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725 pages, Hardcover
First published September 7, 2021
“I never thought I'd find such peace in simple reading. The words were a kind of magic, taking me by the hand and sweeping me into lands unseen, times unremembered, thoughts unimagined. Through all my years in San Michon, all the blood and sweat and darkling roads I walked, I learned one of my greatest lessons sitting in that Library with those girls in the still of the night.
A life without books is a life not lived.”
“I've stood in the houses of the holy, priest. I've read his scripture cover to cover, I've sung praises to his name, and I tell you now and tell you true: One hand holding a sword is worth ten thousand clasped in prayer.”
“There’s no misery so deep as one you face by yourself. No nights darker than ones you spend alone. But you can learn to live with any weight. Your scars grow thick enough, they become armour.”
“See, I never understood that. Why pride is looked on as an evil. You work hard at something you're not born good at? Damn right you should be fucking proud.”
“When there’s little you can do, do what little you can.”
“How many hearts have been made complete by words so small as I do? How many more have been shattered with a breath as tiny as It’s over? Little sounds that reshape or unmake your entire world, like great spells of old to redraw the very lines by which you see yourself and all else about you. Two little words.”
“But music, de León…” The vampire leaned forward, animated for perhaps the first time since their conversation began. “Music is a truth beyond telling. A bridge between strangest souls. Two men who speak not a word of each other’s tongues may yet feel their hearts soar likewise at the same refrain. Gift a man the most important of lessons, he may forget it amorrow. Gift him a beautiful song, and he shall hum it ’til the day the crows make a castle of his bones.”
“It’s only in faerie tales that everything works out for the best with a magik spell or a prince’s kiss. It’s only in storybooks some little bastard picks up a sword and wields it like he was born to it. The rest of us? We have to work our arses off. And we might not ever taste triumph, but at least we dared to fail. We stand apart from those cowards whispering on the sidelines about how the strong did stumble, while never daring to set foot in the ring themselves. Victors are just folk who were never satisfied being vanquished. The only thing worse than finishing last is not beginning at all. And fuck finishing last.”
“The book was near falling to pieces, but the lettering was still visible, faint and faded, oui, but still there. This, too, was a strange immortality. Poems, stories, ideas, frozen forever in time. The simple wonder of books.”
“You’re past is stone, but your future clay. And you decide the shape of the life you’ll make.”
“‘A little pain never hurt anybody, eh?'"
There is a time for grief, and a time for songs, and a time to recall with fondness all that has been and gone. But there is a time for killing too. There is a time for blood, and a time for rage, and a time to close your eyes and become the thing heaven wants you to be.
There’s a beast in all men’s blood, Gabriel. You can starve him. Cage him. Curse him. But in the end, you pay the beast his due, or he takes his due from you.
Gabriel reached into his battered britches, fished about under the monster’s stare. Finally, he retrieved a tarnished royale from his pocket. “Here.”
“What is that for?” Jean-François demanded.
“I want you to take this coin to market, and buy me a fuck to give.”
“’God didn’t want me. And the devil was too afraid to open the door.’
Law the First, “The dead cannot kill the Dead.”
Law the Second, “Dead tongues heeded are Dead tongues tasted”
Law the Third, “The Dead run quick”
Law the Fourth, “The Dead feel as beasts, look as men, die as devils.”
Law the Fifth, “Even the Dead have laws.”
"And in sight of God and his Seven Martyrs, I do here vow; Let the dark know my name and despair. So long as it burns, I am the flame. So long as it bleeds, I am the blade. So long as it sins, I am the saint. And I am silver."