“When honor and the Law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose[?]”
“She was the most painful, most glorious dance of his life”
“Sylvia had given him a scalding lecture, the gist of it being that whatever a woman enjoyed wearing was feminine and anything she didn't enjoy wearing wasn't, and if he was too stubborn and old fashioned to understand that, he could go and soak his head in a bucket of cold water. He hadn't quite forgiven her yet for saying they would have to look hard to find a bucket big enough to fit his head in to, but he admired the sass behind the remark.”
“That is a list of the Territories that yielded to Ebon Askavi. They now stand within the shadow of the Keep. They are mine. Anyone who tries to settle in my Territory without my consent will be dealt with. Anyone who harms any of my people will be executed. There will be no excuses and no exceptions. I will say it simply so that the members of this Council and the intruders who thought to take land they had no right to claim can never say they misunderstood." Jaenelle's lips curled into a snarl. "STAY OUT OF MY TERRITORY!”
“I suppose [...] that the most convincing way to fool an enemy would be to fool a friend.”
“Yes, Smoke told him reluctantly, Lucivar had cried. Heart pain. Caught-in-a-trap pain. The Lady had petted and petted, sung and sung. It had been more than a dream, then. In one of the dreamscapes Black Widows spun so well, Jaenelle had met the boy he had been and had drawn the poison from the soul wound. He had wept for the boy, for the things he hadn’t been allowed to do, for the things he hadn’t been allowed to be. But he didn’t weep for the man he’d become.
“Ah, Lucivar,” she’d said regretfully as they’d walked through the dreamscape. “I can heal the scars on your body, but I can’t heal the scars of the soul. Not yours, not mine. You have to learn to live with them. You have to choose to live beyond them.”
“How does a large slice of fresh bread soaked in beef broth sound?" About as edible as the table leg. "Do I have any choices?" "No."
“Her smile faded. “Do you know the worst thing about it? I forgot him. Daemon was a friend, and I forgot him. That Winsol, before I was…he gave me a silver bracelet. I don’t know what happened to it. I had a picture of him. I don’t know what happened to that either. And then he gave everything he had to help me, and when it was done, everyone walked away from him as if he didn’t matter.”
“She looked down at him, smiling with exasperated amusement. *Stubborn, snarly male.*
*Stubbornness is a much-maligned quality,* he panted as he climbed toward her. Her silvery, velvet-coated laugh filled the land. Then he finally got a good look at her. He sank to his knees. *I owe you a debt, Lady.*
She shook her head. *The debt is mine, not yours.*
*I failed you,* he said bitterly, looking at her wasted body.
*No, Daemon,* Jaenelle replied softly. *I failed you. You asked me to heal the crystal chalice and return to the living world. And I did. But I don’t think I ever forgave my body for being the instrument that was used to try to destroy me, and I became its cruelest torturer. For that I’m sorry because you treasured that part of me.*
*No, I treasured all of you. I love you, Witch. I always will. You’re everything I’d dreamed you would be.*
She smiled at him. *And I—* She shuddered, pressed her hand against her chest. *Come. There’s little time left.* She fled through the rocks, out of sight before he could move. He hurried after her, following the glittering trail, gasping as he felt a crushing weight descend on him. *Daemon.* Her voice came back to him, faint and pain-filled. *If the body is going to survive, I can’t stay any longer.* He fought against the weight.
*You have to take this in slow stages. Rest there now. Rest, Daemon. I’ll mark the trail for you. Please follow it. I’ll be waiting for you at the end.*
*JAENELLE!* A wordless whisper. His name spoken like a caress. Then silence.”
“It is easier to kill than to heal. It is easier to destroy than to preserve. It is easier to tear down than to build. Those who feed on destructive emotions and ambitions and deny the responsibilities that are the price of wielding power can bring down everything you care for and would protect. Be on guard, always.”
“I don’t think you’ve ever realized how strong, how necessary the bond is between Warlord Princes and Queens. We need you to stay whole. That’s why we serve. That’s why all Blood males serve.”
“But it’s always seemed so unfair that a Queen can lay claim to a man and control every aspect of his life if she chooses to without him having any say in the matter.” Saetan laughed.
“Who says a man has no choice? Haven’t you ever noticed how many men who are invited to serve in a court decline the privilege? No, perhaps you haven’t. You’ve had too many other things occupying your time, and that sort of thing is done very quietly.” He paused and shook his head, smiling. “Let me tell you an open secret, my darling little witch. You don’t choose us. We choose you.”
