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187 pages, Kindle Edition
First published January 8, 2019
“Death wasn’t fair value for anything…”
“She had been able to find a doorway and disappear into an adventure, instead of living in a world that told her, day after day after grinding, demoralizing day, that adventures were only for boys; that girls had better things to worry about, like making sure those same boys had a safe harbor to come home to.”
“That’s because you don’t know what fairness means. You’ve been in a place that wasn’t fair for so long that the things we’d been trying to teach you have been driven back into the shadows.”
“What’s the Goblin Market?”
“It is a place where dreamers go when they don’t fit in with the dreams their homes think worth dreaming. Doors lead here. Perhaps you found one.”
“If you give everyone fair value, no one wants. If no one wants, no one has to take. The Market makes sure we don’t take advantage of each other.”
It is so often easy, when one has the luxury of being sure a thing will never happen, to be equally sure of one’s answers. Reality, it must sadly be said, has a way of complicating things, even things we might believe could never be that complicated.
The Lundy who had stepped through the door for her second visit to the Goblin Market would barely have recognized the one who came stumbling through it for her second return to the world of her birth. This Lundy was thin, her arms and legs wiry with new muscle, rendered lean by physical labor and the rigors of questing. This Lundy had bruises on her ribs and a narrow scar down the middle of her back, tracing the outline of her spine, where the Bone Wraiths had tried to set their captive countryman free of the fetters of her flesh.
“If you want to help her, you need to help yourself first. No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.”
To be a child is to be a visitor from another world muddling your way through the strange rules of this one, where up is always up, even when it would make more sense to be down, or backward, or sideways.
There was always a vague impression that they expected something different from her, and she didn’t know what to do with that. She didn’t want to know what to do with that. She suspected it would involve changing everything about who she was, and she liked who she was. It was familiar.
If something mattered enough for the author to write it down, it would come back before the last page was turned. It would always come back.
“You forgot that sometimes, fair value comes from change, and death, and sacrifice. You can’t have everything and give fair value.”
“The Market does love me. It loves us all. It just ... loves the rules more. It doesn’t let any of us break them. It punishes us when it has to, because the rules have to be for everyone if they’re going to be for anyone.”
“Home always shrinks in times of absence, always bleeds away some of its majesty, because what is home, after all, apart from the place one returns to when the adventure is over? Home is an end to glory, a stopping point when the tale is done.”
“There is wanting and there is needing, and when you want, you can make good choices, but when you need, it’s important the people around you not be looking to take advantage. When there are no clear prices, only the nebulous idea of ‘fair value,’ people get hurt. People get cheated.”
“This, then, was Katherine Victoria Lundy: pretty and patient and practical. Not lonely, because she had never really considered any way of being other than alone. Not gregarious, nor sullen, but somewhere in the middle, happy to speak when spoken to, happy also to carry on in silence, keeping her thoughts tucked quietly away. She was ordinary. She was remarkable.”
“The Goblin Market had seemed like a beautiful adventure on her first visit, a place where the rules made sense and the penalties were fair. Then it had become something terrible, a place where friends could die and not come back. Maybe the truth was somewhere in the middle of those two things, but now she understood how much there was to lose, and she was afraid.”
#1 Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
#2 Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
#3 Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★★
#4 In An Absent Dream ★★★★★
#5 Come Tumbling Down ★★★★★
#6 Across the Green Grass Fields ★★★★★
#7 Where the Drowned Girls Go ★★★★★
#8 Lost in the Moment and Found ★★★★★
When a very serious little girl finds a magical door in the woods, she decides to leave behind a life of loneliness to go off in search of adventure, never expecting to find a mystical Market on the other side—where anything can happen, as long as you pay your debts.
Of such commonplace contradictions are weapons made. Katherine Lundy walked in the world. That was quite enough to set everything else into motion.
“Your name is your heart, and you don’t give your heart away.”
She had been able to find a doorway and disappear into an adventure, instead of living in a world that told her, day after day after grinding, demoralizing day, that adventures were only for boys; that girls had better things to worry about, like making sure those same boys had a safe harbor to come home to.
“No one serves their friends by grinding themselves into dust on the altar of compassion.”
“You could be happy here, if you wanted to be. But you don’t have forever to decide, and you must follow the rules, or you’ll surely pay the price.”
“Rule 1: Ask for nothing
Rule 2: Names have power
Rule 3: Always give fair value”
“(…) everything was lovely, and everything was terrible.”