Step back to a time where New Zealand is vast, exotic and undiscovered. The romance of becoming a ruler, possibly even a king in this unclaimed land seems easily achievable. At least this is what Baron Charles de Thierry must have felt when he named himself Sovereign Chief of New Zealand. The story of this french adventurer is also the story of a young New Zealand and his adventures are retold as though the author herself witnessed it. Robin Hyde’s clever merging of historic events and fictional “what ifs” creates a masterpiece. Hyde tells the tale well and with her usual lyrical and colourful style. A historical must-read.