“Other folk thought the Rage was simple bloodlust, a berserk savagery that neither knew nor cared what its target was, and so it was when it struck without warning. But when a hradani gave himself to it knowingly, it was as cold as it was hot, as rational as it was lethal. To embrace the Rage was to embrace a splendor, a glory, a denial of all restraint but not of reason. It was pure, elemental purpose, unencumbered by compassion or horror or pity, yet it was far more than mere frenzy.”
“Shergahn and friend lay like poleaxed steers, and the Daranfelian's greasy hair was thick with potatoes, carrots, gravy, and chunks of beef. His companion had less stew in his hair, but an equally large lump was rising fast, and Brandark flipped his improvised club into the air, caught it in proper dipping position, and filled it once more from the pot without even glancing at them. He raised the ladle to his nose, inhaled deeply, and glanced at the cook with an impudent twitch of his ears.
"Smells delicious," he said while the laughter started up all around the fire. "I imagine a bellyful of this should help a hungry man sleep. Why, just look what a single ladle of it did for Shergahn!”
“Hot, bright heat filled him like some ecstatic poison, and Hartan's pony shied in terror as a wordless howl burst from his throat. His dripping ears were flat to his skull, fire crackled in his brown eyes, his huge sword blurred in a whirring figure eight before him, and the brigand running at him gawked in sudden panic. The raider's feet skidded in mud as he tried to brake, but it was far too late. He was face-to-face with the worst nightmare of any Norfressan, a Horse Stealer hradani in the grip of the Rage, and a thunderbolt of steel split him from crown to navel.”
“The splendor of that moment, its transcendent glory and aliveness, haunted him. He could thrust it aside by day, but it poisoned his dreams by night, calling to him and pleading with him to unlock the chains he'd bound about it.”
“Well, thank the gods,' he sighed.
'Oh? And what would it be you're thanking them for?' Bahzell inquired, and Brandark grinned.
'For making roads and letting us find one. Not that I'm complaining, you understand, but this business of following you cross-country without the faintest idea where I am can worry a man.”
“If you think it's bad now, my friend, wait till we reach a town!' He shook his head and brushed at his tattered, dirty shirtsleeve. 'Do try to remember we're visitors-and not welcome ones-if you should feel moved to reason with anyone.”
“Falderson," he said quietly to Bahzell in passable Navahkan, "is as stupid as the day is long." He craned his neck to gaze up at the hradani and shook his head. "In fact, he's even stupider than I thought. You, sir, are the biggest damned hradani-no offense-I think I've ever seen.”
“Infantile love follows the principle: "I love because I am loved."
Mature love follows the principle: "I am loved because I love."
Immature love says: "I love you because I need you."
Mature love says: "I need you because I love you.”
“We're the winners because we get to live. Because we get to survive. Despite the pain of this life, we get to feel.”
“Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.”
“You are everything good and straight and fine and true—and I see that so clearly now, in the way you’ve carried yourself and listened to your own heart. You’ve changed me more than you know, and will always be a part of everything I am. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this. No one you love is ever truly lost.”
“When Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld conflate what is good for Lockheed, Halliburton, Carlyle and Gilead with what is good for the United States and indeed the world, it is a form of projection with uniquely dangerous consequences.”
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