Quotes from Theft of Swords

Michael J. Sullivan ·  649 pages

Rating: (40.6K votes)

“Hadrian shook his head and sighed. “Why do you have to make everything so difficult? They’re probably not bad people—just poor. You know, taking what they need to buy a loaf of bread to feed their family. Can you begrudge them that? Winter is coming and times are hard.” He nodded his head in the direction of the thieves. “Right?”
“I ain’t got no family,” flat-nose replied. “I spend most of my coin on drink.”
“You’re not helping,” Hadrian said.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Aren’t you going to say, I told you so?” Hadrian whispered.
“What would be the point in that?”
“Oh, so you’re saying that you’re going to hang on to this and throw it at me at some future, more personally beneficial moment?”
“I don’t see the point in wasting it now, do you?”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“So,” Royce said, “you want us to escape from this prison, kidnap the king, cross the countryside with him in tow while dodging soldiers who I assume might not accept our side of the story, and go to another secret prison so that he can visit an inmate?”
Arista did not appear amused. “Either that, or you can be tortured to death in four hours.”
“Sounds like a really good plan to me,” Hadrian declared.“Royce?”
“I like any plan where I don’t die a horrible death.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“It was a trap after all,” Alric said. He turned to Royce. “My apologies for doubting your sound paranoia.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“You don’t win battles with hate. Anger and hate can make you brave, make you strong, but they also make you stupid. You end up tripping over your own two feet.” (Hadrian)”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“If this hast been done to language, I fear to know the fate of all else.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“As they climbed into their saddles, Myron bowed his head and muttered a soft prayer.
“There,” Hadrian told Royce, “we’ve got Maribor on our side. Now you can relax.”
“Actually,” Myron said sheepishly, “I was praying for the horses. But I will pray for you as well,” he added hastily.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Will nodded toward Hadrian. “Look at the swords he’s carrying. A man wearing one—maybe he knows how to use it, maybe not. A man carries two—he probably don’t know nothing about swords, but he wants you to think he does. But a man carrying three swords—that’s a lot of weight. No one’s gonna haul that much steel around unless he makes a living using them.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Alric looked up at the thief with a scowl. “I just want to say for the record that as far as royal protectors go, you’re not very good.”
“It’s my first day,” Royce replied dryly.
“And already I’m trapped in a timeless prison. I shudder to think what might have happened if you had a whole week.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“You didn’t really hold back on Braga so Pickering could kill him, did you?” Royce asked after the two were left alone in the hallway.
“Of course not. I held off because it’s death for a commoner to kill a noble.”
“That’s what I thought.” Royce sounded relieved. “For a minute, I wondered if you’d gone from jumping on the good-deed wagon to leading the whole wagon train.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“What’s going on?” Royce asked as throngs of people suddenly moved toward him from the field and the castle interior.
“I mentioned that you saw the thing and now they want to know what it looks like,” Hadrian explained. “What did you think? They were coming to lynch you?”
He shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a glass-half-empty kinda guy.”
“Half empty?” Hadrian chuckled. “Was there ever any drink in that glass?”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Royce nodded. “Invest in crossbows. Next time stay hidden and just put a couple bolts into each of your target’s chests. All this talking is just stupid.”
“Royce!” Hadrian admonished.
“What? You’re always saying I should be nicer to people. I’m trying to be helpful.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“His Majesty is in a state meeting. He's requested that he not be disturbed."
"The man is already disturbed. I'm just here to beat some sense into his feeble little brain.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“You think he’s still alive?” Royce asked, nodding his head toward Alric.
“Sure,” Hadrian replied without bothering to look. “He’s probably sleeping. Why do you ask?”
“I was just pondering something. Do you think a person could smother in a wet potato bag?”
Hadrian lifted his head and looked over at the motionless prince. “I really hadn’t thought about it until now.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Stealing swords,” Royce muttered mostly to himself. “Okay, let’s take a look at this tower. The sooner I see it, the sooner I can start cursing.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Royce turned to Hadrian. “It’s supposed to make them look tough, but all it really does is make it easy to identify them as thieves for the rest of their lives. Painting a red hand on everyone is pretty stupid when you think about it.”
“That tattoo is supposed to be a hand?” Hadrian asked. “I thought it was a little red chicken. But now that you mention it, a hand does make more sense.”
