Adventure, Beauty, and Magic.
When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell.
Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana?
TWO BROTHERS, BUT ONLY ONE CAN RULE
Only one can rule! Just what does that mean to both Prince Ailani and his brother Prince Nahoa? Within the pages of this YA novel you will hear the voice of Ailani that is the strongest as we learn about his fears, insecurities and finally his realization that he is not just someone’s son or younger brother but a brave warrior too. Dealing with the many obstacles he faces and the rituals and customs that he and his brother must endure, they are sort of a rite of passage to the next level of their lives, you feel the tension, realize the resentments and jealousies as both brothers are taken to many different areas to show their own mettle, compete to see which one is the strongest and will survive and when in danger will either one rescue the other?
Prince Ailani is insecure and often relates to the reader in his own way that he is living in the shadow of his older brother. Ailani you might say is the savior or braver and more courageous of the two as you enter the Kingdom of Oceania and take on the competition along with him. Polite, shy in some respects and kind to those he meets you fall in love with him from the first page. As he is kind and gentle his brother Nahoa is combative, obstructive, throwing jabs verbal and physical at Ailani as you meet them at the beginning where Nahoa puts his brother in a dangerous situation that might have cost him his life. From the start you can tell that the rivalry might be between the two brothers but as you meet the father, the Kahuna and many others you will realize it’s inbred in their culture and Nahoa seems to have caught on faster. Enter the area for the first competition and hear the voices of both young boys and realize who wins each match and the final result. The story centers at the start with the two boys arguing with each other and then finding a tiki mask in a place that they should not have been. The place is described so vividly you feel like you are there with both boys and Hawaii is the setting for this story as is Pearl City.
The competition and jealousies rear their heads within the novel as we meet their father, King Haga and his rival King Lako who seems to have defied the gods and customs of Oceana and is killing off dolphins and whales which are sacred. Magic in certain respects is forbidden except in the case of the Kahuna and possibly the alchemist that he challenges. The alchemist relates that he is three hundred years old. Listening to him and what he is capable of doing and his reflection about his past you begin to wonder if this is true. As the Kahuna shows him his own skills and his telepathic connection to the youngest prince provides an aside to the novel that allows readers to know that Ailani is special. Can some of the tribal members create their own stories? Can they try to do this to change the opinions or perceptions that other kingdoms have of them into helping them realize they are superior?
This is a story about power, control, family discord and two young boys who are vying for the attention of their father, elders and the hope to win the heart of the daughter of King Lako. The setting is profound as the characters find themselves deep within the waters of many different places, the caverns and the amazing finds within them. The reader is taken back into their time period, smelling the soft scents around them seeing the kukui oil lamps and committing themselves to the places where they would be living in. At the center of the story is the discord between the two kings and can they form an alliance or will they wage war?
The two brothers find themselves at odds when times and Ailani often winds up sick hurt and not recalling events that happened. Knowing that King Lako is killing off whales which goes against one of the three directives and using sorcery which also goes against their laws, Ailani and his brother plus the king’s daughter and others join forces to stop what he has tragically begun.
Every step of the way Ailani is tested and even though he begins to resent Kahuna and throws away the black feather it seems that he still remains loyal. With Kahuna’s brother seemingly distrustful and Momi helping them against her father’s will, what exactly is King Lako planning and what will he do when he learns about his daughter? Will she betray her father? This is a story about betrayals, loyalties, trusts and the coming of age of Ailani, his brother and many others.
The story is told that a thousand years ago a king lived with a heart that was dark or black as night. He was the master of the shadow of arts and obsessed with eternal life. Legend says he cared a tiki head in his likeness and then called forth the centipedes to devour his flesh, releasing his mana to forever dwell in the Tiki. This king had two sons and they fought the centipedes and swept them into the bay by drowning thousands of them. The brothers went atop Waimoku Falls but they were too late and the king now embodied in the wooden idol, beckoned his sons to join him in the realm of the undead. Cycles within cycles are what this is about and the curse that caused the king to join the undead was unleashed when Kahoa and Ailani found the Tiki. As the Kahuna after defeating the undead of the Kaimoni, with the infinite power of the cloud pearl, the young king created three directives vowing to never let such evil reign again: Fist: royals were not permitted to practice magic. Second it was forbidden to raise the dead and finally the laws of nature were not to be meddled with. This king made the ultimate sacrifice and afraid of the power of the cloud pearl, hoped it would not fall into the wrong hands: He released it. But, Ailani seems to be conduit to save Oceana and his spirit animal the sea horse would guide him but what about his brother who has practically been named the successor to his father’s throne? The Lua Master misleads Ailani and the end result will shock readers but will Ailani pay a heavy price for his actions? Lawehala is the Kahuna’s brother who is at odds for a long time but will they reconcile before it’s too late? The ending will surprise readers as Ailani and Momi fight for their lives; the hope of both of their kingdoms and a final sacrifice is made. Who took the Tiki? Who caused the undead to rise? Who dishonored their family and which son did King Haga’s wife favor and why? The ending is just the start of what is yet to come as one son might reign and the other has yet to seek his revenge and retribution. A story of love, betrayals, customs, traditions, animal rights, fighting for the lives of the whales and dolphins and keeping the waters pure for the animals without taking their habitat away. Who wins? Who is cursed? Who will rule OCEANA?