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To Garan's credit, the treatment of Dellian prisoners did change after that. One particularly laconic man, after a session in which Fire learned positively nothing, thanked her for it specifically. "Best dungeons I ever been in," he said, chewing on a toothpick. "Wonderful," Garan grumbled when he had gone. "We'll grow a reputation for our kindness to lawbreakers.
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That was a perfectly reasonable explanation," she said grumpily. "Perhaps my advisers don't lie to me." "Isn't that what you'd want?" asked Giddon. "Well, yes, but it doesn't elucidate my puzzle!" "If I may say so, Lady Queen," said Giddon, "it's not always easy to follow your conversation." "Oh, Giddon," she said, sighing. "If it's any comfort, I don't follow it either.
Spelling bees? Spelling bees do not scare me. I competed in the National Spelling Bee twice, thank you very much. My dad competed in the National Spelling Bee. My aunt competed in the National Spelling Bee. My uncle WON the National Spelling Bee. If I can't spell it, I know someone who can. SO JUST BRING IT ON, YOU BASTARDS!!
Kasta looked from one of them to the other, the two of them shaking hands, understanding each other's concern. She didn't see where Giddon came off feeling insulted. She didn't see how Giddon had any place in it at all. Who were they, to take her fight away from her and turn it into some sort of understanding between themselves? She would knock his nose from his face. She would thump them both, and she would apologise to neither.
I meditate, and when I do, Prince Harry appears in my subconscious and meditates with me. It's a little strange but I don't think there's anything I can do about it. Sometimes he's not the only one; the other day it was me, Prince Harry, the Dalai Lama, Mr. Rogers, Coco the gorilla, and George Clooney. We were all floating above the earth looking down at the continents as they passed. George Clooney suggested I visit Providence, Rhode Island. The Dalai Lama sighed deeply and said he'd like to visit Tibet. Poor Dalai Lama.
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Raff, ' Katsa said, 'your problem is that your heart's not in it. We need to find something to strengthen your defensive resolve. What if you pretended he's trying to smash your favorite medicinal plant?' 'The rare blue safflower, ' Bann suggested. 'Yes, ' Katsa said gamely, 'pretend he's after your snaffler.' 'Bann would never come after my rare blue safflower, ' Raffin said distinctly. 'The very notion is absurd.' 'Pretend he's not Bann. Pretend he's your father.
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When she came back minutes later with a great, fat, skinned rabbit, Po had built a fire. The flames cast orange light on the horses and on himself. "It was the least I could do, " Po said, drily, "and I see you've already skinned the hare. I'm beginning to think I won't have much responsibility as we travel through the forest together." "Does it other you? You're welcome to do the hunting yourself. Perhaps I can stay by the fire and mend your socks, and scream if I hear strange noises.
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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.
Skye kissed her forehead. "You saved my life." Katsa smiled. "You Lienid are very outward in your affection." "I'm going to name my firstborn child after you." Katsa laughed at that. "For the child's sake, wait for a girl. Or even better, wait until all your children are older and give my name to whichever is the most troublesome and obstinate." Skye burst into laughter and hugged her, and Katsa returned his embrace. And realized that quite without her intending it, her guarded heart had made another friend.
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I know you don't want this, Katsa. But I can't help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I'm afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you'll... oh, I don't know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me, " he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. "I love you, " he said. "You're more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be. And I've made you cry; and there I'll stop.
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It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die, " she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that, " He said at last. "First, everyone is going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reason I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes, " she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you, " he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do.
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Brigan was saying her name, and he was sending her a feeling. It was courage and strength, and something else too, as if he were standing with her, as if he'd taken her within himself, letting her rest her entire body for a moment on his backbone, her mind in his mind, her heart in the fire of his. The fire of Brigan's heart was astounding. Fire understood, and almost could not believe, that the feeling he was sending her was love.
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Roen snorted. "You two have the strangest relationship in the Dells." Archer smiled slightly. "She won't consent to make it a marriage." "I can't imagine what's stopping her. I don't suppose you've considered being less munificent with your love?" "Would you marry me, Fire, if I slept in no one's bed but yours?" He knew the answer to that, but it didn't hurt to remind him. "No, and I should find my bed quite cramped.
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She understood now that while it had been wrong to kill Cansrel, it had also been right. The boy with the strange eyes had helped her to see the rightness of it. The boy who'd killed Archer. Some people had too much power and too much cruelty to live. Some people were too terrible, no matter if you loved them; no matter that you had to make yourself terrible too, in order to stop them. Some things just had to be done. I forgive myself, though Fire. Today, I forgive myself.
