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  • Published 20200804
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-50-4
  • Extent: 304pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THIS IS HOW it began for those in flight: with the scent of the sea, the sun playing on water, the light refracted by the Laguna. The invaders who pursued them took fright. The islets and marshes, and the swathes of wetlands repelled them. They feared the wildness. They cursed the loss of their spoils and retreated to their northern lairs on the mainland.

When the sharp crack of voices and the howl of dogs evaporated, those who had shaken off their pursuers ventured out of their primitive shelters and set to work. They made their way forward through trial and error. They invented ways to build edifices upon shifting foundations. From the swamplands there rose a city of islets, and from the city an empire; and from the empire, the inevitable fall. But the city remained, kept afloat by its beauty, and the echoes of ancestral memory, recorded in the annals and engraved in its decaying buildings. Fifteen centuries have gone by, but this is how it had begun – as a refugium.

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