Megan Whalen Turner quotes

  • Sometimes, if you want to change a man's mind, you have to change the mind of the man next to him first.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Men #Decision #Choices

  • Phresine showed him where he could sleep, in an interior room with no windows, a narrow bed, and a washstand. There were chests stacked along one wall, and Costis guessed the dismal spot was probably a closet cleaned out to make room for him. Hard to believe the royal apartments, so lavish elsewhere, would otherwise have such a plain corner. Expecting better of royal closets, Costis went to bed disappointed.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Wall #Believe #Sleep

  • I was not so comfortable with my new authority that I could say 'We eat the chicken now!' but the magus had seen that I was considering it... "My purse is full enough," said the magus, "to keep you supplied with roast chickens." "So, so, so," I said. "We know who the power behind the throne is," and the magus laughed. "You eat more than Gen did after prison," he said. "I have more sympathy with him all the time. Are you going to finish that drumstick?" I asked. "I am. Stop staring at it.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Thrones #Purses #Enough Said

  • Everything I said he agreed with, which was trying, and his flute playing would make the deaf wince, but I think the real problem with Hyacinth was that he reminded me of myself. He read poetry. He flinched at loud noises. In addition to having no musical skills, he had no martial skills. He avoided any situation that might require physical effort on his part. Seeing him, I found it no wonder that my father despised me.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Real #Father #Reflection

  • I didn't think about being king,” he said, his voice hoarse. Eddis stared. “Your capacity to land yourself in a mess because you didn't think first, Eugenides, will never cease to amaze me. What do you mean you didn't think about being king? Is Attolia going to marry you and move into my library?
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Moving #Mean

  • Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld and that mountain lions couldn't force me to enter her service.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Mountain #Lions #Force

  • Why didn't you tell me to take Attolia's advice from the beginning?" "I thought you should figure it out. What you learn for yourself, you will know forever," said Eugenides. "Pol used to say that," said Sounis, surprised. "I learned it from him. I just wish to my god that I had his patience for the process.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Forever #Advice #Wish

  • What a strange world it is, where prisoners are left their weapons and the written word is a mortal danger.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #World #Weapons #Strange

  • I grieved, but a part of me felt a lightening of a burden that I had carried all my life: that I could never be worthy of them, that I would always disappoint or fail them. As an unknown slave in the fields of the baron, I knew the worst was over. I had failed them. At least I could not do so again
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Fields #Failing #Slave

  • I know that if you don't look for an alternative, Sophos, you certainly won't find one.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Alternatives #Looks

  • It isn't an easy thing to give your loyalty to someone you don't know, especially when that person chooses to reveal nothing of himself.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Loyalty #Giving #Easy

  • No," he said. "Relius was right and I was wrong. You are My Queen. Even though you cut my head from my shoulders, with my last breath as a noose tightens, to the last beat of my heart if I hang from the walls of the palace, you are My Queen. That I have failed you does not change my love for you or my loyalty.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Loyalty #Queens #Wall

  • Being six feet off the ground does give one a sense of superiority.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Feet #Giving #Six

  • -You know-- Eddis hesitated, not sure how far to push the Attolian Queen. -Go on. Attolia inclined her head. -I was going to say that you look like a polecat when you smile like that. -Do I? Attolia still smiled. -You look a little vulpine yourself. The two queens sat for a moment in happy agreement.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Agreement #Two

  • Costis followed, telling himself that it wasn't true that he and the king and even the stone under their feet were nothing but tissue, transparently thin, and that for a moment, the only real thing in the universe had been there on the parapet with the king.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Real #Feet

  • I am a master of foolhardy plans.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Masters #Plans

  • I sometimes believe his lies are the truth, but I have never mistaken his truth for a lie.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Lying #Believe #Sometimes

  • The Lord of Rags and Tatters.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Rags #Lord

  • No man can choose to serve only himself when he has something to offer his state. No one can put his own wishes above the needs of so many.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Men #Wish #Needs

  • If we truly trust no one, we cannot survive.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Trust No One

  • These people make my family look easy to get along with.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #People #Looks #My Family

  • I think a good book is a good book forever. I don't think they get less good because times change.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Book #Thinking #Forever

  • ... I wanted Ambiades to understand that I considered myself a hierarchy of one.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Hierarchy #Wanted

