“Maybe the princess could save herself."
"That sounds like a pretty good story too.”
“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.”
“Love is a conquest! Love is war!”
“Why is it always a prince?” asked Winter. “Why isn’t she ever saved by a top-secret spy? Or a soldier? Or a … a poor farm boy, even?”
“I don’t know. That’s just how the story was written.” Evret brushed back a curl of Winter’s hair. “If you don’t like it, we’ll make up a different story tomorrow night. You can have whoever you want rescue the princess.”
“Like a doctor?”
“A doctor? Well—sure. Why not?”
“Jacin said he wants to grow up to be a doctor.”
“Ah. Well, that’s a very good job, one that saves more than just princesses.”
“Maybe the princess can save herself.”
“That sounds like a pretty good story too.”
“Levana's heart throbbed. "It's been almost ten years."
"And now? Are you still waiting for it to be over?"
His expression softened. The anger was gone, replaced with something infuriatingly kind, though his words were heartbreakingly cruel. "Are you still waiting for me to fall in love with you?”
“A good queen was a well-informed queen.”
“Come here, baby sister," she whispered, and despite the terror twisting inside Levana's stomach, her feet obeyed. "I want to show you something.”
“She was suddenly angry. Angry that this woman was so effortlessly pretty. Angry that tonight she would sleep beside her doting husband. That soon she would hold a wrinkled, wailing baby in her arms and that child would never question whether it was loved, or whether its parents loved each other.
Nothing Levana wanted had ever come that easily.”
“Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.”
“Don’t worry about her. It was only her birthday, after all. This was only her party.”
“I know you must be hurting now, but don't give up hope on future happiness, and all the good things that are still to come for you.”
“It's just... you never show your face, when they record you. Rumors are starting, you know. People think you're hiding something. And love begins with trust, and trust can't be formed if people think you're hiding something.”
“Are you still waiting for me to fall in love with you?”
“Ideally, a lady will have three toys at once. One to romance her, one to bed her, and one to adorn her with very expensive jewelry.”
“But no. She didn't want to be Channary. She didn't want her beauty, not if it came with her cruelty and selfishness as well.”
“The guilt and the horror and the memory of that awful smell might stay with her forever, but she was the queen.”
“At first I thought, why, he might be a perfect little match for my perfect little girl.”
“From this day forward, you will be my sun at dawn and my stars at night, and I vow to love and cherish you for all our days.”
“Love is a conquest, love is a war”
“Maybe she truly was hideous. But so long as she could deceive everyone, what did it matter?”
“Then, on the twenty-first day of December in the 109th year of the third era, Queen Channary gave birth to a baby girl. She was officially named Princess Selene Channary Jannali Blackburn of Luna,”
“Love is a conquest. Love is a war.
Here is what I think of love.”
“Would yell if a person didn’t coo and aww and tell her what a beautiful mother she would make and how her daughter would surely grow up to be just like her, by all the lucky stars.”
“Just one more fantasy that wouldn’t come true. Just one more lie she’d constructed for herself to escape into, never realizing she was welding the bars of her own cage.”
“She was so stupid. Such a stupid, stupid girl.
For ever thinking she could be admired, adored, or noticed. For every thinking she could be anything at all.”
“Illusions were dangerous, and being tricked into believing things that weren’t real was often the most dangerous thing of all.”
“Levana knew a great deal about beauty, just as she knew a great deal about ugliness.”
“Maybe the princess can save herself.”
“Being tricked into believing things that weren't real was often the most dangerous thing of all.”
“Then, between the heartbreak and the loneliness, there was love. So open and intense it stole Levana’s breath away.”
“Au fond, les gens ne lisent pas ; ou, s'ils lisent, ils ne comprennent pas ; ou, s'ils comprennent, ils oublient.”
“He had crossed the room with no notion what he might say or do - he had no knowledge of the language of condolence, no skill at social small talk; his metier was business and politics. And yet, when his hostess had introduced them and left, he found himself still holding the hand he had kissed, looking into soft brown eyes that drowned his soul. And without further thought or hesitation had said, 'God help me, I am in love with you.”
“CHAPTER 10 Bright flowers nodded around the apprentice as she weaved, slender as a pine martin, through the grass. She sneezed as pollen dusted her soft muzzle. Then, relishing the sun on her back, she lifted her forepaws and peered over the curving stems. Wide-eyed, she gazed at the broad green pasture and breathed the soft scent of the shimmering grass.”
“Archbishop. Why do I never read the lesson?”
“I beg your pardon, ma’am?”
“In church. Everybody else gets to read and one never does. It’s not laid down, is it? It’s not off-limits?”
“Not that I’m aware, ma’am.”
“Good. Well in that case I’m going to start. Leviticus, here I come. Goodnight.”
The archbishop shook his head and went back to Strictly Come Dancing.”
“I certainly didn’t feel like writing anymore. I couldn’t explain why, but the only emotion that I could arouse were feelings of anger and after staying mad all day and half the night, I was just plain tired. Mad at what? Just about everything, for just about everything was done wrong or it wasn’t done perfectly. Since nothing but perfection was acceptable, I stayed mad.”
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