The quietness of it was weird: real fights happened without a sound track.
Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you. Quentin's.
The air was quiet and still. It felt weird to be standing on solid ground again. Worst away team ever, Josh said, wading up onto land. Not a single redshirt.
He looked like a child who had been slightly misdelivered, with some subpar forceps handling by the attending.
What about Josh? he croaked. Go ask him. He's got another project. Janet rolled her eyes. He thinks he can use the Neitherlands to get to Middle-earth. He honestly believes he's going to bone an elf.
When I left college I thought - based on a staggeringly inadequate understanding of how the world worked - that I might like to go into book publishing.
When he watched TV, all he saw was an image of his own face, with a mysterious empty city in the background.
He wished he could tell him that none of it was going to turn out anything like the way he hoped, but that everything was going to be all right anyway. It was hard to explain, but he would see.
My specialty as a collector is books that almost have value. When I love a book, I don't buy the first edition, because those have become incredibly expensive. But I might buy a beat-up copy of the second edition, third printing, which looks almost exactly the same as the first edition except that a couple of typos have been fixed.
The others were conspicuously silent, or talked among themselves, elaborately play-acting that they were unaware of the fact that Quentin was conversing with a drunk magic bear.
I've stayed in houses that were in the country, and in England, but I'm still not sure that I've stayed in an English country house.
The gods were great, but what good was greatness if you didn't love?
That was magic for you, right? The thing about magic, the real kind: it didn't make excuses, and it was never funny.
And if you tell him you saw me smoking, I will banish you to the lowest circle of hell. Which I've never been there, but if even half of what I hear is true it's almost as bad as Brooklyn. Eliot.
There must still be some last invisible unbroken strand connecting them, something deeper than mourning. The wound had healed but the scar wouldn't fade, not quite.
It was strange to be naked in front of anybody. It was like that cold water out there in the bay: scary, you didn't think you could stand it, but then you plunged in and pretty soon you got used to it. There was enough hiding in life. Sometimes you just wanted to show somebody your tits.
You can't just decide to be happy. No, you can't. But you can sure as hell decide to be miserable.
The past was ruins, but the present was still in play. They would have to tie him down to keep him from going to Ember's Tomb.
Quentin's scales, he couldn't help but notice in passing, were the shiny metallic blue of a bitchin' muscle car.
She become moody and depressed. She started wearing black and listening to the Smiths and reading Camus in the original whatever. Her eyes became interestingly pouchy and sunken.
That got some appreciative laughter, though he wasn't joking, and the bird didn't laugh. It didn't answer him either. Quentin couldn't read its face; like all birds, it had only one expression.
Look, who's the talking bear here? Quentin snapped. Is it you? Are you the talking fucking bear? All right. So shut the fuck up.
In real life it was like they were playing some children's game. It was a little kid's idea of a magical object. Though what did you expect from a bunch of talking.
He only had time to feel all the tenderness he had ever felt for her surge up in one infinitely concentrated instant - and to be surprised that it was all still there, moist and intact beneath the unsightly scorched layer of his anger...
The study of magic is not a science, it is not an art, and it is not a religion. Magic is a craft. When we do magic, we do not wish and we do not pray. We rely upon our will and our knowledge and our skill to make a specific change to the world.
This was bad behavior, and she knew it. She did it because she was angry and because she disliked herself. The more she disliked herself, the more she took it out on other people, and the more she took it out on other people the more she disliked herself.
You know what Arthur C. Clarke said about technology and magic, right? Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
In Fillory you felt the appropriate emotions when things happened. Happiness was a real, actual, achievable possibility. It came when you called. Or no, it never left you in the first place.
Even though I have spent literally years of my life trying to learn another language, any other language - and even though I have in the past claimed in several key professional contexts that I speak other languages - I am in fact still trapped inside the bubble of English.
The librarian thought the problem was just that the right books weren't breeding with each other and proposed a forced mating program.
Magic, Quentin discovered, wasn't romantic at all. It was grim and repetitive and deceptive. And he worked his ass off and became very good at it.
He who completes a quest does not merely find something. He becomes something.
But the thing about monsters was, you couldn't talk to them about it, because they wouldn't admit they were monsters in the first place.
You sound just like my parents. That is just exactly what my ignorant Christian parents would say. Just, if it doesn't fit with your theory, well, that's just because, oh, it actually does, but God is mysterious, so we can't see it. Because we're so sinful. That's so fucking easy.
It was summer again, and the summer nights smelled like murdered grass and sounded like crickets fucking.
Guy lives in a fantasy world without junk food or cars or trans fats or TV and he's still fat. You had to admire his dedication to the cause.
Tomorrow I'll take you out to see the gold beetles. They're amazing: they eat dirt and poop out gold ore.
Reading the Fillory books you would think that all one has to do is behave honorably and bravely and all will be well. What a lesson to teach young children. What a way to prepare them for the rest of their lives.
I got my heart's desire, he thought, and there my troubles began.
Give a nerd enough time and a door he can close and he can figure out pretty much anything.
More lies. But what could you do? That's how you roll when you're a teenage magician!
It was hard not to envy her. A phantom toll-booth, or a chariot of fire, probably. Drawn by thestrals.