30+ quotes from City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

Quotes from City of Blades

Robert Jackson Bennett ·  484 pages

Rating: (6.9K votes)


“Do you not enslave people now?” asks the man. “Chains are forged of many strange metals. Poverty is one. Fear, another. Ritual and custom are yet more. All actions are forms of slavery, methods of forcing people to do what they deeply wish not to do.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Deserve.' How preoccupied we are with that. With what we should have, with what we are owed. I wonder if any word has ever caused more heartache.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“There's no such thing as a good death ... It's just a dull, stupid thing we all have to do eventually. To ask meaning of it is to ask meaning of a shadow.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“When the world grinds you down, you pick a handful of fires to hold close to your heart.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“We are beautiful, strange creatures of heat and noise, of sudden, inscrutable impulses, of savage passions.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“It's a symbiotic relationship: those two excel at being idiots, and I excel at shooting idiots. Everyone gets what they want.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“The word everyone forgets is 'serve'...Yes. Serve. This is the service, and we soldiers are servants. Sure, when people think of a soldier, they think of soldiers taking. They think of us taking territory, taking the enemy, taking the city or a country, taking treasure, or blood. This grand, abstract idea of 'taking,' as if we were pirates, swaggering and brandishing our weapons, bullying and intimidating people. But a solider, a true soldier, I think, does not take. A soldier gives.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“You've always believed war to be a grand performance. But to me it's just killing, just the ugliest thing a person can ever do...So when you need to do it, there's no need to make a show of it.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Yet I now ask of you—are you marauders or are you servants? Do you give power to others, or do you hoard it? Do you fight not to have something, but rather fight so that others might one day have something? Is your blade a part of your soul, or is it a burden, a tool, to be used with care? Are you soldiers, my children, or are you savages?”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“So many systems, so many pieces...more complicated than the most complicated of clocks. I wonder, sometimes: are we truly one thing, one being, or many, many different things, simply dreaming they are one?”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Oh? I thought you were a soldier. Is it not your purpose, to make endings? Is it not your duty to make these”—she taps the corpse—“from the soldiers of the enemy?” “That’s a gross perversion of the idea of soldiering,” says Mulaghesh. “Then please,” says Rada, looking up. “Enlighten me.” She is not being sarcastic or combative, Mulaghesh realizes. Rather, she is willing to follow any string of conversation down the path it leads, much like she’s willing to follow a damaged vein through a desiccated corpse. The surgery room is quiet as Mulaghesh thinks, the silence broken only by the tinkle of Rada’s utensils and the soft hush of the rain. “The word everyone forgets,” says Mulaghesh, “is ‘serve.’ ” “Serve?” “Yes. Serve. This is the service, and we soldiers are servants. Sure, when people think of a soldier, they think of soldiers taking. They think of us taking territory, taking the enemy, taking a city or a country, taking treasure, or blood. This grand, abstract idea of ‘taking,’ as if we were pirates, swaggering and brandishing our weapons, bullying and intimidating people. But a soldier, a true soldier, I think, does not take. A soldier gives.” “Gives what?” “Anything,” says Mulaghesh. “Everything, if asked of us. We’re servants, as I said. A soldier serves not to take, they don’t strive to have something, but rather they strive so that others might one day have something. And a blade isn’t a happy friend to a soldier, but a burden, a heavy one, to be used scrupulously and carefully. A good soldier does everything they can so they do not have to kill. That’s what training is for. But if we have to, we will. And when we do that we give up some part of ourselves, as we’re asked to do.” “What part do you give up, do you think?” asks Rada. “Peace, maybe. Killing echoes inside you. It never goes away. Maybe some who have killed don’t know that they’ve lost something, but they have.” “That is so,” says Rada quietly. “Deaths of all kinds echo on. And sometimes, it seems, they drown out all of life.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“If I leave anything behind in this world, I hope it is my work.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Lonely places draw lonely people...They echo inside us, and we cannot help but listen.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“We are beautiful, strange creatures of heat and noise, of sudden, inscrutable impulses, of savage passions...Yet when we consider our existence, we think ourselves calm, composed, rational, in control...All the while forgetting that we are at the mercy of these rebellious hidden systems--and the elements, of course. And when the elements have their way, and the tiny fire within us flickers out...What then? A blast of silence, probably, and no more.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Killing echoes inside you. It never goes away. Maybe some who have killed don't know that they've lost something, but they have.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“What is a blade but a conduit of death?
What is a life but a conduit of death?”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“To discuss the reality of our global position is considered impolite.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“You are wrong,” says the man. His voice is low and resonant. The metal walls of the dome, all the knives and swords and spears, all seem to vibrate with each of his words. “Your rulers and their propaganda have sold you this watered-down conceit of war, of a warrior yoked to the whims of civilization. Yet for all their self-professed civility, your rulers will gladly spend a soldier’s life to better aid their posturing, to keep the cost of a crude good low. They will send the children of others off to die and only think upon it later to grandly and loudly memorialize them, lauding their great sacrifice. Civilization is but the adoption of this cowardly method of murder.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“A soldier serves not to take, they don't strive to have something, but rather they strive so that others might one day have something. And a blade isn't a happy friend to a soldier, but a burden, a heavy one, to be used scrupulously and carefully. A good soldier does everything they can so they do not have to kill. That's what training is for. But if we have to, we will. And when we do that we give up some part of ourselves, as we're asked to do.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Deaths of all kinds echo on. And sometimes, it seems, they drown out all of life.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Saypur says, ‘Dance,’ you say, ‘How many turns?”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“She devoted her life to this place, this work. If that doesn't make a home, Turyin Mulaghesh, then nothing does.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Is it sleep you want to find?” he asks quietly. “Or dreams you wish to escape?” She”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“O, the things we kill for our dreams, forgetting all the while we shall wake up to find them naught but dust and ash!
What fools we are to pretend that when we walk to war, we do not bring our loved ones with us.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“General Turyin Mulaghesh looks like shit. She’s obviously still in tremendous shape for a woman her age, but it’s been a long while since she bathed, there are rings under her eyes, and the clothes she’s been wearing are in desperate need of a wash. This is a far cry from the officer he once knew, the woman whose uniform was so starched you could almost carve wood with the cuffs, the woman whose glance was so bright and piercing you almost wanted to check yourself for bruises after she looked at you. Pitry”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“I have taken many lives in my life. Many children, perhaps husbands, wives, parents. Perhaps it is only just that this same violation was inflicted upon me. Perhaps it is just that one who lives a life of war becomes a refugee from it.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Peace is but the absence of war. War and conflict form the sea through which nation-states swim. Some who have had the fortune to find clear, calm waters believe otherwise. They have forgotten that war is momentum. War is natural. And war makes one strong.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Sometimes I can’t tell if you hate this place or love it.”

“I love its potential. I hate its past. And I don’t like what it is.” She hugs her knees close to her chest. “The way you feel about the place you grew up in is a lot like how you feel about your family.”

“How’s that?”

She thinks about it for a long time. “Like isn’t the same thing as love.”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“When the world grinds you down, you pick a handful of fires to hold close to your heart. And”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


“Pitry regrets not defining the phrase “other side of the hill” more precisely. As he marches along the wandering paths, it increasingly feels like this hill keeps producing other sides out of nowhere for him, none of which bear any sign of civilization. At”
― Robert Jackson Bennett, quote from City of Blades


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