Royce looked back at Will and tilted his head to one side. “Does kinda look like a chicken.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“You're not going to charge us for the tower, I hope," Hadrian said. "But if you are, it was Royce's fault and should come out of his share.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Hadrian drew two swords from his sides in a single elegant motion. He flipped one around
letting it spin against his palm once. “Need to get a new grip on this one. It’s starting to fray again.” He looked at Will. “Shall we get on with this? I believe you were about to rob us.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“There are still eight of us,” Guy pointed out. “Not exactly an even fight.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Mauvin said. “Sadly, there’s no one else here we can ask to join your side.”
Guy looked at Mauvin, then Hadrian, for a long moment as the men glared across the ash at each other. Then he nodded and lowered his blade. “Well, I can see I’ll have to report your misconduct to the archbishop.”
“Go ahead,” Hadrian said. “His body is buried with the rest of them just down the hillside.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“It’s not that we don’t trust you,” Royce said as Hadrian prepared the bow. “It’s just that we’ve learned over the years that honor among nobles is usually inversely proportionate to their rank. As a result, we prefer to rely on more concrete methods for motivations—such as self-preservation. You already know we don’t want you dead, but if you have ever been riding full tilt and had a horse buckle under you, you understand that death is always a possibility, and broken bones are almost a certainty.”
“There’s also the danger of missing the horse completely,” Hadrian added. “I’m a good shot, but even the best archers have bad days. So to answer your question—yes, you can control your own horse.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“You’re too visible, Albert,” Hadrian explained. “Can’t afford to have our favorite noble hauled to some dungeon where they cut off your eyelids or pull off your fingernails until you tell them what we’re up to.”
“But if they torture me, and I don’t know the plan, how will I save myself?”
“I’m sure they’ll believe you after the fourth nail or so,” Royce said with a wicked grin.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“It's not easy to subdue a person bigger than you and not hurt him in the process."
"Well, I think I found your problem, then. Why don't we try hurting him?”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“And you? Did you find the doorknob?”
Hadrian picked up a jug and downed several swallows, drinking so quickly some of the water dripped down his chin. He poured some in his palm and rinsed his face, running his fingers through his hair.
“I didn’t even get close enough to see a door.”
“Well, look on the bright side”—Hadrian smiled—“at least you weren’t captured and condemned to death this time.”
“That’s the bright side?”
“What can I say? I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“What kind of meal would you like?"
"Something edible would be a pleasant surprise.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Another last-minute, good-deed job,” Royce grumbled as he stuffed
supplies into his saddlebag.
“True,” Hadrian said, slinging his sword belt over his shoulder, “but
this is at least a paying job.”
“You should have told him the real reason we saved him from Trumbul—
because we wouldn’t see the hundred tenents otherwise.”
“That was your reason. Besides, how often do we get to do royal contracts?
If word gets around, we’ll be able to command top salaries.”
“If word gets around, we’ll be hanged.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Been meddling, have you?” Royce asked, looking around at the hive of activity.
“You must admit they didn’t have much in the way of a defense plan,”
Hadrian said, pausing to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
Royce smiled at him. “You just can’t help yourself, can you?”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“Verily, for nine hundred years have I lost. Everyone I knew is dead, the empire gone, and who knows in what state the world is left. Should what thy sister reports prove true, much hath changed in the world."

"By the way," Royce mentioned, "No one uses the words 'tis or hath anymore and certainly not thou, thy, or verily.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“There you are!” he shouted at them. “Father has half the castle turned
out looking for you.”
“Us?” Hadrian asked.
“Yes.” Fanen nodded. “He wants to see the two thieves in his chambers
right away.”
“You didn’t steal the silver or anything, did you, Royce?” Hadrian
“I would bet it has more to do with your flirting with Lenare this afternoon
and threatening Mauvin just to show off,” Royce retorted.
“That was your fault,” Hadrian said, jabbing his finger at him.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

“The real struggle is in your own mind. You must know you are going to win before you start the fight. You have to see it, smell it, and believe it utterly. It is a form of confidence, but you must guard against overconfidence. You have to be flexible—able to adapt in an instant and never allow yourself to give up. Without this, nothing else is possible.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, quote from Theft of Swords

About the author

Michael J. Sullivan
Born place: in Detroit, MI, The United States
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