J.K., James King, 34, the narrator
James King at 29, second lieutenant on HMS Resolution
Captain James Cook, 50, captain of HMS Resolution and commander of the third voyage
Elizabeth Cook, his wife. 37 in Act One and 42 in Act Three
Vice-Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser, 56
John Gore, 41, first lieutenant on HMS Resolution
William Watman, 48, a veteran seaman
Henry Roberts, 35, second bosun on HMS Resolution
George Gilbert, 19, a young seaman
William Bayley, 42, astronomer on the third voyage

The Islanders
Kalaniopu, 63, king of the island
Palea, 38, a king’s counsellor, and chieftain of the Ali’i nobility
Kao, 52, the high priest
Koah, 44, the high priest’s acolyte
Omai, 30, a priest of Lono, god of fertility
Kahanu, 25, a priest of Lono
Hoalani, 32, a priestess of Pele, goddess of fire
Kaina, 41, a priest of Pele
Olopana, 36, a priest of Pele
Kamalu, 45, a priest of Ku, god of war
Kamehameha, 28, a warrior of Ku
Kalanimanu, 22, a warrior of Ku

Translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris

Hawaii, a small island in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the loneliest and remotest piece of land in the world. It is the morning of 14 February 1779 and Captain James Cook, England’s greatest seaman and world explorer, is striding to his death on the beach…

Lono is the story of a profound, absolute misunderstanding that began with great euphoria and ended in tragedy. Cook’s last days are marked by a clash of cultures, Westerners vs. Islanders. The affluent, imperial Europe of the end of the eighteenth century vs. the pagan wall of the Pacific’s ancient beliefs. Two alien and totally different worlds unintentionally trapped in an ancient ceremony and a ritual act whose ending is foretold.