An ancient secret is enshrined in a mysterious inscription dated 1207, still to be seen on the ornate marble floor of the Basilica of San Miniato in Florence. This story holds the key to that secret.
The narrative unfolds in the latter part of the 12th century when Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, was forcefully seeking to bring the Italian communes to heel under his rule in Europe, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was reeling under the mortal blows of Saladin in the Holy Land. Against the backdrop of these dramatic events, Yosef, a young Florentine Jew, pursues his search for the mysterious “stone” capable of imparting an understanding of the whole of creation: the legendary Grail.
Gathering pace with every page turned, picking up speed as it rushes headlong towards its arcane ending, the story hurtles along amid Yosef’s heroic deeds and the moving love that binds him for eternity to the beautiful Miriam.
“Questo romanzo sta alla pletora di opere di questo genere come i Promessi Sposi stanno al romanzo storico italiano di inizio Ottocento... Se Manetti in persona abbia o meno trovato la pietra filosofale, difficile dirlo, e comunque non lo rivelerebbe: di certo però ha trovato la strada per un capolavoro…”
Domenico Del Nero
“Manetti riesce a parlare dell’indescrivibile, spesso ricorrendo ad accenti di pura poesia…”
I Italian edition: October 2006
I reprint: November 2007
I English edition: November 2017 (translation by Stephen Tobin)