It’s 1869 at the bottom of the world the British Army has gone and left Māori and Pākehā to fight it out. The Māori kurī, like its master, an inferior, ugly, savage animal not to be given an inch… or a bone.
Tāiki and Kurītea Kenning are brothers with the same dream—peace and security for their home of Te Miti. Being on opposing sides of the war, they have very different ideas on how to achieve it however.
Tāiki and his new wife Hannah-May are ready to start a family at the Te Miti homestead. Compelled to act as scout for the British Constabulary to keep their home safe, Tāiki must fight the battle of smiles and pleasantries in Wellington with those who covet every blade of grass on his land.
Hannah-May is torn between her Māori husband and her English father, William Beamish—a man of Government and progress who has committed many wrongs in the name of Queen and Country.
Kurītea has joined the notorious and fierce fighter Titokowaru in Taranaki, to fight off the ruthless landeaters. Warned by the words of a matakite, he returns to the homestead with a pack of strange dogs, to save his brother and his home.
As the wolves close in on them, the Kenning family must decide where their loyalties lie. In war there must be winners and losers, and someone left to write the history books.