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506 pages, Hardcover
First published October 6, 2009
“Han always seemed to find trouble, no matter how hard he tried to avoid it.”
“The succession, the bloody succession. Well, if you ask me, the lineage of queens is like a chain around my neck.”
“History. Why do we need to know what happened before we were born?'
'So hopefully we get smarter and don't make the same mistakes again.”
“Maybe if you knew how to use them, you could— I don’t know—shoot flames from the palms of your hands.'
Han was thinking he was just as likely to shoot flames from his rear end”
“Right, Raisa thought. If there ever comes a day that I can’t get into more mischief than Mellony, I’ll cut my own throat.”
“At first she thought he was grumbling because she was late, but it seemed he was practicing some sort of speech.
“Your Highness, may I say how honored I am that you . . . ah . . . how pleased I am to be remembered . . . gaaaah.” He shook his head in disgust and cleared his throat. “Your Highness, I was astounded—no—surprised when you spoke to me, and hope that you might consider our friendship . . . Hanalea’s bloody bones!” he exclaimed, smacking himself in the forehead. “What an idiot.”
“She paused long enough to make up a lie. “Applying for a job.”
“Really? What kind of job? What are you good at?”
Her expression said, Cutting the hearts out of thieves and kidnappers."
He called her Briar Rose, he said, because of her beauty. And her many thorns.
He was not the sort to try and reconcile the warring souls that lived inside his body.
There was Han Alister, son and big brother, breadwinner, deal-maker, and small-time conniver. There was Hunts Alone, who'd been adopted by Marisa Pines and wished he could melt into the clans for good. And finally, Cuffs, petty criminal and street fighter, onetime streetlord of the Ragger gang and enemy of the Southies.
From day to day he slid out of one skin and pulled on another. No wonder it was hard to sort out who he was.