  • All I wanted to do was lie in the dry grass with my feet in a ditch forever. I could be a convenient sort of milemarker, I thought. Get to the thief and you know you're halfway to Methana.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Lying #Feet #Forever

  • When we opened the doors, we saw that the entire room was scorched black and you were on the floor possibly dead, surrounded by broken glass. Window glass is expensive, you realize that?" "Yes, Your Majesty," he said meekly.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Glasses #Doors #Broken

  • I'm sorry, Dite." Dite shrugged away the apology. "You have spared my brother when you could have killed him and you have offered me escape from the cesspit of my family and this court. You know what it means to me, to make music in the court of Ferria. You've put a purse and an impossible dream in my hand. I don't know why you should apologize." "Because I am exiling you, Dite. I intend to raze your patrimony and salt its earth. You emphatically do not need to thank me.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Dream #Brother #Sorry

  • You didn't know I could do that, did you?" he asked, conversationally. "I did not, Your Majesty," Teleus gasped. "My grandfather killed a man that way once, using the edge of the wooden sword." "I hadn't realized the Thieves of Eddis were so warlike." "They aren't, mostly. But like all men, Teleus, I have two grandfathers." Teleus rolled his eyes to look up at him, and the king said, "One of mine was Eddis." "Ah," said Teleus. "Ah, indeed," said the king.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Eye #Men

  • Coming from light into the dark, he was looking ahead of him, not down at me. My lunge, as I came to my feet, took him in the chest as I drove the sword upward with the strength of my legs. Even rusted, the sword slid through him, and I found, for the first time, how easy it is to kill a man.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Dark #Men #Feet

  • The room was quiet, the others flicking glances at me. I ignored them. After years in Sounis's palaces being eyed with disgust by my uncle and my own father and courtier after courtier, I assure you I am unrivaled at pretending not to notice other people's glances.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Uncles #Father #Years

  • ...I asked Ochto what in the name of all that was sacred he thought he was doing. "Helping you," said Dirnes. "Why?" They put the soldier down, and Ochto straightened to look me in the eye. "Because I know nothing about kings and princes, but I know men.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Eye #Men

  • Ridiculous to think what indignities I would suffer in silence, if I knew that I was to be rewarded with an oversize bucket of hot water," the magus said as he settled into the bath the servants had filled for him.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Thinking #Water #Silence

  • Sounis had been thinking of Ambiades. "He would have been a better man under different circumstances." Gen looked at him. "True enough," he said. "But does a good man let his circumstances determine his character?
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Character #Men #Thinking

  • One cannot toss ambassadors back like bad fish," said Eugenides. "You treat them with care, or you'll find you've committed an act of war.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #War #Care #Ambassadors

  • I am an ambassador," Akretenesh warned me, anger bringing his confidence back. "You cannot shoot." "I don't mean to," I reassured him, still smiling. I adopted his soothing tones. "Indeed, you are the only man I won't shoot. But if I aimed at anyone else, it might give others a dangerously mistaken sense of their own safety." I raised my voice a trifle, though it wasn't really necessary. "We will have another vote, Xorcheus." They elected me Sounis. It was unanimous.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Mean #Men #Voice

  • I stayed only two days in the capital. I was welcomed by a cheering citizenry, who threw flowers at my head. It was disconcerting to think I could have put almost any young man in my retinue on a white horse and they would have thrown flowers at him instead. It was not me they cared about, only what I meant to them: a cessation of hostilities, a chance for prosperity, food on the table.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Horse #Cheer #Flower

  • She thought of the hardness and the coldness she had cultivated over those years and wondered if they were the mask she wore or if the mask had become her self. If the longing inside her for kindness, for warmth, for compassion, was the last seed of hope for her, she didn't know how to nurture it or if it could live.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kindness #Compassion #Self

  • The window opened in the same direction as the king's, and there, summer-bright and framed by the darkness of the stairwell, was the same view. Costis passed it, and then went back up the stairs to look again. There were only the roofs of the lower part of the palace and the town and the city walls. Beyond those were the hills on the far side of the Tustis Valley and the faded blue sky above them. It wasn't what the king saw that was important, it was what he couldn't see when he sat at the window with his face turned toward Eddis.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Summer #Kings #Wall

  • The queen was settling on the edge of the bed, ungainly with hesitation and at the same time exquisite in her grace, like a heron landing in a treetop.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Grace #Bed

  • I would very much like to strangle someone. Why don't you go away until I decide it isn't you?
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Going Away