Jaenelle thought about this and growled, “Lucivar’s never going to give that damn Ring back, is he?”
“Jaenelle looked thoughtful. “He seduced me. Well, seduced Witch. When we were in the abyss.”
“He what?” Lucivar asked with deadly calm.
“Don’t get snarly,” Jaenelle snapped. “It was a trick to make me heal the body. He didn’t really want me. Her. He didn’t…” Her voice trailed away. She waited a minute before continuing. “He said he’d been waiting for Witch all his life. That he’d been born to be her lover. But then he didn’t want to be her lover.”
“Hell’s fire, Cat,” Lucivar exploded. “You were a twelve-year-old who had recently been raped. What did you expect him to do?”
“I wasn’t twelve in the abyss.” Lucivar narrowed his eyes, wondering what she meant by that. “He lied to me,” she said in a small voice.
“No, he didn’t. He meant exactly what he said. If you had been eighteen and had offered him the Consort’s ring, you would have found that out quick enough.” Lucivar stared at the blurry garden. He cleared his throat. “Saetan loves you, Cat. And you love him. He did what he had to do to save his Queen. He did what any Warlord Prince would do. If you can’t forgive him, how will you ever be able to forgive me?”
“Oh, Lucivar.” Sobbing, Jaenelle threw her arms around him.”
“She has the strength, the knowledge, and the desire. She’ll bring him out of the Twisted Kingdom.” It wasn’t what Lucivar meant, and they both knew it.
“Why didn’t you stop her? Why are you letting her risk herself?”
Saetan bent his head, avoiding Lucivar’s eyes. “Because she loves him. Because he really is her mate.”
Lucivar was silent for a minute. Then he sighed. “He always said he’d been born to be Witch’s lover. Looks like he was right.”
“I’ve been insulted by fools before. I survived.” Even in the dim light he saw her eyes change.
“Just because he was using words instead of a knife, you can’t dismiss it, Saetan. He hurt you.”
“Of course he hurt me,” Saetan snapped. “Being accused of—” He closed his eyes and squeezed her hand. “I don’t tolerate fools, Jaenelle, but I also don’t kill them for being fools. I simply keep them out of my life.” He sat up and took her other hand. “I am your sword and your shield, Lady. You don’t have to kill.”
Witch studied him with her ancient, haunted sapphire eyes. “You’ll take the scars on your soul so that mine remains unmarked?”
“Everything has a price,” he said gently. “Those kinds of scars are part of being a Warlord Prince. You’re at a crossroads, witch-child. You can use your power to heal or to harm. It’s your choice.”
“He wrapped his hand around the back of her neck and massaged gently. “Listen to me, Cat, because I’ll only say this once. You’re the finest Lady I’ve ever met and the dearest friend I’ve ever had. Besides that, I love you like a brother, and any bastard who hurts my little sister is going to answer to me.”
“But the only time she’d mentioned Daemon, his name had sounded like a promise, like a caress.
Blinking back tears and leashing his guilt, Lucivar finished the whiskey and turned to go back inside.”
“Who do you have to find?”
“The boy. My son. Daemon.” Lucivar’s heart clogged his throat as he watched Jaenelle pale. “Daemon.” Jaenelle shuddered. “The gold key.”
“I have to find him.” Tersa’s voice rang with frustration and fear. “If the pain doesn’t end soon, it will destroy him.”
Jaenelle gave no sign of having heard or understood the words. “Daemon,” she whispered. “How could I have forgotten Daemon?”
“I must go back to Terreille. I must find him.”
“No,” Jaenelle said in her midnight voice. “I’ll find him.”
Tersa stopped her restless movements. “Yes,” she said slowly, as if trying hard to remember something. “He would trust you. He would follow you out of the Twisted Kingdom.”
“If the right woman comes into your life, you won’t let her go. I’m the last man who would tell you to compromise. Marry someone you can love and accept as she is, Lucivar. Marry someone who will love and accept you. Don’t settle for less.”
Lucivar lowered his arm. “Do you think the right man will come into Cat’s life?”
“He’ll come. If the Darkness is kind, he’ll come.”
“Forgiveness doesn't work that way. You may want to forgive, but you can't do it yet. Forgiving someone can take weeks, months, years. Sometimes it takes a lifetime.”
