“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.”
“A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow.”
“I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw.
The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike.
I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus.
These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall.
The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?”
“Some centuries ago they had Raphael and Michael Angelo; now we have Mr. Paul Delaroche, and all because we are progressing.
You brag of your Opera houses; ten Opera houses the size of yours could dance a saraband in a Roman amphitheatre. Even Mr. Martin, with his lame tiger and his poor gouty lion, as drowsy as a subscriber to the Gazette, cuts a pretty small figure by the side of a gladiator from antiquity. What are your benefit performances, lasting till two in the morning, compared with those games which lasted a hundred days, with those performances in which real ships fought real battles on a real sea; when thousands of men earnestly carved each other -- turn pale, O heroic Franconi! -- when, the sea having withdrawn, the desert appeared, with its raging tigers and lions, fearful supernumeraries that played but once; when the leading part was played by some robust Dacian or Pannonian athlete, whom it would often have been might difficult to recall at the close of the performance, whose leading lady was some splendid and hungry lioness of Numidia starved for three days? Do you not consider the clown elephant superior to Mlle. Georges? Do you believe Taglioni dances better than did Arbuscula, and Perrot better than Bathyllus? Admirable as is Bocage, I am convinced Roscius could have given him points. Galeria Coppiola played young girls' parts, when over one hundred years old; it is true that the oldest of our leading ladies is scarcely more than sixty, and that Mlle. Mars has not even progressed in that direction. The ancients had three or four thousand gods in whom they believed, and we have but one, in whom we scarcely believe. That is a strange sort of progress. Is not Jupiter worth a good deal more than Don Juan, and is he not a much greater seducer? By my faith, I know not what we have invented, or even wherein we have improved.”
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
“In the university, professors make up artificial problems. In the real world, the problems do not come in nice, neat packages. They have to be discovered.”
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