Quotes from The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Seth Dickinson ·  399 pages

Rating: (6.8K votes)


“This is the truth. You will know because it hurts.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Freedom granted by your rulers is just a chain with a little slack.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Your error is fundamental to the human psyche: you have allowed yourself to believe that others are mechanisms, static and solvable, whereas you are an agent.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Money is only one kind of power. Faith is power, too. Love is power. Slaughter and madness are both roads to power. Certainly, symbols are power – you wear one wherever you go, that purse you carry. And you wear others when you decide to dress yourself, how to look at men and women, how to carry your body and direct your gaze. And all these symbols can raise people to labour or war.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“She had always loved the stars. But in the desert of winter it was impossible to forget that they were cold, and distant, and did not care.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant



“Her fury had nothing else to eat and so it began to eat her.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“None of it could be reduced to something as simple as invader and invaded. Baru saw in the city what she felt in herself. The two-faced allegiances, the fearful monitoring of self and surroundings, the whimpering need to please somehow kneeling alongside marrow-deep defiance. One eye set on a future of glittering wealthy subservience, the other turned to a receding and irretrievable freedom. The liquor of empire, alluring and corrosive at once, saturating everything, every old division of sex and race and history, remaking it all with the promise and the threat of power.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“And he looked at her with open eyes, the bone of his heavy brow a bastion above, the flesh of his face wealthy below, and in those eyes she glimpsed an imperium, a mechanism of rule building itself from the work of so many million hands. Remorseless not out of cruelty or hate but because it was too vast and too set on its destiny to care for the small tragedies of its growth.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“With the discipline of the body comes discipline of the soul.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Every moment is an edict spoken by its past. The past is the real tyranny.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant



“The terror that took Baru came from the deepest part of her soul. It was a terror particular to her, a fundamental concern—the apocalyptic possibility that the world simply did not permit plans, that it worked in chaotic and unmasterable ways, that one single stroke of fortune, one well-aimed bowshot by a man she had never met, could bring total disaster. The fear that the basic logic she used to negotiate the world was a lie. Or, worse, that she herself could not plan: that she was as blind as a child, too limited and self-deceptive to integrate the necessary information, and that when the reckoning between her model and the pure asymbolic fact of the world came, the world would devour her like a cuttlefish snapping up bait.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“The tide is coming in,” he said. “The ocean has reached this little pool. There will be turbulence, and confusion, and ruin. This is what happens when something small joins something vast.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“I am an accountant.” Baru wished she could close her ears to the screams of the sectioned, smoking crowd. “I deal in costs, not faiths.” “But you are part of this.” Tain Hu was a little taller and she moved with purposeful force. Her words, no matter how soft, were not unintimidating. “This is a cost. This is the cost we pay for broad roads and hot water, for banks and new crops. This is the trade you demand.” And there was no doubt who she meant, for she used Aphalone’s singular you. “This resistance is meaningless,” Baru said. “If they want change, they must make themselves useful to Falcrest. Find a way up from within.” “A people can only bear the lash so long in silence. Some things are not worth being within.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“That old sick joy, her first and favorite drug. Control.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Without any outward sign or motion, in the wreckage of herself, she donned her armor, made it firm around her heart. Raise her mask: a cold discipline, a steel beneath her skin.
Grow comfortable, she told herself. It will never come off.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant



“No war has ever been won by slaughtering the enemy wholesale.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“It’s hard to find good stories now.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Better a woman of divided loyalties than one of no loyalty at all. Better a reluctant traitor than the terror of a true sociopath.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Everyone was someone else’s instrument. But she would have to take him into confidence and use him as a trusted instrument nonetheless.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“I am Baru Cormorant,” she protested, “accountant.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant



“Baru raised her hand to smash the wineglass. Checked herself, checked even her trembling, and stood there in absurd pantomime, too firmly in control of her anger to move, too deeply angry for anything but stillness.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Salt and citrus,” Cairdine Farrier said, joining her at the stern with a lemon in each hand. “The chemicals of empire.”
“Salt to preserve food for long journeys,” Baru recited. “Citrus for scurvy.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Aurdwynn has one great habit, Your Excellence, one constant touchstone, no matter who rules.” Her secretary hesitated over the map, his own fingers half-curled, as if of half a mind to draw her hand away from a flame. “Rebellion.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“In the absence of direction, claim and expand the freedom to act as you will.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“Her thoughts ran in cannibal circles.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant



“Trust, like money, needed a guarantee to back it.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“There was nowhere in the world, Baru thought, no collection of lords or lovers, that did not have its own politics.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“I have been a servant too long. I want to help make something free.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


“She looked that word up too, hoping to understand it, as understanding gave her power over things.”
― Seth Dickinson, quote from The Traitor Baru Cormorant


About the author

Seth Dickinson
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