“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.”
“There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening, when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tears are shed for the newly dead. I have learned not to trust those times, because if the world is at peace then it means someone is planning war.”
“- Senhor Uhtred! - Como sempre, Willibald reagiu à minha provocação. - Esse peixe - ele apontou o dedo trêmulo na direção dos ossos - foi um dos dois que Nosso Senhor usou para alimentar 5 mil pessoas!
- O outro devia ser um peixe incrivelmente grande - respondi. - O que era? Uma baleia?”
“...victory does not come to men who listen to their fears.”
“- Senhor Uhtred! - O padre Willibald veio correndo na minha direção. - O que está acontecendo? O que está acontecendo?
- Decidi começar uma guerra, padre - respondi cheio de animação. - É muito mais interessante que a paz.”
“If you roll the dice often enough you always get the numbers you want. If I tell you the sun will shine tomorrow and that it will rain and there will be snow and that clouds will cover the sky and that wind will blow and that it will be a calm day and that thunder will deafen us, then one of those things will turn out to be true and you'll forget the rest because you want to believe that I really can tell the future.”
“Some had hurled spears first. Those spears thumped into our shields, making them unwieldy, but it hardly mattered. The leading Danes tripped on the hidden timbers and the men behind pushed the falling men forward. I kicked one in the face, feeling my iron-reinforced boot crush bone. Danes were sprawling at our feet while others tried to get past their fallen comrades to reach our line, and we were killing. Two men succeeded in reaching us, despite the smoking barricade, and one of those two feel to Wasp-Sting coming up from beneath his shield-rim. He had been swinging an ax that the man behind me caught on his shield and the Dane was still holding the war ax's shaft as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I twisted the blade, ripping it upward, and as Cerdic, beside me, chopped his own ax down. The man with the crushed face was holding my ankle and I stabbed at him as the blood spray from Cerdic's ax blinded me. The whimpering man at my feet tried to crawl away, but Finan stabbed his sword into his thigh, then stabbed again. A Dane had hooked up his ax over the top rim of my shield and hauled it down to expose my body to a spear-thrust, but the ax rolled off the circular shield and the spear was deflected upward and I slammed Wasp-Sting forward again, felt her bite, twisted her, and Finan was keening his mad Irish song as he added his own blade to the slaughter. “Keep the shields touching!” I shouted at my men.”
“The crews of the Viking ships are Danish, Norse, Frisian, and Saxon.”
“Because I’m tired of Wessex,” I said, “tired of priests, tired of being told what your god’s will is, tired of being told that I’m a sinner, tired of your endless damned nonsense, tired of that nailed tyrant you call god who only wants us to be miserable. And I refused to give the oath because my ambition is to go back north, to Bebbanburg, and to kill the men who hold it, and I cannot do that if I am sworn to Edward and he wants something different of me.”
“No, fate is difficult. Is all ordained? Foreknowledge is not fate, and we may choose our paths, yet fate says we may not choose them. So if fate is real, do we have choice?”
“I hated his religion and its cold disapproving gaze, its malevolence that cloaked itself in pretended kindness, and its allegiance to a god who would drain the joy from the world by naming it sin,”
“I don’t fight old men,” he said. That was strange. No one had ever called me old before. I remember laughing, but there was shock behind my laughter. Weeks before, talking with Æthelflaed, I had mocked her because she was staring at her face in a great silver platter. She was worried because she had lines about her eyes and she had responded to my mockery by thrusting the plate at me, and I had looked at my reflection and seen that my beard was gray. I remember staring at it as she laughed at me, and I did not feel old even though my wounded leg could be treacherously stiff. Was that how people saw me? As an old man? Yet I was forty-five years old that year, so yes, I was an old man.”
“There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening, when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tears are shed for the newly dead. I have learned not to trust those times, because if the world is at peace then it means someone is planning war. Spring”
“My banner was behind me and that banner would attract ambitious men. They wanted my skull as a drinking cup, my name as a trophy. They watched me as I watched them and they saw a man covered in mud, but a warlord with a wolf-crested helmet and arm rings of gold and with close-linked mail and a cloak of darkest blue hemmed with golden threads and a sword that was famous throughout Britain. Serpent-Breath was famous, but I sheathed her anyway, because a long blade is no help in the shield wall’s embrace, and instead I drew Wasp-Sting, short and lethal. I kissed her blade then bellowed my challenge at the winter wind.
“Come and kill me! Come and kill me!”
And they came.”
“an arena where, so Merewalh’s priest told me, Christians had been fed to wild beasts. Some things are just too good to be true and so I was not sure I believed him.”
“Because I’m tired of Wessex,’ I said, ‘tired of priests, tired of being told what your god’s will is, tired of being told that I’m a sinner, tired of your endless damned nonsense, tired of that nailed tyrant you call god who only wants us to be miserable.”
“If he was still alive, I thought. I knelt to him, then to Osferth, and I left. We walked in silence to a cloistered courtyard where the last roses of summer had dropped their petals on the damp grass. We sat on a stone bench and listened to the mournful chants echoing from the passageway. “The archbishop wanted me dead,” I said. “I”
“Serpent-Breath was famous...Wasp-Sting, short and lethal.”
“Men do not relish the shield wall. They do not rush to death's embrace. You look ahead and see the overlapping shields, the helmets, the glint of axes and spears and swords, and you know you must go into the reach of those blades, into the place of death, and it takes time to summon the courage, to heat the blood, to let the madness overtake caution.”
“Is all ordained? Foreknowledge is not fate, and we may choose our paths, yet fate says we may not choose them. So if fate is real, do we have a choice?”
“but men inspired by prophecy will attempt any foolishness in the knowledge that the fates have ordained their victory.”
“He had pretended to be full of remorse, and shouted that remorse to the sky, “No more tits, God! No more tits! Keep me from tits!” and I remembered how Alfred had turned away in frustrated disgust. “Exanceaster,”
“Taking you to the shower. Me Tarzan, You Jane. Do as I say.”
“Brain: You have no problem getting off, shut your whore mouth. Body: Did you just call my mouth a whore?”
“I was as much her sexual prisoner as she was mine. Those would be the times I took her the hardest and unleashed my cruelty on her.”
“Sometimes I look back and I am shocked. Everyday of my life I have prepared for success, worked for it, waited for it, and you don't notice how the days pass until nearly a lifetime is finished. Then it hits you--the thing you have been waiting for has already gone by. And it was going in the other direction. It's like I've been waiting on the wrong side of the road for a bus that was already full." p. 265”
“Life has very little even ground.”
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