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400 pages, Hardcover
First published August 27, 2015
"Excellent," [Oriax] purred. "What I get out of this is the pleasure of seeing and helping to inflict pain. I savor human despair. I revel in human weakness. But equally, I take enjoyment from offering its opposite: pleasure." She made a sort of philosophical sound, a worldly sigh, a commentary on life's interesting vagaries. "It's fortunate, really, because in a way it's also my... job." She spoke that word with evident distaste. "I am what I am, I am what I do, and I enjoy what I do."
She leaned toward me, very close, and I felt my heart race. It was not a rational thing, nor even strictly a sensual thing, it is something almost like gravity - invisible, inescapable, inevitable. Oriax does that and I could no more ignore it than I could ignore the heat of the sun or the pull of the earth's core.
"And now, my question for you, mini-Messenger. It is this: Have you fantasized about our lovely, handsome Messenger? Have you imagined yourself in his arms? In his bed?"
“The fool says, 'I never intended to kill, I meant only to wound.' But I tell you if you prick a finger with a poisoned thorn you may not claim innocence when the heart dies. Do not plant a weed and pretend surprise when it grows to strangle your garden. For, I tell you that to hate is to kill, for from hatred grows death as surely as life grows from love. Therefore do not nurture hatred, but love, even for those who hate you in return. Hatred wins many battles, and yet will love triumph.”
“Humans really are geniuses at excusing their own behavior while condemning others-especially those others they don't really know.”