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827 pages, Hardcover
First published February 26, 2019
“In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it,” Ead continued. “It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed—but never think that you are the night.”
“You remember the first day we walked together. You told me about the lovejay, and how it always knows its partner’s song, even if they have been long apart,” Ead whispered to her. “My heart knows your song, as yours knows mine. And I will always come back to you.”
“I will hold you to that, Eadaz uq-Nāra.”
“Would the world be any better if we were all the same?”
One character is looking down at their lover, who has a wound on their face that has been stitched up. Another character enters, hugs character one, and then says "It's over. He's dead."
An enormous head towered over the fence of Orisima. It belonged to a creature born of jewel and sea.
Cloud steamed from its scales-scales of moonstone, so bright they seemed to glow from within. A crust of gemlike droplets glistened on each one. Each eye was a burning star, and each horn was quicksilver, agleam under the pallid moon. The creature flowed with the grace of a ribbon past the bridge and took to the skies, light and quiet as a paper kite.
A dragon. Even as it rose over Cape Hisan, others were ascending from the water, leaving a chill mist in their wake. Niclays presses a hand to the drumbeat in his chest.
"Now, what," he murmured, "are they doing here?"
Her bare feet lit upon the marble. As the cutthroat stepped into the Great Bedchamber, dagger aloft, she covered his mouth and drove her blade between his ribs.
The cutthroat bucked. Ead held fast, careful not to let a drop of blood spill on to her.
The dragon rose with the rest of her kin over the rooftops of the city. Water made flesh. As a mist of divine rain streamed from their scales, soaking the humans below, a Seiikinese male reared up, gathered his breathe, and expelled it in a mighty gust of wind.
Every bell in the temple rang out in answer.
As Fyredel unleashed his fire, so Ead broke the chains on her long-dormant power. Flame collided with ancient stone.
“We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs.”
“In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it. It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed—but never think that you are the night.”
“Reading. A dangerous pastime.”
“You mock me.”
“By no means. There is great power in stories.”
“All stories grow from a seed of truth. They are knowledge after figuration.”
✦ Chinese/Japanese/Korean mythology: dragons ➾ for the Eastern dragons
✦ European mythology: dragons & wyverns ➾ for the Western wyverns and wyrms
✦ Norse mythology: Odin and Valhalla ➾ for Galian in Halgalant, the heavenly court, and the Great Table
✦ The teachings of alchemy ➾ for Clay’s storyline
✦ Beliefs of Christianity ➾ for the sign of the sword and the followers of the Saint
✦ The Bible, Revelation 20: The Thousand Years ➾ for the Abyss and keys
✦ Marion Angus’s poem: Alas! Poor Queen ➾ for Sabran’s court
✦ William Shakespeare’s Richard II: Act Two ➾ for hereditary rights coupled with political reality, or the fact that the male view of the world leaves out an entire realm of perception
✦ The Man’yoshu poem collection: Tsuki ➾ an eulogy for a dead man on the shore
✦ The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser ➾ for the story of Galian, Cleolind, and the Nameless One
No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.
A woman is more than a womb to be seeded.
“Just because something has always been done does not mean that it ought to be done.”
“Piety can turn the power-hungry into monsters. They can twist any teaching to justify their actions.”
“When history fails to shed light on the truth, myth creates its own.”
“When the heart grows too full, it overflows. And mine, inevitably, overflows on to a page.”
“To ensure an heir, the Dukes Spiritual must paint a certain picture of the Inysh court and its eligible queen. They needed you gone, so they...painted you out.”
“I do not fear that which I do not understand.”
“The sea is not always pure. It is not any one thing. There is darkness in it, and danger, and cruelty. It can raze great cities with its rage. Its depths are unknowable; they do not see the touch of the sun. To be a Miduchi is not to be pure, Tané. It is to be the living sea.”
“I don’t want to carry on! Do you not understand? Does nobody in this world understand, damn you? Is no one else haunted?”
“Art is not one great act of creation, but many small ones. When you read one of my poems, you fail to see the weeks of careful work it took me to build it—the thinking, the scratched-out words, the pages I burned in disgust. All you see, in the end, is what I want you to see. Such is politics.”
“You say you desire truth, but truth is a weave with many threads.”
“Not all dreams should be pursued, especially not dreams conceived on the feather-bed of love.”
“All of us have shadows in us. I accept yours.” He placed a hand over her ring. “And I hope you will also accept mine.”
Seek not the midnight sun on earth,
But look for it within.
“That is the problem with stories, child. The truth in them cannot be weighed.”
“Reading,’ Ead said lightly. ‘A dangerous pastime.”
“Let us not think of the future this night. It is not yet dawn. We still have time for airy hopes.”