  • I wonder if people always choose what will make them unhappy.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #People #Unhappy #Wonder

  • He looked gravely at the king. "It isn't an easy thing to give your loyalty to someone you don't know, especially when that person chooses to reveal nothing of himself. But no matter, Your Majesty. You are revealed at last." The king looked down at his nakedness and back at the captain. "Was that a joke?" he asked.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Loyalty #Kings #Giving

  • The queen had passed him, so close he'd felt the stir of air, and he guessed that if she had turned her head, only a little, and met his eyes, he might have died right there.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Eye #Air

  • The queen!" someone shouted in alarm, and the King erupted like a wild animal caught in a snare.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Kings #Animal

  • On the bed, Eugenides stirred restlessly. "Upset at the sight of blood?" he said. "Not my wife, Ornon." "Your blood," the ambassador pointed out. Eugenides glanced at the hook on his arm and conceded the point. "Yes," he said. He seemed lost in memory. The room was quiet.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Memories #Sight #Blood

  • It made Costis wonder for the first time just how much the stoic man really wants to hide when he unsuccessfully pretends not to be in pain.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Pain #Men #Want

  • The Thieves of Eddis don't have breaking points. We have flash points instead, like gunpowder.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Point Break #Gunpowder #Thieves

  • He loves me, and I reward his love by forcing on him something he hates. In the evening, after we dance, he rarely returns to the throne; he dances with others or moves from place to place through the room. The court thinks he is trying to be gracious, sharing his attention. Only I see that he moves always to the empty spot and the court always moves after him. He is like a dog trying to escape his own tail. He indulged himself in one brief moment of privacy, and almost died of it. Relius, he hates being king.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Dog #Kings #Hate

  • Is that what the wine is for? To help you think?" "Oh, the wine. The wine, Costis, is to help hide the truth. It doesn't work. It never has, but I try it every once in a while just in case something in the nature of the wine might have changed.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Wine #Thinking #Trying

  • We are taught to treat a practice sword with all the respect of a real weapon, so no thoughtless mistakes are made" "Oh... In Eddis, we learn to keep tack of the weapon we have in our hand.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Mistake #Real #Hands

  • That one,"-he nodded toward the closed door-" will rule more than just Attolia before he is done. He is an Annux, a king of kings.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Doors #Done

  • You are treasure beyond any price.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Treasure

  • After one moment of gripped immobility, the queen bent to kiss the king lightly on one closed eyelid, then on the other. She said, 'I love your eyes.' She kissed him on either cheek, near the small lobe of his ear. 'I love your ears, and I love'-she paused as she kissed him gently on the lips-'every single one of your ridiculous lies.' The king opened his eyes and smiled at the queen in a companionship that was as unassailable as it was unfathomable.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Kings #Lying

  • Would you have your hand back, Eugenides? And lose Attolia? And see Attolia lost to the Mede?' Eugenides's eyes were open. In front of his face the floor was littered with tiny bits of glass that glittered in the candlelight. 'You have your answer, Little Thief.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Eye #Hands #Glasses

  • I cut off your hand. I have been living with your grief and your rage and your pain ever since. I don't think-I don't think I had felt anything for a long time before that, but those emotions at least were familiar to me. Love I am not familiar with. I didn't recognize that feeling until I thought I had lost you in Ephrata. And when I thought I was losing you a second time, I realized I would give up anything to keep you-my lip service to other gods, but my pride, too, and my rage at all gods, everything for you.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Giving Up #Pain #Grief

  • Let the gods into your life and you rapidly lose faith in the natural laws.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Law #Natural #Natural Law

  • It was a race between the tortoise and the hare, but the tortoise had just enough head start, and he had the magus to drag him along.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Race #Tortoises #Enough

  • I'll stop shouting. I won't sit down. I might need to throw more inkpots.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Might #Needs #Shouting

  • Who am I, that you should love me?
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Should

  • He should have said something, why hadn't he? Costis wondered. In fact, the king had. He had complained at every step all the way across the palace, and they'd ignored it. If he'd been stoic and denied the pain, the entire palace would have been in a panic already, Eddisian soldiers on the move. He'd meant to deceive them, and he'd succeeded. It made Costis wonder for the first time just how much the stoic man really wants to hide when he unsuccessfully pretends not to be in pain.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Pain #Moving

