“Men were always quick to believe in the madness of women.”
“I have never heard a lady say 'arse,'" the emperor said mildly.
"I haven't been a lady for long," I reminded him. A little demon–made of exhaustion and the emperors smile– pushed me into adding,"For five years I've been saying 'arse.' It's hard to stop saying 'arse' after that many years. I suppose I should stop saying 'arse,' since ladies don't say-"
"'Arse'," he finished for me.
I met his grin.”
“History does not care about the suffering of the individual. Only the outcome of their struggles.”
“It is not often that the real world conjures worse than what we can imagine.”
“You have seen me at my worst and at my weakest. Let me show you my best.”
“There was a saying that the strength of a man’s steel was only known under the hammer of circumstance. If anyone had asked me a few hours ago, I would have said that nearly five years of boyhood had hammered me into constant fear and excessive caution. But now I realised it had done the opposite. It had shaped me into someone who stepped forwards and reached for what she wanted. It was too late for me to tuck my hands behind my back and wait like a good woman.”
“A man who lifts his chin in pride will fail to see the chasm at his feet.”
“I know that love is about power, too. Who gives, who takes. Who is willing to risk showing their true self.”
“Too many doubts grow in the cracks of silence and separation.”
“Watching my father plan and strategize for the resistance has taught me about trust.” She leaned forward. “Personal trust is very different from political trust, my lady. The first thrives on faith. The second requires proof, whether it be upfront or covert.” Awkwardly, she patted my hand. “His Majesty has always been a powerful man. Perhaps he has never had to distinguish between the two.”
“And you are the girl's bitch, forever.”
“ I have come to understand that I have offended you with my honest about your power,' he said. 'I am not accustomed-' He paused and rubbed his chin. 'I mean apart from my father, there has been no one whose opinion I was required to consider. And I've never had to'-his finger traced the edge of the pearl-'pursue a woman.'
Was the emperor apologizing to me?
He took a deep breath. 'I cannot take back those words-we both know they were the truth-but I regret that I caused you hurt.' He reached across and took my hand. 'And they did not take into account the importance I place upon your role as Niaso. Eona, you are the moon balance to my sun.”
“We are all more–and less–than what we seem.”
“"The She of the dragon will return and ascend
When the cycle of twelve draws to an end..."
"The She of the Dragoneye will restore and defend
When the Darkforce is mastered with Hua of All Men.”
“You lie even to yourself. Now that is the mark of a fool.”
“You have forced your way into my Hua, Eona. Change me. First, by your power- then, just by who you are.”
“He gave me a message for you.” She tightened her lips as if the words soured her mouth.
“What is it?”
“That you are in his blood.”
I looked down at the deck to hide the answering surge within my own blood.
“Those are the words of a lover, Eona.”
“How could such heat remain when we were not even touching?”
“That’s the nice thing about dreams, the way you wake up before you fall.”
“God is the ultimate judge of what is truly in our souls. But we are requiered to forgive everyone.”
“What was I thinking, anyway? It would never work out between the two of us. I mean, I'm a mediator. His dad's a vampire. His uncle's a killer. What if we got married? Think how our kids would turn out...”
“Seasick," Scatty mumbled. "That's exactly what it feels like. Only worse.”
“You are a terrifying creature," the Voice told her solemnly. "You do not take your place in your father's tent, letting men make your decisions for you. You ride as a man, you fight as a man, and you think as a man --"
"I think as a human being," she retorted hotly. "Men don't think any differently from women -- they just make more fuss about being able to.”
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