She moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx.

The old one opened his mind, but it was the new one that climbed inside, turned several circles, and settled in with a grunt—like a satisfied dragon in a cozy new lair. And there it would remain—the.

And the space where his legend was gathering up words grew larger. Because this story was not over yet.

It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him.

Our enemies don't always stay where we put them.

I want to do mysterious and improbable things alongside a fierce and beautiful girl who looks like a doll brought to life by a sorcerer.

Liraz's smile was like the love child of a shark and a scimitar.

I kept thinking about that drawing in the war council, and our part in all of this. We cheat the bowl. We keep filling it back up, and the monsters keep stabbing their giant forks in, and because of us, there's always more for them to eat. We never lose but we never win, either. We just keep on dying. Is that what we do?

He didn't believe in magic and demons. He believed in day and night, endurance and fury, cold mud and loneliness and the speed with which blood leaves the body.

Why not open the door, and open their arms, and close them again around each other? Did the not understand how, in the strange chemistry of human emotion, his suffering and her, mingled together, could... countervail each other?

She wanted to be free, and if she could never be free, at least she wanted to be brave - brave enough not to sell herself, no matter what the payment, or the cost of refusing.

It didn't escape Karou's notice that he found subtle ways of touching her.

I'm lucky I'm even alive, she announced. When I was little, I sucked on duck eyeballs.

His lips made a grim twist that was like the joyless cousin of a smile.

She hadn't expected to be sorry, and at first she wasn't. The act itself was neither disappointing nor magical; it was what it was: a new closeness. A shared secret.

She was like springtime distilled into a person.

You needn't trouble yourself. He's only a librarian.

Karou wasn't a prize to win; that wasn't why he was here. She was a woman and would choose her own life. He was here to do what he could, whatever he could, that she might have a life to choose, one day. Whoever and whatever that included was her own affair.

His gaze was heat across her cheeks, her lips. It was touch. His eyes were hypnotic, his brows black and velvet. He was copper and shadow, honey and menace, the severity of knife-blade cheekbones and a widow's peak like the point of a dagger.

When I turned to writing fantasy, and writing for young people, it was joyous. It was like discovering an underground lake of ideas that went on forever.

Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is.

It (scent) was barely there at all, but in the hint of its existence it was as fragile as night blossoms—not too sweet but just enough, like the dew on a requiem bud in the palest hour of dawn.

It was a different life out here, but make no mistake: Lazlo was every bit the dreamer he had always been, if not more. He might have left his books, but he carried all his stories with him.

I think they both have to be lucky. It's like, luck friction. One's flint and one's steel, striking together to make fire.

From beyond, the Eretz stars glimmered visible-invisible, visible-invisible, and he did the same.

She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and... cancel her.

No, I have to lure him out, like a will-o'-the-wisp, tease him deeper and deeper into the forest until he is lost and doomed. Without the forest or the doom—just the luring. Like a Venus flytrap that says I am a delicious flower come taste me and then snap! Devour. Without the devouring. Well, maybe a little devouring.

Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters? ... Armies need beasts, don't they? Pet beasts, to do their terrible work! And the worst is, it's almost impossible to retrieve a soul that has been ripped away. Almost. But it can be done, if ever… if ever you decide to go looking for yours. ...

These weren't her folk, but… they were, and maybe that meant that anyone could be anyone's, which was a sort of nice thing to think, with the world falling apart.

How quaint that life seemed now, like something you could fit inside a snow globe.

Liraz was special. Specially antisocial. Spectacularly, even.

They marked his first consideration that there might be other ways of living than the one he knew. Better, sweeter ways.

There was a sensations in his hearts, though, as a stirring of embers. There was fire in him. It wasn't smothered, only banked, but it would burn like the wings of the seraphim before this was over.

Even if it was just walls and a roof with papers inside, it had bewitched him, and drawn him in, and given him everything he needed to become himself.

She'd hit the stony bottom of her own shallow depths.

Once upon a time, the sky knew the weight of angel armies on the move, and the wind blew infernal with the fire of their wings.

None of us became monks to be nursemaids. To which the child Lazlo replied, with fire in his soul, And none of us became children to be orphans.

Love that sets forth the soul like springtime and ripens it like summer. Love as rarely exists in reality, as if a master alchemist has taken it and distilled out all the impurities, every petty disenchantment, every unworthy thought, into a perfect elixir, sweet and deep and all-consuming.

Unlike those many dead because of him, he had life, and life wasn't a default state—I am not dead, hence I must be alive—but a medium. For action, for effort. As long as he had life, who deserved it so little, he would use it, wield it, and do whatever he could in its name, even if it was not, was never, enough.

Hello, King Morgan, said Gabriel, popping his head into the lab. And how is the planet's only non-idiot on this fine day?

She had fallen in love with him twice. She loved him now with both loves, so overpowering it was almost unbearable.

We will fight for our world to the last echo of our souls.

And so Grief and Shame abided in adjoining rooms with the door shut between them, holding their pain in their arms instead of each other.

Once you know magic is real, it's really hard to remember what it was like not to know.

He listened like a cactus drinks the rain.

It hadn't occurred in the physical realm, that much was true. His hand had not touched her hand. But... his mind had touched her mind, and that seemed to him a deeper reality and even greater intimacy.

The thing he wished for most was a thing he had never wished for at all, not until he had discovered her. And it came true that night, and many nights after. A brief and shining span of happiness, it was the pivot point around which his whole life spun.

As if this whole place were a story about her.

Did you know that mako shark fetuses eat each other in the womb?... Its true. Only cannibal fetuses survive to be born. Can you imagine if people were like that?