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462 pages, ebook
First published July 3, 2018
“If there is one thing I have learned, it is that people will astound you. But the moment they do, or shortly after, you will realize you should not have been surprised. Ultimately, the problem was you, not them.”
“So often I have heard that war is a noble and necessary thing, the answer to many problems. But I have found that when war becomes a reality, peace becomes the noble and necessary thing because there is no problem greater than war.”
“Death is inescapable. Everyone spends their days, buying unrealized dreams. I gambled mine on hope, not for myself, but for all those who would follow.”
“I truly believe that hardship makes better people. Pain—assuming that it does not break us—provides the strength of knowing that such things can be endured and overcome. And I know of no one who suffered more than Gifford.—THE BOOK OF BRIN”
“Most of the time people just lack confidence. Doubt kills any chance they might have. People believe magic is impossible, and so it is because they refuse to try, or if they do try it’s only half-hearted because they know—deep down, they know—they can’t. Sometimes all a person of talent needs is a little encouragement and someone—sometimes anyone—believing in them. Avalanches have been caused by the tossing of a pebble, and miracles have come from wishful thinking that just happened to spill out in words.”
“The Battle of Grandford is remembered in song and story; a legend of mythic heroes and villains, an allegory of truth and courage; a rallying cry for a people. It is important to know that the Battle of Grandford got its name and reputation months after the fighting ended, bestowed by people who were not there.”
“Getting older, Mawyndulë, is like climbing a mountain. The higher you go, the greater the view. From time to time, you look back. At such heights, you can see paths behind you: the trails you took and the ones you foolishly disregarded; the blind alleys you fortunately missed, purely out of chance rather than by some greater wisdom on your part. You also spot others following you, people making the same stupid decisions. From your elevated position, you witness their bad choices, the ones they can’t see because they aren’t standing where you are. You could shout down, attempt to warn them, but they rarely listen. They are too blinded by the indisputable fact that the path you followed got you where you are, to the place they want to be.”
"When people are happy, they can become deaf. I don't know why that is, but I've noticed it to be true. Misery helps us hear. We notice more when we're in pain. We see beauty more clearly, hear the sufferings of others more loudly. Since you pulled me back, every sunrise is so much brighter, every breeze a delight. I think people who survive tragedy aren't so much scarred as they are cleansed. The wax comes out of their ears and the clouds leave their eyes. The barriers between them and the world are reduced.”
This book is dedicated to the artist Marc Simonetti. People are told not to judge a book by its cover, but so long as Marc is creating them, judge away.
To a man with so little, hope is a barrel of ale. It alleviates pain for a time, becomes a crutch. But it also ruins what little good a person might otherwise squeeze out of life.
Suri was surrounded by people, yet not a part of them. She was the daisy among the daffodils, the fly in the goat’s milk, the butterfly in the army.
Accept that you’re going to get hurt, that you’re going to die; embrace it, and you’ll find the freedom to live. This was one of the many ridiculous things his father had told him that sounded less stupid every day.
“What’s it mean? What Sebek called Tesh?”
“Techylor?” Malcolm said. “It means swift of hand, or just swifthand, I suppose.”
“Great. The kid’s going to be impossible to live with now,” Raithe grumbled.
Malcolm nodded. “Probably, but you ought to consider yourself fortunate. Next to Nyphron, you’ve got the best Shield in Alon Rhist.”
Raithe frowned. “Apparently, I’m second best to Nyphron in a number of things.”
"It seems stupid to start being smart now."
"Passion was a wild, selfish thing that didn't respect boundaries or common sense, but without it life felt pointless."