Toby Neal-Author of Lei Crime Series it was amazing
A hypnotic spell that takes us to ancient Hawaii.
Press in to really "get" this book. Wai-nani's story is told in a hypnotic, fairy-tale or high legend voice that took me a chapter or two to get into--but once I did, I was fascinated with the way Linda Ballou had taken us into the intimate and unknown world of the Hawaiian people through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine. Wai-nani is fierce, passionate, and deeply connected to the land and ocean--and to her complex and multi-faceted warrior husband. It reminded me how fully developed the civilization of the Hawaiian people was, and how large their population, before the fateful arrival of "Kapena Kuke" and his "floating heiau." Thanks for this journey to another time and a Hawaii seen through a princess of its people.
Wai-nani is written with so many beautiful poetic descriptions of people and scenes. Linda wrote it so magically that I felt like I was actually swimming with Eku, the dolphin and Wai-nani. I liked learning about the historical account of the ancient Hawaiian people and their culture while reading it as a love story. The characters all became so alive for me that I held concern for each one of them and how their lives would be revealed. I savored the story like a wine connoisseur savors wine. I really enjoyed the adventures this story took me on.
Tori Eldrige author of Empowered Living it was
Mahalo nui loa, Linda, for writing this glorious story. As a Hawaiian, born and raised, I loved the journey back into the days of old and the poetic way that you mixed fact, fiction, and legend. Wai-nani is a truly beautiful story, written with lush language that emotes the aloha of my people, while bringing our ancient culture and mysticism to life. Thank you so much for the careful research and the passion that you so clearly feel for Hawaii.
I was enchanted by the journey Linda Ballou graciously provided in WAINANI. My fascination held during each page of this luscious tale of ancient Hawaii, the land, the people and their passions. This story, based in historical fact and embellished with lyrical fantasy, was both informative and entertaining.
"Wai-Nani is like no other book I have ever read. Linda Ballou is a master of language, pulling the reader in and evoking emotions hidden deep within. Her imagery will tickle your senses, allowing you to feel the story more than merely reading.
Passionate and primal, Wai-Nani transports you to the early days of Hawaii, where warriors ruled and women were expected to know their place.
Wai-Nani refuses to be bound by the shackles of society and follows her heart--finding a destiny beyond her wildest dreams. Follow her--no, join her--on this incredible journey."
Barbara Sharp Milbourn
"Travel writer and photographer Linda Ballou delivers a generous slice of Hawaiian history with details of land and sea so vivid, it is almost better than being there.
"Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai'i - Her Epic Journey is a meticulously researched account of the Hawaiian Islands around the time of Captain James Cook. The major theme of the novel is the dismantling of the social hierarchal system based on kapu (taboo) that had been brought to the Islands by the Tahitians years before. But what a story!
Meet Wai-nani whose character is based on Ka'ahumanu, favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great, unifier of the Hawaiian Islands around 1810. She is a young woman of royal descent so at home in the sea that she thinks of herself as half sea creature. Her comfort in the water is juxtaposed to her conflict on land, particularly her resistance to the kapu system. We accompany her as she leaves home and meets Makaha (Kamehameha) two hundred years ago when chiefs in feathered capes and tattooed warriors battled for island dominion, priests read the future in pig entrails, men and women ate in separate houses, and human sacrifices were commonplace. We know her and her people, and we connect to place through stunning details of mamo birds, koa trees, 'ie'ie flowers, and taro fields. We drink the bitter 'awa, trek up steep palis, peer into smoking volcanoes, and wave slide bearded monsters.
Much changed with the arrival of Captain Cook, the death of Kamehameha, and the pressure brought to bear on the system. But some things are eternal—love, the circle of life, and the grand and vibrant sea.
The author’s reverence for the land and its people inhabits her words. Linda Ballou is a new voice from ancient Hawaii. "
Barbara Sharp Milbourn is a writer and editor living in Nashville.
Wai-Nani, High Chiefess of Hawai'i: Her Epic Journey
This, the author's first book, is a masterpiece and a fascinating read. The historic novel tells the dramatic and heart warming love story of Wai-Nani. By weaving the ancient legends of Old Hawaii into this compelling story, Ballou captivates the reader with her beautiful descriptions and very real characters, who come alive in your imagination. The first few pages were a bit hard to read because the author has interjected real Hawaiian words into sentences in which the meaning is evident, but once I got the rhythm I could hardly put the book down. It is an excellent read, especially if you have been or plan to go to Hawaii.
Bonnie Neely, Editor of Real Travel Adventures International Magazine www.realtraveladventures.com