Lord of the Kongo
"A decade before Columbus set sail for the New World, Portuguese explorers seeking a route around the southern tip of Africa to the Indies discovered the Kongo. To their astonishment, the vast, rich land, many times bigger than Portugal, was ruled by a fierce warrior tribe, highly sophisticated and wealthy enough to scorn the trade goods the Portuguese had brought with them for barter with the natives and as presents to their chiefs." "Based on real historical events, Lord of the Kongo is the story of a young Portuguese page and cabin boy, Gil Eanes, whose gift for languages, boundless curiosity, and true grit win him the friendship of Mbemba, one of the two sons of the ManiKongo, the great king." "Sent by his captain on a dangerous journey inland to visit the fabled capital of the Kongo and pay his respects to the king, Gil is stranded when his ship sails without him and survives by his wits in the dangerous world of Kongo court politics, eventually fathering a son by the beautiful Nimi, one of the ManiKongo's princesses, and winning the trust of her brother Mbemba, whose fascination with the written word and with the teachings of Catholicism is already leading him on a remarkable journey that will pit him against his warrior half-brother in a clash for the throne, divide the kingdom into warring factions, and eventually, with the return of the Portuguese in greater numbers, turn Mbemba into King Affonso I, the black Catholic ruler of a Portuguese puppet kingdom, the covert purpose of which is to provide slaves for the newly discovered Portuguese territories in South America." "In the end, Gil's friendship with Mbemba and Mbemba's curiosity about the European world begin the cycle of tragedy that will destroy Gil, his son Kimpasi (who becomes a Portuguese-educated Catholic priest), and everything Gil cherishes about the land that has become his home. This cycle of civil war, dynastic struggle, and undisguised slaving, all played out amid the burning pyres of the Inquisition, will eventually depopulate the Kongo and turn it into the "Heart of Darkness" it became."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
New York : Simon & Schuster, 1996.
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