“Surreal realized Daemon’s madness was confined to emotions, to people, to that single tragedy he couldn’t face. It was as if Titian had never died, as if Surreal hadn’t spent three years whoring in back alleys before Daemon found her again and arranged for a proper education in a Red Moon house. He thought she was still a child, and he continued to fret about Titian’s absence. But when she mentioned a book she was reading, he made a dry observation about her eclectic taste and proceeded to tell her about other books that might be of interest. It was the same with music, with art. They posed no threat to him, had no time frame, weren’t part of the nightmare of Jaenelle bleeding on that Dark Altar.”
“It’s a romantic novel,” Jaenelle said in a small voice as he called in his half-moon glasses and started idly flipping the pages. “A couple of women in a bookseller’s shop kept talking about it.” Romance. Passion. Sex. He suppressed—barely—the urge to leap to his feet and twirl her around the room. A sign of emotional healing? Please, sweet Darkness, please let it be a sign of healing.”
“Jaenelle blushed. “No, none of them are my mate. I’m not old enough for a mate,” she added hurriedly as Smoke gave them all a look of blatant disapproval. “This is Saetan, the High Lord. He’s my sire. My brother, Prince Mephis, is the High Lord’s pup. And this is my uncle, Prince Andulvar, and my cousin, Lord Prothvar. And that’s Lord Beale. Everyone, this is Prince Smoke.”
“The lover is the father’s mirror. The brother stands between. The mirror spins, spins, spins. Blood. So much blood. He clings to the island of maybe. The bridge will have to rise from the sea. The threads are not yet in place.”
“Jaenelle squirmed. “My…mate…is trapped in the Twisted Kingdom. If I don’t show him the way out, he’ll be destroyed.”
“Sometimes he caught a glimpse of a girl with long golden hair running away from him. He always followed, desperate to catch up with her, desperate to explain… He couldn’t remember what he needed to explain. Don’t be afraid, he called to her. Please, don’t be afraid. But she continued to run, and he continued to follow her through a landscape filled with twisting roads that ended nowhere and caverns that were strewn with bones and splashed with blood. Down, always down.”
“When you’re fully healed,” she said sternly, then spoiled it with a silvery, velvet-coated laugh. “Oh, Lucivar, the dragons who live on the Fyreborn Islands are going to love you. You not only have wings, you’re big enough to wave whomp.”
“Jaenelle tried to smile. “They won’t find their way through the maze. Not this maze, anyway.” Then she looked sadly at Daemon’s gaunt, bruised body and gently brushed the long, dirty, tangled black hair off his forehead. “Ah, Daemon. I had gotten used to thinking of my body as a weapon that was used against me. I’d forgotten that it’s also a gift. If it’s not too late, I’ll do better. I promise.” Jaenelle placed her transparent hands on either side of Daemon’s head. She closed her eyes. The Black Jewel glowed. Listening to the Hayllian guards thrashing around somewhere in the maze, Surreal sank to the ground and settled down to wait. *Daemon.* The island slowly sank into the sea of blood. He curled up in the center of the pulpy ground while the word sharks circled, waiting for him. *Daemon.”
“If she didn’t heal emotionally, if she could never endure a man’s touch… He wasn’t the key that could unlock that final door. There was much he could do, but not that.
He wasn’t the key. Daemon Sadi was.”
“I can heal the scars on your body, but I can’t heal the scars of the soul. Not yours, not mine. You have to learn to live with them. You have to choose to live beyond them.”
“The past was like a handful of sand you thought you were squeezing tightly, but which had already run out through the cracks between your fingers. Memory was a river that had run dry long ago, leaving only scattered gravel in a lifeless riverbed.”
“All my stupid little thoughts beget stupid little thoughts, rampantly speculating every possible outcome of every possible situation until they're all done to death and none of them could ever be true.”
“No one likes boys! Even girls who like boys can’t stand boys! They smell, they talk too much, they mess up everything, and they always have their hands in their pants, but that doesn’t mean we can go to school without them! It’s like stymphs without bones! It’s like witches without warts! Without boys, LIFE HAS NO POINT!”
“But we have seen how brightly light shines in the dark, how sweetly music fills the quiet. All these years you have known only shadow and silence, and we have so much to show you. To save you.
I am not worth saving.
We are all worth saving.
How can you know?
We cannot ever know, not truly.
But we have faith.”
“Cautiously his foot explored, wiggled as it could, and finally felt warm flesh under the pants leg.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.