Katsa kicked and struck at temples and necks, and the four men lay slumped together on the floor before amazement had even registered in their eyes.

Then she marched to the pillows and beat them mercilessly until they lay puffed out like obedient clouds.

I want to have the heart and mind of a queen, she whispered. I want it more than anything. But I'm only pretending. I can't find the feeling of it inside me.

He said, ‘The moment I began to love you was the moment when you saw your fiddle smashed on the ground, and you turned away from me and cried against your horse. Your sadness is one of the things that makes you beautiful to me. Don't you see that? I understand it. It makes my own sadness less frightening.

She had learned propriety, which was the same as saying she had learned to trust only herself.

In some places and times Brocker's would have been a mind-boggling story, but not in King's City and not in the days when King Nax had ruled at the pleasure of his closest adviser. Cansrel.

My range for you is...broader than most.

She's sleeping now, happy as a kitten in a patch of sun.

They rode with eight soldiers. It was more than Archer would have taken had he gone alone, but not many more. No one in the Dells traveled with fewer than six others, unless he was desperate or suicidal or had some perverse reason for wanting to be attacked by footpads.

The girl entered the room, not looking at Fire, glaring mutinously at the feather duster in her own hand. Still, at least she had come. Some of them scurried away, pretending not to hear.

Ivan had contrived somehow in the dark of night to replace every watermelon in the watermelon patch with a gravestone, and every gravestone in the engraver's lot with a watermelon.

Thiel, tall, troubled, bewildered.

Could she be his lover and still belong to herself?

Do you ever feel, she says to Jane, like you're trapped in the wrong version of your life?

We are not made of money.

They seemed no closer to the tops of the peaks that rose before them. It was only by looking back, to the forest far below, that she knew they'd climbed.

The fact that at the moment the distinction is being made, a young adult, as opposed to an adult, is the one reading it. In other words, I don't entirely believe in the distinction. A great book is a great book, and it's impossible to say what part of a person is going to connect to it.

It seemed to Fire it was rarely enough one knew a person one wished to marry. How unjust then to meet that person, and be kept from it because one's bed was made of hay and not feathers.

There is nothing unnatural in this world. An unnatural thing is a thing that could never happen in nature. I happened. I am natural, and the things I want are natural.

Katsa hugged her for a long time, and Bitterblue understood that this was always how it would be. Katsa would come and then Katsa would go. But the hug was real, and lasting, even though it would end. The coming was as real as the going, and the coming would always be a promise. It would have to be good enough.

I don't often know who should read what book. It's a little bit like trying to set people up on a date — a good match is unpredictable and mysterious.

Katsa kicked off her shoes, hitched up her skirt, and climbed into the fountain, sighing as the cold water ran between her toes and lapped at her ankles. it was a great improvement over her shoes. She would not put them on again tonight.

Archer wouldn't consider her allowance of the guard to be evidence of the powers of rational argument. He'd take it as proof that she was in love with whichever of her guards was the most handsome.

Dear Brigan, she thought to herself. People want incongruous, impossible things. Horses do, too.

King Birn of Wester and King Drowden of Nander might form an alliance and pummel Estill's army on the northern borders, but Wester and Nander could never work together for long. Suddenly one would offend the other, and Wester and Nander would become enemies again, and Estill would join Nander to pound Wester.

Every configuration of people is an entirely new universe unto itself.

Your capacity for missing the obvious is astonishing.

She blinked, surprised into silence by her own foolish pleasure at his words, and then laughed at herself for being pleased with the suggestion that she was ordinary.

Hanna's announced her intentions to marry Archer.

There are no medicines to bring a dead thing back to life.

We're going to win this war, you know, now that our army's together. But the world doesn't care who wins. It'll go on spinning, no matter how many people are slaughtered." After a moment, he added. "I almost wish it wouldn't, if we aren't allowed to go on spinning with it.

My life is an apology for the life of my father.

For a group of people who claimed to be concerned for her safety, they did seem to have developed rather a habit of encouraging uprisings against monarchs.

I know nothing of the land beyond the seven kingdoms, except for tall tales the eastern people tell about rainbow-colored monsters and underground labyrinths.

This is a trial about watermelons! Watermelons are invertebrate creatures! cried Quall.

Normal. She wasn't normal. A girl Graced with killing, a royal thug? A girl who didn't want the husbands Randa pushed on her, perfectly handsome and thoughtful men, a girl who panicked at the thought of a baby at her breast, or clinging to her ankles.

Everyone was willing to take some small risk to lessen the damage of their ambition and disorder and lawlessness.

It was a hurting tune, resigned, a cry of heartache for all in the world that fell apart. As ash rose black against the brilliant sky, Fire's fiddle cried out for the dead, and for the living who stay behind to say goodbye.

It humbles me, but it doesn't humiliate me.

Still doing your best to ruin the horses, I see.

When truths disappear, they leave behind blank spaces, and that is also dangerous.

Maybe it was for the best that she'd been so foolish, for if she'd known how hard this would be, perhaps she wouldn't have done it.

Go safely. Go safely, she thought to him. What a silly, empty thing it was to say to anyone, anywhere.

A consciousness was like a face you saw once and forever recognized.

It hurts when you strike me— It hurts you for only an instant, and besides, if I hit you it's only because you've let me, because you're too busy wrenching my arm out of its socket to care that I'm hitting you in the stomach.

Some of the smartest men have a hard time comprehending the obvious.

Danzhol. The one with the marriage proposal and the objections to the town charter in central Monsea. "Bacon," Bitterblue muttered. "Bacon!" she repeated, then carefully made her way up the spiral stairs.

Fire sat unbreathing. A life that was an apology for the life of his father: It was a notion she could understand, beyond words and thought. She understood it the way she understood music.

You have a wound too, Papa." Hanna took Brigan's left hand, which was wrapped in a bandage, and inspected it. "Did you throw the first punch?