  • Where are my guards, Teleus?" He was still speaking softly. Three men dead and he wasn't even breathing hard, Costis noted.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Men #Breathing #Three

  • I thought that being king meant I didn't have to kill people myself. I see know that was another misconception.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #People #Misconception

  • He whines, he complains, he ducks out of the most obvious responsibility. He is vain, petty and maddening, but he doesn't ever quit.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Responsibility #Ducks #Complaining

  • He didn't marry you to become king. He became king because he wanted to marry you.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Wanted #Attolia

  • Were you lying?" "I never lie," he said piously. "About what?" "The sand, the snake." For a young man who never lied, he seemed surprisingly unoffended by the question.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Lying #Men #Snakes

  • But there are other words for privacy and independence. They are isolation and loneliness.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Loneliness #Independence #Privacy

  • She reached out and touched the king’s face, cupping his cheek in her hand. “Just a nightmare,” he said, his voice still rough. The queen’s voice was cool. “How embarrassing,” she said, looking at his maimed arm. The king looked up then, and followed her gaze. If it was embarrassing to wake like a child screaming from a nightmare, how much more embarrassing to be the reason your husband woke screaming. A quick smile visited the king’s face. “Ouch,” he said, referring to more than the pain in his side. “Ouch,” he said again as the queen gathered him into her arms.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Kings #Children

  • I can't leave her there all alone, surrounded by stone walls... She's too precious to give up.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Wall #Giving Up #Stones

  • Please," he whispered. His voice was low but clear. "Don't hurt me anymore." Attolia recoiled. Once, as a child, she'd thrown her slipper in a rage and had knocked an amphora of oil from its pedestal. The amphora had been a favorite of hers. It had smashed, and the scent of the hair oil inside had lingered for days. She remembered the scent still, though she didn't know what in the stinking cell had brought it to mind.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Hurt #Children #Hair

  • Costis bowed stiffly. “I am here to make sure that you stay in bed, Your Majesty, because if this offends you and you order me summarily executed, it is no loss. Politically speaking.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Loss #Order #Majesty

  • He looked at their shabby clothes in puzzlement. “We were traveling anonymously for safety—” explained the magus. “But surely—” “—and then we were robbed on the road.” “Ah,” said the king, “the danger in being anonymous.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Kings #Clothes #Safety

  • You will make the boy Thief king?" he [Nahuseresh] said. "When you could have had me?" Attolia allowed a slight smile. "A fine revenge for the loss of a hand," said the Mede, close to snarling. "I will have my sovereignty," said Attolia thinly. "Oh, yes, a fine one-handed figurehead he will make," spat Nahuseresh. Then he remembered Attolia's flattery earlier that morning. "Or do I insult your lover?" he asked. "Not a lover," said Attolia. "Merely my choice for king.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Morning #Kings #Revenge

  • Who was the Thief that she would love him? A youth, just a boy with hardly a beard and no sense at all... A liar, she thought, an enemy, a threat. He was brave, a voice inside her said, he was loyal... A fool, she answered back. A fool and a dead one. She ached with emptiness.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Liars #Boys #Voice

  • Just asleep," Eddis reassured her. At the sound of her voice Eugenides's head turned slightly, but he didn't wake. Attolia, seeing the movement, breathed again and pressed her hand to her chest where it hurt.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Hurt #Hands #Voice

  • You have to believe him, because he's going to have your entire palace up in arms and your court in chaos and every member of it from the barons to the boot cleaners coming to you for his blood, and you are going to have to deal with it." Attolia smiled. "You make him sound like more trouble than he is worth. "No," said Eddis thoughtfully. "Never more than he is worth.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Believe #Blood #Boots

  • Because you do not believe?" "Oh, no," said Attolia bitterly. "Because I believe and do not choose to worship.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Believe #Worship #Said

  • Today, she had yielded the sovereignty of her country to Eugenides, who had given up everything he had ever hoped for, to be her King.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Country #Kings #Today

  • As a ten-year-old boy, the Thief of Eddis could stop a grown man in his tracks with a single look. Where had that look gone?
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Boys #Men #Years

  • In the afternoon, the king and queen sat to hear the business of their kingdom. At least, the queen sat to hear the business; Costis was still not sure what the king was doing.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Queens #Kings #Afternoon

  • Rae Carson's heroine is a perfect blend of the ordinary and the extraordinary. I loved her.
    -- Megan Whalen Turner

    #Perfect #Ordinary #Heroines