“Isn't that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”
“You don't, Kestrel, even though the god of lies loves you.”
“He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”
“The truth can deceive as well as a lie.”
“Arin smiled. It was a true smile, which let her know that all the others he had given her were not.”
“My soul is yours," he said. "You know that it is.”
“Arin wondered if she would lift her eyes, but wasn’t worried he would be seen in the garden’s shadows.
He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”
“Nothing in dreams can hurt you.”
“The god of lies must love you, you see things so clearly.”
“People in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”
“You might not think of me as your friend,' Kestrel told Arin, 'but I think of you as mine.”
“The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”
“He lifted her up onto the table so that her face was level with his, and as they kissed it seemed that words were hiding in the air around them, that they were invisible creatures that feathered against her and Arin, then nudged, and buzzed, and tugged.
Speak, they said.
Speak, the kiss answered.”
“She reminded herself bitterly that this was what curiosity had bought her: fifty keystones for a singer who refused to sing, a friend who wasn't her friend, some one who was hers and yet would never be hers.”
“I can't - Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize - my prize - it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won't harm you, I swear that he won't, but you must...hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you're not better off dead. Swallow your pride."
"Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you."
He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?"
"Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else."
He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.”
“She saw him and didn’t understand how she had ever missed his beauty. How it didn’t always strike her as it did now, like a blow.”
“For once he didn't stop himself. The pressure of song was too strong, the need for distraction too great. Then he found that the music caged behind his closed teeth was the melody Kestrel had played for him months ago. He felt the sensation of it, low and alive on his mouth.
For a moment, he imagine it wasn't the melody that touched his lips, but Kestrel.”
“Kestrel's eyes slipped shut. She faded in and out of sleep. When Arin spoke again, she wasn't sure whether he expected her to to hear him.
'I remember sitting with my mother in a carriage.' There was a long pause. Then Arin's voice came again in that slow, fluid way that showed the singer in him. 'In my memory, I am small and sleepy, and she is doing something strange. Every time the carriage turns into the sun, she raises her hand as if reaching for something. The light lines her fingers with fire. Then the carriage passes through shadows, and her hand falls. Again sunlight beams through the window, and again her hand lifts. It becomes and eclipse.'
Kestrel listened, and it was as if the story itself was an eclipse, drawing its darkness over her.
'Just before I fell asleep,' he said, 'I realized that she was shading my eyes from the sun.'
She heard Arin shift, felt him look at her.
'Kestrel.' She imagined how he would sit, lean forward. How he would look in the glow of the carriage lantern. 'Survival isn't wrong. You can sell your honor in small ways, so long as you guard yourself. You can pour a glass of wine like it's meant to be poured, and watch a man drink, and plot your revenge.' Perhaps his head tilted slightly at this. 'You probably plot even in your sleep.'
There was a silence as long as a smile.
'Plot away, Kestrel. Survive. If I hadn't lived, no one would remember my mother, not like I do.'
Kestrel could no longer deny sleep. It pulled her under.
'And I would never have met you.”
“Cold without, color within. This was how it had been.”
“She remembered how her heart, so tight, like a scroll, had opened when Arin kissed her.
It had unfurled.
If her heart were truly a scroll, she could burn it.
It would become a tunnel of flame, a handful of ash.
The secrets she had written inside herself would be gone. No one would know”
“The snow fell on her, it fell on him, but Kestrel knew that no single flake could ever touch them both. She didn’t look back when he spoke again. “You don’t, Kestrel, even though the god of lies loves you.”
“It was a sin to break a deathbed promise.
Arin left without making one.”
“Kestrel had bought a life, and loved it, and sold it.”
“Kestrel's cruel calculation appalled her. This was part of what had made her resist the military: the fact that she could make decisions like this, that she did have a mind for strategy, that people could be so easily become pieces in a game she was determined to win...”
“She saw, yet again, that her friend's compliments were just bits of art and artifice. They were paper swans, cunningly folded so that they could float on the air for a few moments. Nothing more.”
“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”
“She was learning to live around it.”
“Kestrel let the words echo in her mind. There had been a supple strength to his voice. An unconscious melody. Kestrel wondered if Arin knew how he exposed himself as a singer with every simple, ordinary word. She wondered if he meant to hold her in thrall.”
“Sometimes it amazed him. Lanky Thom with his white hair and mustaches, who had been a Queen’s lover once, and more willingly than himself, not to mention more than a lover, if you believed half he said. Square-jawed Harnan with that tattoo on his cheek and more elsewhere, who had been a soldier all his life. Juilin with his bamboo staff and his sword-breaker on his hip, who thought himself as good as any lord even if the idea of carrying a sword himself still made him uneasy, and fat Vanin, who made Juilin look a bootlicker by comparison. Skinny Fergin, and Gorderan, nearly as wide in the shoulders as Perrin, and Metwyn, whose pale Cairhienin face still looked like a boy’s despite being years older than Mat. Some of them followed Mat Cauthon because they thought he was lucky, because his luck might keep them alive when the swords were out, and some for reasons he was not really sure of, but they followed. Not even Thom had ever more than protested an order of his. Maybe Renaile had been more than luck. Maybe his being ta’veren did more than dump him in the-middle of trouble. Suddenly he felt... responsible... for these men. It was an uncomfortable feeling. Mat Cauthon and responsibility did not go together. It was unnatural.”
“Afterwards the greedy Howeitat saw more oryx in the distance and went after the beasts, who foolishly ran a little; then stood still and stared till the men were near, and, too late, ran away again. Their white shining bellies betrayed them; for, by the magnification of the mirage, they winked each move to us from afar.”
“What does this Daimon look like? (Xedrix)
He’s tall and blond. (Kyle)
Well, that narrows it down to every Daimon here except Stryker. What would that be? Several thousand of them? Could you be a bit more specific and if you tell me he was dressed in black, I’ll kill you myself and spare me the agony of dying. (Xedrix)”
“Live free, ride free, die free.”
“Marry Gentry Swallowing Darkness (Laurell K. Hamilton):Pick any fairy tale that’s based on older stories, and the heroine of the piece has a miserable, dangerous, nightmarish time of it.”
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