Reviews are interactive!
Please, leave a review of any of my books or documentary works:
- Conquistador Puzzle Trail by Winston Cowie (2015) – launched in July 2015!
- Mystery at Midge Bay – Discovering New Zealand’s oldest shipwreck – documentary co-produced by Winston Cowie and David Sims (2012); and
- A Flame Flickers in the Darkness by Winston Cowie (2012) (now ebooks Greenstone Trail and Flames Flicker, available on Amazon Kindle).
I have been thrilled that those of you who have read Conquistador Puzzle Trail and viewed Mystery at Midge Bay, have said that my book and documentary has changed your perspective on Australian and New Zealand’s discovery history!
I have also been humbled that some of you have said that my historical fiction writing does for New Zealand history what Wilbur Smith’s historical fiction has done for Africa – bring the past alive!
Your words have moved me.
Below are a couple of reviews of my work that I am really proud of, with an opportunity for you to leave your own review if you felt so inclined in the TAB further down. Thank you to those awesome people that have already taken the time to do so – I love hearing from you – please tell me what you thought, liked and what you would like more of.
Conquistador Puzzle Trail By Winston Cowie
Portuguese and Spanish praise for Conquistador Puzzle Trail by Winston Cowie
Conquistador Puzzle Trail has been praised by both Portuguese and Spanish Embassies to Australia and New Zealand.
Embassy of Spain to New Zealand
“We feel incredibly fortunate to witness such a thorough investigation into the history of New Zealand in which we can really appreciate the links shared with Portuguese and Spanish explorers. In our case, the confirmation of these ties between Spain and New Zealand will undoubtedly strengthen the positive relationship that our two countries already share and cherish.
Well-structured and impeccably researched, this important work will have a strong impact on the academic representation of conquistadores as well as a wide array of consequences for the future understanding of New Zealand history.
At the same time, we would like to acknowledge all of the time and energy devoted to the research that has gone into this investigative work. Throughout the pages, we discover new elements of New Zealand culture and history that invite us to truly believe that Mr Winston Cowie´s theory is correct.
Congratulations on the completion of this excellent work.”
Author’s Note: The Embassy of Spain to New Zealand has been fantastic and their cooperation and collaboration has been gratefully received by the author. I feel incredibly proud to have the permission to include both the Embassy of Spain to New Zealand and the Spanish Organisation for International Cooperation on Development logos on my book!
Embassy of Portugal to Australia and New Zealand
“A fascinating book and an important contribution for the investigation about the Portuguese having been the first Europeans to reach Australia and New Zealand almost 500 years ago.”
A Flame Flickers in the Darkness by Winston Cowie
Praise for New Zealand Land Wars Historical Fiction by Winston Cowie
The two special reviews below are written by descendants of two of those New Zealanders on the cover of Flames Flicker, that helped shape New Zealand in the 1860s.
Kuia Te Rau Oriwa Davis. Ngaruahine. A Grandchild of Chief Titokowaru.
“A soul-changing history ignited. A destined shared-future determined. We will not die. E Kore tatou e Mate! This book is part of a destiny foundation legacy, which was foreseen prolifically by old world priests, visionary chiefs, and Māori tribes widely. I was overcome with liberated emotion …. The reader will walk the journey in their skin regardless of ethnicity.”
Sam Priest. A Great-Great Grandchild of Captain John Roberts.
“Winston Cowie is New Zealand’s answer to Wilbur Smith! As the great-great grandson of the one the book’s main characters, I took immense pleasure in seeing New Zealand’s history come to life in A Flame Flickers in the Darkness (now ebooks Greenstone Trail and Flames Flicker). The power and mystique of the indigenous peoples battling the settlers’ rugged determination for a better life. These were men and women of their time, and Winston Cowie captured the period perfectly. The story of the New Zealand Wars is a story worth telling, especially when told as a cracking yarn! My great-great grandfather, John Roberts, a recipient of the New Zealand Cross for his actions in Taranaki, would be proud.”
Additional reviews I am proud of include those of Peter Maxwell and the South Taranaki Star and North Taranaki Midweek.
Peter Maxwell, New Zealand Land Wars Historian
“Winston Cowie is a young New Zealander with impressive academic credentials; an MSc from Oxford, and a law degree from Otago, who is making a career in environmental law and policy. “A Flame Flickers in the Darkness” is his first book – a 500 page plus historical novel set in 1860’s New Zealand against the backdrop of latter phases of the New Zealand Wars – the intense and bitter fighting between Maori and European over land, that in many ways divides the country still.
“A Flame Flickers in the Darkness” explores the relationship between two young men caught up in the dangers and adventures of this dramatic era – Jack O’Malley, an Irish whaler, and Whero, a Maori warrior of similar age but quite different cultural and racial backgrounds. Whero’s spirituality, and that of his people, contrasts with the sometimes cocky, matter-of-factness of the Europeans. The two strike up a friendship, but the fighting ultimately divides them and leads to a tragic climax.
Cowie captures the manners, customs and language of the era skillfully, and importantly, establishes the essential nature of the conflict – that particularly in Taranaki, this was a civil war between people who had become, and would be again, neighbours in this remote land.
A number of real historical figures appear in the narrative, both Maori leaders and European military men, and it is fascinating to have them fleshed out into actual people interacting with the fictional characters alongside them, rather than appearing as mere silhouettes in the formal documents.
Cowie’s book is a large and impressive work that makes a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of colonial New Zealand’s troubled history.”
South Taranaki Star & North Taranaki Midweek
“Taranaki’s land wars of the 1860s are the backdrop for an historical novel which gives a rare insight into the times.
First-time author Winston Cowie’s book A Flame Flickers in the Darkness is meticulously researched and he combines an impressive amount of detail with a wonderful story of a very personal friendship between the two main characters.
The tale of the two’s friendship and the increasing tensions and loyalties that brings them into conflict, intertwined with the backdrop of the racial tensions which ended in a bloody war which still has consequences today, Cowie has written an eminently readable book.
Perhaps some of the insights so admirably captured by the author lie in his own six-year odyssey which took him from his North Auckland home to Oxford University to Qatar. Clearly Cowie is an achiever who doesn’t quit – a bit like Jack O’Malley one of the central characters.
And yet Cowie has achieved the difficult task of having the reader like and empathise with both Jack and Te Atiawa warrior Whero.
Just 29 Cowie has already completed a law degree at Otago University, a Masters Science Degree from Oxford, and has worked in numerous countries before returning to New Zealand. A talented sportsman Cowie played rugby for Oxford as well as representing the university in surfing and athletics.
Perhaps it is not coincidental that A Flame Flickers in the Darkness was completed and published upon his return from overseas. Two missions accomplished.
But don’t be put off by the length of the book, which is just over 500 pages; the story is a ripping yarn which is hard to put down. For those of us keen to learn a little more about the history of our region, there is much to learn, much of it still pertinent today.”
Please, leave a review! I would love to hear from you!