In Sydney in the 1930s, 17-year-old William Blake, fresh from school, joins the crew of a cargo ship bound for Africa. His travels lead him to the mountains bordering South Africa and Mozambique where he is given an old wooden bowl and is told he has inherited the responsibility for safeguarding the bowl’s ancient, perilous secret.
After Blake’s death in Hobart eighty years later, Kit Campbell, his 16-year-old great-grandson, finds a manuscript which indicates that Kit is the heir to the Nzikazi legacy.
The narrative switches between Kit’s story, set in present day Hobart and nearby Bruny Island, and his great-grandfather’s travels in the years before the Second World War through Africa, Ireland, and across Asia on the Silk Road.
Kit is joined by 16-year-old Mad Williams, daughter of an iconic Australian blues guitarist, and 13-year-old thief and street kid, Feral Scully, in a quest to find and unlock the secrets behind the power of the Nzikazi Bowl.