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Earth Dragon, Fire Hare by Ken Catran

April 16, 2012

Earth Dragon, Fire Hare by Ken Catran. Pub. HarperCollins, 2012.

Excellent war story of the communist insurgency in Malaya after World War 2 in 1948 in which NZ soldiers took part. It is very much a forgotten war and Ken Catran has breathed new life into it’s memory.

Written for high school students and young adults it tells the story of two boys, Ng and Peter, starting at the time of the Japanese occupation of Malaya in 1941/42.

Ng is indoctrinated into the communists who are supplied by the British to fight the Japanese. Peter is a NZ boy who enlists in the NZ army after the war and volunteers for the Malayan campaign. He wishes he didn’t.

Ng is Earth Dragon in Chinese Astrology and Peter is Fire Hare. Earth Dragon Follows Fire Hare and the two boys lives are going to become entwined.

A three part novel superbly linked by Ken Catran. His war stories are second to none, his research impeccable and his story telling par excellence.

Read this one if you liked the Moran quartet or want to know about the Malaya Campaign. It’s good! and beware of a sting in the tail.

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