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501 pages, Paperback
First published May 3, 2012
“Wars are easier to start than end, and where they take you is rarely where you intended to go… It will be better for all of us to avoid it.”
“Form is what gives the world its shape… If you don’t hold to tradition, what is there? A thousand different people each with his own idea of justice, every man trying to force his ideas on the next? We’ve seen how that ends.”
“It hadn’t seemed all exciting at the time, but the farther away the past drew, the more warmly it glowed.”
“He would have guessed that children grew to adults imperceptibly, each day’s change too small to see, each week too small, each month. The changes may be clear if seen year by year by ear, but maybe that was wrong. Maybe people stayed just the same for long stretches of time, and then shifted suddenly, becoming someone different than they’d been. Or not different, but older. More mature. More themselves.”
“Small kindnesses, it turned out, paid large returns.”
“There are no clean starts, Dawson thought. Just as there are no clean endings.
Everything is built like Camnipol: one damn thing atop another atop another reaching down in the bones of the world. Even the forgotten things are back there somewhere, shaping who and what we are now.”
“This was what weddings were for, after all. The opportunity for kindness and extravagance. The chance for last year’s rivals to become this season’s friends or, failing that, at least friendly acquaintainces. It was the other side of the battles and intrigues, this creation of bonds and connections. They were weaving the fabric of civilization.
“Words are empty until you fill them, and how you fill them shapes the world. Words are the armor and the swords of souls, and the soldiers on the other side of that bridge have no defense against them.”