's name resonates in New Zealand history - the politician and self-made man who built the famous 'castle' on Otago Peninsula. In 1891, after the death of his first two wives, he married the much younger Constance de Bathe Brandon. But the marriage that began with such happiness was to end in tragedy.
Adult Fiction - MAR
Spark by Rachael Craw
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer. The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death. And then there’s Jamie. Irresistible. Off-limits.
Young Adult - CRA