Buy the Book

“If alternative history influences, convinces or just intrigues you, then this is the book for you.” Prof Malyn Newitt, 2011

Knot of Stone presents a unique and insightful revision of real events, offering a brave departure from mainstream historical writing. With its own captivating mystery, its mixture of legend and original research, plus the karmic background of various historical individuals, this enthralling book will appeal to all those who have enjoyed the enigmatic works of Umberto Eco, Dan Brown and Paulo Coelho.” James Farrell, publisher 


           “Knot of Stone is a splendid example of a new genre—the karmic novel.” Dr Harrie Salman, 2011

Knot of Stone is a tale of historical detection in which two unlikely travel companions—a Dutch historian and an Afrikaans archaeologist—find themselves drawn together after the chance discovery of a five-century-old skeleton at the foot of Table Mountain. Their search for new evidence leads the reader ever further north to ancestral burial sites, remote mountain sanctuaries, sacred springs and wells, medieval monasteries and rare museum artefacts. Via various roadside encounters, including the startling revelations of a local sangoma (a healer empowered by the ancestors), the two reconstruct the past and their own identities, with divergent consequences. As the book’s main focaliser, Sonja’s inner conflict reflects a passage from doubt to hope, echoing the transition from a Cape of Storms to the Cape of Good Hope. Like Sonja’s search for herself, this is ultimately a tale of self-discovery.

Knot of Stone is published in both the UK and US by Arena Books, Britain’s leading publisher of “thought provoking books for our time”. Paperback, 436 pp. ISBN 978-1-906791-71-1

European Union: listed price €18.50      

United Kingdom: listed price £15.99



United States: listed price $26.99


South Africa: listed price R249.00

                Exclusive Books South Africa               554035_10151223825499683_1548028577_n


The above prices were set at publication (2011) and are subject to change with inflation.

Please check Reviews for our readers’ latest comments.

21 Responses to Buy the Book

  1. Eric Linssen says:

    Hi Nicolaas, I ordered your book. I am very curious.

    • I’m curious too. Can’t wait to read your comments…

      • Eric Linssen says:

        It’s a good read; although I found it tough in the beginning with lots of knowledge and facts as a build up. Since I love to read quickly, I had to get used to the idea that I had to take time to digest some of the knowledge, that is, to let it sink in before I could read on. Deep personal interest in the subject and years of research must have accompanied the writing, which is quite an accomplishment in itself. Intertwined with the fictituous story of research into the strange death of Almeida, a Portugese nobleman, there’s a concise history of South Africa, the Portugese in Southern Africa, historical theory, numerous anecdotes and supposed examples of reincarnation, and much more. Even though this might sound a bit too much, and may be to some, it’s a book I definitely wanted to finish reading, to know the end of the story, but at the same time couldn’t read it in a day or two. At least I couldn’t. Which makes it a bargain: price, content and reading time considered!

  2. Alecia Ray says:

    I’ve been hearing about this and am really looking forward to reading it! I heard it is a true story? Wonder why we are just now coming out? Hmmm, I guess there are many more stories like this that we haven’t heard about too…

  3. Shall be ordering it online : )

  4. Julia Kramer says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

  5. We are waiting for it here in South Africa, let it come please!

  6. Alex Hill says:

    The day that changed South Africa’s history—well, that is a compelling sub-title. I’d be surprised if there aren’t keen takers in government circles. I imagine the distribution will then fall in place. Let the story do the work.

    • Haha! What interest in government circles? I’ve given away several copies to Mbeki, Zuma and Tutu’s offices but fear that these never reached the intended recipients. I think local authorities, including local historians, are too threatened and/or challenged by the historical interpretation my book offers.

  7. Yes, Nicolaas, I’m expecting this book to cause a lot of controversy among historians, government officials, as well as the public—those who are ‘brave’ enough to read it!

    Facts are facts though, in the end it might clear up some misunderstandings (interpretations) of the true saga. Thanks for sticking your neck out to tell an unbiased story. I cannot wait to start reading!

  8. I know what I will be reading in the coming holidays.

  9. I look forward to reading your book.

  10. Reading Knot of Stone written by my friend Nicolaas Vergunst. Very interesting and absorbing. It has a lot of reference on the Portugese presence in India on the west coast (down south) and surprisingly Gujerat is on the ancient map.

    • Portuguese overseas expansion in the 16thC not only effected the Gujarati of Diu, but entire families and cities such as the Foscari of Venice, the Mamluks of Cairo, the Zamorins of Calicut and the Ottoman Turks. Thus, as a result, a centuires-old trade route to and from India changed forever. (Knot of Stone p.62)

      Thanks for your continuing interest and support, Chitra, I hope you enjoy Chapters 10-11 re. Caspar das Indias, Almeida’s confident and companion, who died defending the ill-fated Viceroy at the Cape of Good Hope.

  11. This is a very well-researched book, resonant with historical detail and insights into their effects upon the modern world—particularly South Africa—which nonetheless reads like a whodunnit novel. I am envious of author’s achievement.

  12. Just finished reading Knot of Stone. It’s marvellous and overwhelming. I still can’t get over the beliefs you have expressed, which as an Indian I have believed all my life. Yet there are people in India who would take offense at some of the conclusions you draw. I salute you Nicolaas M Vergunst.

  13. Hi Nicolaas,
    I will see if Exclusive Books have Knot of Stone in stock. Otherwise I will order it online from Red Pepper Books.
    I am looking forward very much to reading it.
    Warm Wishes

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