“A dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all.”
“I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.”
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.
Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.
This was not that world.”
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.”
“It was brave," countered Issa. "It was rare. It was love, and it was beautiful.”
“Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is”
“So," he called to her back, "Just out of curiosity, you know, purely conversation and all, at what age will you be entertaining offers of marriage?"
"You think it'll be so easy?" she called back over her shoulder. "No way. There will be tasks. Like in a fairy tale."
"Very, so think twice."
"No need," he said. "You're worth it.”
“Nothing made you feel so useless as another person's grief.”
“Your heart is not wrong. Your heart is your strength. You don't have to be ashamed.”
“As long as you're alive, there's always a chance things will get better."
"Or worse," said Liraz.
"Yes," he conceded. "Usually worse."
Hazael cut in. "My sister, Sunshine, and my brother, Light. You two should rally the ranks. You'll have us killing ourselves by morning.”
“Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy: a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate.”
“Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.”
“Imagine if [Juliet] woke up and he was still alive, but..." She swallowed, waiting out a tremor in her voice. "But [Romeo] had killed her whole family. And burned her city. And killed and enslaved her people.”
“You have only to begin, Lir. Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.”
“Brimstone once told me that to stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”
“Daughter of my heart,' was the message Brimstone sent just for Karou. She wanted to cry again right here in the court, thinking of it. 'Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your name is true. You are all of our hope.”
“Be your own place of safety, she told herself, straightening. No crossbar in the world could protect her from what lay ahead, and neither could a tiny knife ticked in her boot - though there her tiny knife would most certainly remain - and neither could a man, not even Akiva. She had to be her own strength, complete unto herself.”
“Once upon a time, the sky knew the weight of angel armies on the move, and the wind blew infernal with the fire of their wings.”
“Where am I and doing what?
You might well ask.
Freaky chick, you say?
You can't imagine.
I am priestess of a sandcastle
in a land of dust and starlight.”
“It wasn't disgust she felt for Karou, not anymore; it was indignation. Incredulity. A man like Akiva crosses worlds to find you, infiltrates the enemy capital just to dance with you, bends heaven and hell to avenge your death, saves your comrade and kin from torture and death, and you send him off looking gut-punched, diminished, carved hollow?”
“Anyone who would wear all white like that clearly had issues. Just looking at him made her wish she had a paintball gun, but hell, you couldn’t pack for every eventuality.”
“It was interesting the way a small hate could grow inside a big hate and take it over.”
“What can a soldier do when mercy is treason, and he is alone in it?”
“It was funny, she thought, but her smile turned wistful because she had nobody to tell.”
“It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics- where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.”
“Light coursed through Karou and darkness chased it-burning through her, chilling her, shimmer and shadow, ice and fire, blood and starlight, rushing, roaring, filling her.”
“Take up a weapon and you become an instrument with as pure a purpose as the weapon itself: to find arteries and open them, limbs and sever them; to take what is alive and deliver it unto death.”
“Let's just get this out of the way so I can relax. Karou, your friends aren't going to eat us, are they?"
No, Karou thought. They are not. She whispered back, "I don't think so. But try not to look delicious, okay?”
“One world on its own is a strange enough seethe of coiling, unknowable veins of intention and chance, but two? Where two worlds mingle breath through rips in the sky, the strange becomes stranger, and many things may come to pass that few imaginations could encompass.”
“What if there were no punch lines? What if there were no indicators? What if I created tension and never released it? What if I headed for a climax, but all I delivered was an anticlimax? What would the audience do with all that tension? Theoretically, it would have to come out sometime. But if I kept denying them the formality of a punch line, the audience would eventually pick their own place to laugh, essentially out of desperation. This type of laugh seemed stronger to me, as they would be laughing at something they chose, rather than being told exactly when to laugh.”
“It amazes me still to this day how quickly the empire fell to pieces. One day
the people are kissing the ground upon which the Tsar’s shadow has fallen, the
next they are hacking apart his body. Nikolai merely put down his scepter and
walked away, and literally overnight a three-hundred-year old dynasty
evaporated — poof, gone! — with no one lifting a finger to save it. Ironic
that the Soviet Union collapsed just as easily, which proves it was no better,
that the cure, kommunizm, was in fact far worse than the disease itself. Now,
I can only hope, those days are over, and just maybe that’s true. After all,
it took nearly one hundred years for the insanity to fade from France after
“We only waste energy to have horrible fights with the people we love the most.”
“Poor, deluded fools. Because their skin's as white as the rich man's, they believe that they might someday be rich themselves. But without the Negro, Owen, these men would be forced to see that, in fact, they have no more chance of becoming rich than do the very slaves they despise and trample on. They'd see how close they are to being slaves themselves. Thus, to protect and nurture their dream of becoming someday, somehow, rich, they don't need actually to own slaves, so much as they need to keep the Negro from ever being free.”
“Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there's a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap. I can't be punished any more. I'll go now to my kitchen, ten feet by ten feet by ten feet, and wait for him to whistle me. Nice dimensions, nice proportions, I'll lean on the table, and look at the wall, and wait for him to whistle me.”
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