Knot of Stone
Knot of Stone: the day that changed South Africa’s history is a 2011 intellectual mystery novel written by South African/Dutch author Nicolaas Vergunst.
In 1510, when the Cape of Good Hope was called the Portal to the Indies, the Viceroy of Portuguese India was led ashore, slain and hurriedly buried. The murder of Dom Francisco de Almeida has invariably been blamed on the Khoikhoi. Based on new research, Vergunst offers a different account of the murder.
Knot of Stone is a tale of historical detection in which a Dutch historian, Sonja Haas, and an Afrikaans archaeologist, Jason Tomas, find themselves drawn together after discovering a five-century-old skeleton at the foot of Table Mountain. Their search for new evidence leads the reader north to ancestral burial sites, remote mountain sanctuaries, sacred springs, medieval monasteries and rare museum artefacts. Via various roadside encounters, including the startling revelations of a sangoma (a healer empowered by the ancestors), they reconstruct the past and their own identities, with divergent consequences.
Knot of Stone's timely revision of actual events departs significantly from mainstream historical writing, both in and beyond South Africa. With its mixture of legend and original research, plus the karmic background of various historical individuals, this novel falls between the works of Umberto Eco and Dan Brown.
- The South African, 19 October 2011 by Joseph Nthini
- New View, Autumn 2011 by Harrie Salman
- Historical Novel Society, November 2011 by Janet Williamson
- Books LIVE The internet newspaper for SA books, 11 November 2011, verdict: carrot