“Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, so she destroyed them all.”
“The irony of life is that those who wear masks often tell us more truths than those with open faces.”
“But true rulers are not born. We are made.”
“We are drawn to stories,” he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.”
“In the silence, I sit alone on my throne and wait eagerly for all the satisfaction and triumph to hit me. I wait, and wait, and wait.
But it doesn't come.”
“It is better to have an enemy who will fight you in an open field then a lover who will kill you in your sleep.”
“What is so great about being good?”
“What is the point of searching for love, when love is nothing but an illusion?”
“Fear motivates, more than love or ambition or joy. Fear is more powerful than anything else in the world. I have spent so long yearning for things—for love, for acceptance—that I do not really need. I need nothing except the submission that comes with fear. I do not know why it took me so long to learn this.”
“Why feel guilty for something that isn't your fault?
Because I loved him. And now he is gone.”
“Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me? Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.”
“Why do you look?” I mutter.
I half expect Magiano to tease me, spitting back one of his sarcastic phrases. But he doesn’t smile. “We are drawn to stories," he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.” He lifts a hand and places his palm gently against the ruined side of my face, covering the scar.
I look down, embarrassed now. Instinctively, I reach up to brush some of my hair over my face—only to remember that I no longer have long locks.
“Hiding it makes you more beautiful,” Magiano says. Then he takes his hand away, exposing my scar again. “But revealing it makes you you.” He nods at me. “So wear it proudly.”
“Why can’t I be like that? Why can’t I be the father who just shrugs off the love of his daughter? Why can’t I be the Lead Inquisitor who enjoys watching his pleading victims burn at the stake? Why can’t I be the one who befriends a lonely, lost girl and then casts her out? Why can’t I be the one to strike first, to hit so early and with such fury that my enemies cower before they can ever think of turning on me? What is so great about being good?”
“Why so surprised, White Wolf?” he murmurs, smiling a little. There is something in the way he says my Elite name, a secret sweetness.
Why so surprised that you are worthy?”
“None of it was your fault, the whispers in my head argue. You didn't kill him, after all -- it was not your blade that ended his life. So why are you the one cast out? You didn't have to return to the Daggers -- you didn't need to help them rescue Raffaele. And still they turned on you. Why does everyone forget your good intentions, Adelina?”
“When you’re all alone in a world that hates and fears you, you want to find others like yourself. New friends. Elite friends.”
“I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way.”
“For a fleeting moment, I imagine that if I were queen, I could make the act of hurting malfettos a crime. I could execute this boy's pursuers with a single command.”
“They were the flash of light in a stormy sky, the fleeting darkness before dawn. Never have they existed before, nor shall they ever exist again.”
“The world’s deadliest mercenaries choose to serve you, the whispers say, because they have yet to meet me.”
“A cruel queen does not mean an unsuccessful one. Under her guidance, Kenettra changed from a glittering gem into a clouded stone, and her empire became one to rule all others, a darkness that stretched from sun, to sea, to sky.
- The Empire of the Wolf, translation by Tarsa Mehani”
“I have always done the best I could, and yet, somehow, it has never been enough. No one cared what I did. They always turned their backs on me.”
“I looked into those eyes and I saw nothing. It was like staring straight into the Underworld. Like he aches to return to where he came from.”
“In this moment, I am a god.”
“Hiding it makes you more beautiful," Magiano says. Then he takes his hand away, exposing my scar again. "But revealing it makes you you." He nods at me. "So wear it proudly.”
“Once every ten years, the three moons all fall under the world’s shadow and turn scarlet, bleeding with the blood of our fallen warriors. —The New Atlas to the Moons, by Liu Xue You”
“He is not Enzo, I remind myself. But I don't want him to be. With Enzo, my energy yearned for his power and ambition, all too happy to let him take me into the darkness. But with Magiano... I am able to smile, even to laugh. I am able to sit here and lean back and point out the constellations.”
“Now, are you happy? Have you finally achieved all you set out to do? What will you do next, little assassin, with no one left to see you?"
- One Thousand Journeys of Al Akhar, various authors”
“He wanted to live in a house built on delusion, would rather believe in a million lies than face one truth.
- Seven circles around the sea, by Mordove Senia”
“They waged war for decades, never realizing that they were fighting for the same cause."
-Campaigns East and West Tamoura, 1152-1180 by Scholar Tennan”
“I don't believe that anyone who is a legitimately interesting person can be popular as a teenager," Mel went on. "Or ever, maybe. Popularity rewards the uninteresting.”
“But shouldn't there be a least? Shouldn't there be a bare minimum that life should give you? Is it too much to ask for a job you don't hate, or for someone to truly have and hold? Is it too much to ask for one child? Even one some would call flawed? Couldn't I at least have that?”
“When you want something so bad it hurts,” he said quietly, “and you bury it, bury it so deep that you convince yourself it no longer matters . . . and someone tells you you can have it, it's terrifying. What if you take the chance and you're wrong? What if you let yourself feel the loss and it's this huge pain and you can't put it back in the box?”
“Your actions, not your feelings, speak the truth of your intent.” Richard”
“Boys get to do what they want in this world, and girls do not.”
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