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Lady Katsa, is it?" "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you have one eye green as the Middluns grasses, and the other eye blue as the sky." "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you can kill a man with the nail of your smallest finger." She smiled. "Yes, Lord Prince." "Does it make it easier?" "I don't understand you." "To have beautiful eyes. Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?
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Nonetheless, when it finally ended and the hairdressers left and Tess insisted upon pulling her to the mirror, Fire saw, and understood, that everyone had done the job well. The dress, deep shimmering purple and utterly simple in design, was so beautifully-cut and so clingy and well-fitting that Fire felt slightly naked. And her hair. She couldn't follow what they'd done with her hair, braids thin as threads in some places, looped and wound through the thick sections that fell over her shoulders and down her back, but she saw that the end result was a controlled wildness that was magnificent against her face, her body, and the dress. She turned to measure the effect on her guard - all twenty of them, for all had roles to play in tonight's proceedings, and all were awaiting her orders. Twenty jaws hung slack with astonishment - even Musa's, Mila's, and Neel's. Fire touched their minds, and was pleased, and then angry, to find them open as the glass roofs in July. 'Take hold of yourselves, ' she snapped. 'It's a disguise, remember? This isn't going to work if the people meant to help me can't keep their heads.' 'It will work, Lady Granddaughter.' Tess handed Fire two knives in ankle holsters. 'You'll get what you want from whomever you want. Tonight King Nash would give you the Winged River as a present, if you asked for it. Dells, child - Prince Brigan would give you his best warhorse.
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Then come here, " he said, a bit redundantly, as he had already pulled her with him into an armchair and curled her up in his arms. "Tell me what I can do to help you feel better." Fire looked into his quiet eyes, touched his dear, familiar face, and considered the question. Well. I always like when you kiss me. "Do you?" You're good at it. "Well, " he said. "That's lucky, because I'll always be kissing you.
Raffin and Bann stood together, propped against the wall and against each other, half dozing. At one point, Raffin, not knowing he had one small, curious witness, gave Bann a sleepy kiss on the ear. "Bitterblue had wondered that about them. I t was nice when something in the world became clear. Especially when it was a nice thing.
Fire's tears were real now, and there was no helping them, for there was no time. Everything was moving too fast. She crossed the room to him, put her arms around him, clung to him, turning her face to the side, learning all at once that it was awkward to show a person all of one's love when one's nose was broken. His arms came around her tightly, his breath short and hard against her hair. He held on to the silk of her hair and she pressed herself against him until her panic calmed to something desperate, but bearable. Yes, she thought to him, understanding now what he'd been about to ask. If you die in the war, I'll keep Hanna in my heart. I promise I won't leave her.
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If she took Po as her husband, she would be making promises about a future she couldn't yet see. For once she became his wife, she would be his forever. And, no matter how much freedom Po gave her, she would always know that it was a gift. Her freedom would be not be her own; it would be Po's to give or to withhold. That he never would withhold it made no difference. If it did not come from her, it was not really hers.
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.' Fire considered her quietly. You want me to look for it inside you. 'I just want to know, ' Bitterblue said. 'If it's there, it would be a great comfort for me to know.' Fire said, I can tell you already that it's there. 'Really?' Bitterblue whispered. Queen Bitterblue, Fire said, shall I share with you the feeling of your own strength?
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Madlen came to sit beside her on the bed. "Lady Queen, " she said with her own particular brand of rough gentleness. "It is not the job of the child to protect her mother. It's the mother's job to protect the child. By allowing your mother to protect you, you gave her a gift. Do you understand me?
There was no helping her tears. For they would leave Po behind... She cried into his shoulder like a child. Ashamed of herself, for it was only a parting, and Bitterblue had not wept like this even over a death. 'Don't be ashamed, ' Po whispered. 'Your sadness is dear to me. Don't be frightened. I won't die, Katsa. I won't die, and we'll meet again.
Art glows with faith even in its weakest parts. At every moment, writing is an act of self-confidence - the sheerest, most determined, most stubborn self-belief. You CAN have faith and doubt at the same time; the most insecure writer on the planet has faith that shines just as bright as her doubt, and she deserves props for that. It might be hidden deep, she might not feel it and you might not see it, but it's in there, or she wouldn't be able to write.
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For most of the process, nothing but faith, fueled by your own stubbornness, will be pulling you along. The work that you've done on the book so far won't be much comfort, because so much of it will be insufferable crap, until the very last moment, when you figure out how to fix it and everything comes together.
I'd thought once, actually, of taking your mind, if you asked. I'd thought I could help you fall asleep at night." He opened his mouth to say something. Shut it again. His face closed for a moment, his unreadable mask falling into place. He spoke softly. "But that wouldn't be fair; for after I slept you'd be left awake, with no one to help you sleep.