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493 pages, Kindle Edition
First published April 21, 2020
“The problem with might, you see,” he said, “is that there’s always someone mightier.”
“If there be a person alive with more power than myself, then over time circumstances shall eventually degrade until, inevitably, I am their slave. And if our situations were to be reversed, then they shall inevitably become mine.”—Crasedes Magnus
“Humankind is the most innovative at turning innovation to the cruelest ends. Power alters the soul far more than any innovation I could imagine, even at the height of my privileges.”
“Learn what your city has forgotten,” he said. “What men of power have forgotten time and time again, throughout history—that there is always, always something mightier.”
“But it is a regrettable thing that in order to fix a monstrous world, one must become a little monstrous in one’s own right.”
“Maybe you, like so many of this city, believe that all the world should be your servant because you haven’t ever learned what it’s like to be powerless.”
The Written Review
Just published my October Book Vlog and whew! It was a lot of reading but so worth it!
Tevanne City just barely survived the most recent disaster, and with everyone (at least for now) safe, Sancia and her friends focus on breaking up the monopoly on scrivings (magical writings).
There is no innovation that will ever spring from the minds of men that will not eventually be used for slaughter and control.
“Remember the plan,” said Sancia.And just when they celebrate the success of their wildest mission...the worst happens.
“I just also remember there’s a lot of spots in the plan that say, ‘Sancia improvises a bunch of shit.’ Which is not, you know, comforting.”
“You know, for people who do a lot of work to avoid having laws,” he told the captain, “you certainly do seem to invoke a lot of them when it’s to your benefit…”Oh my gosh. I absolutely LOVED this book.
“Ofelia…” said his voice. “You wish to make a moral world, do you not? A just, equitable, sane world?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Yes. Of course you do. And sometimes I find it takes a lot of treachery and death to make a moral world. That is simply the way of things.”
“I remember the plan,” said Sancia. “I just also remember there’s a lot of spots in the plan that say, ‘Sancia improvises a bunch of shit.’ Which is not, you know, comforting.”
“Every innovation—technological, sociological, or otherwise—begins as a crusade, organizes itself into a practical business, and then, over time, degrades into common exploitation.”
He pointed at two soldiers with both hands, and then smashed them together. With a scream, the two men flew together and crunched, like a child taking two dolls of clay and smooshing them into one. He flicked his hands at them, and the mashed-together men fell to the ground.“Fat,” he said, “and sated…and slow.”
“She was not like Torino Morsini, head of Morsini House, who was hugely fat and often hugely drunk, and usually spent his time trying to stuff his aged candle into every nubile girl on his campo.”
“Humankind is most innovative at turning innovation to the cruelest ends. Power alters the soul far more than any innovation I could imagine, even at the height of my privileges.”