“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”
“The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.”
“Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.”
Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.”
“What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.”
“Of course not," said Sturmhond. "Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”
“I've seen what you truly are," said the Darkling, "and I've never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.
Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“Then I’d be alone, too," he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.”
“I took a breath. “Your highness—”
“Nikolai,” he corrected. “But I’ve also been known to answer to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘handsome.”
“I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story.”
“Oh, and the easiest way to make someone furious is to tell her to calm down.”
“The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days."
"Then you and I will have something in common, won't we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important."
Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. "I can't decide if you're crazy or stupid."
"I have so many good qualities," Sturmhond said. "It can be hard to choose.”
“Sturmhond had a way of talking that made me want to shoot someone. Preferably him.”
“Do you answer a question directly?"
"Hard to say. Ah, there, I've done it again”
“I want to kiss you,” Nikolai said. “But I won’t. Not until you’re thinking of me instead of trying to forget him.”
“Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you're human, but never when you feel it.”
“You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?" I asked as I closed the book's cover and headed for the door. "They always end up dead.”
“I'm perfectly capable of being stupid on my own.”
“I thought you wanted to go."
"I wanted you to ask me to stay.”
“He tapped the sun over his heart. "I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation.”
“We are alike,” he said, “as no one else is, as no one else will ever be.”
The truth of it rang through me. Like calls to like.”
“You heard Prince Perfect," Mal said, and joined us at the table. Nikolai grinned. "I've had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate.”
“I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.”
“Vasily laughed. “I can’t decide if you’re a fearmonger or a coward.”
“And I can’t decide if you’re an idiot or an idiot.”
“You two have a bad habit of acting like fools and calling it heroic.”
“And there's no way I'm leaving you alone with Prince Perfect."
"So you don't trust me to resist his charms?"
"I don't even trust myself. I've never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I'm pretty sure the rocks and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him.”
"What's so funny?"
"I just pictured the Darkling being cornered by a sweaty duchess trying to have her way with him.”
“The ox feels the yoke, but does the bird feel the weight of its wings?”
“I got used to seeing him waiting for me at the end of corridors, or sitting at the edge of my bed when I fell asleep at night. When he didn’t appear, I sometimes found myself looking for him or wondering why he hadn’t come, and that frightened me most of all.”
“So many men had tried to make her a queen. Now she understood that she was meant for something more. The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.”
“Like calls to like. I'd sense it when the Hummingbird entered the Unsea, but I'd been too afraid to embrace it. This time, I didn't fight. I let go of my fear, my guilt, my shame. There was darkness inside me. He had put it there, and I would no longer deny it. The volcra, the nichevo'ya, they were my monsters, all of them. And he was my monster too.
"My power is yours", I repeated. His arms tightened around me. "And yours is mine," I whispered against his lips.”
“Уверяют, будто Людовик XIV, увидев новые карты своих владений, основанные на точном определении долготы, посетовал, что геодезисты отняли у него больше земель, чем неприятель.”
“We are one. Man, horse, lance, we are one beast of blood and wood and iron.”
“Touch and away, Jack?’ asked Stephen. ‘Touch and away? Do you not recall that I have important business there? Enquiries of the very first interest?’
To do with our enterprise? To do with this voyage?’
Perhaps not quite directly.”
“Ixion exists as an antidote to the rules and conventions of other places. We believe that indulging in pleasure will make better people. Self-denial and discipline and virtue are all myths invented to control you.”
“...една жена с плаха усмивка и плавни движения, с архаичната маска на босонога слугиня с разпуснати коси тихо и свенливо моли да я пусна в моето ultimum moriens, т. е. в сърцето си, там се оглежда с мила и любопитна усмивка, докосва всичко с нежна ръка, тук-таме забърсва праха, проветрява застоялите кътчета, изхвърля едно-друго и на мястото нарежда собствените си вещи, настанява се изящно, акуратно и неотразимо, докато накрая осъзнавам, че съм напълно изтикан оттам и потиснат, като чужденец в изгнание, обикалям собственото си сърце, което ми се мержелее в далечината със затворени врати, както нечий топъл дом за бездомника; и доста често успявам да се нанеса обратно само ако се върна с друга жена под ръка и я настаня там.”
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