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Chris Wooding

“The books were legends and tales, stories from all over the Realm. These she had devoured voraciously – so voraciously, in fact, that she started to become fatigued by them. It was possible to have too much of a good thing, she reflected.
“They’re all the same,” she complained to Fleet one night. “The soldier rescues the maiden and they fall in love. The fool outwits the wicked king. There are always three brothers or sisters, and it’s always the youngest who succeeds after the first two fail. Always be kind to beggars, for they always have a secret; never trust a unicorn. If you answer somebody’s riddle they always either kill themselves or have to do what you say. They’re all the same, and they’re all ridiculous! That isn’t what life is like!”
Fleet had nodded sagely and puffed on his hookah. “Well, of course that’s not what life is like. Except the bit about unicorns – they’ll eat your guts as soon as look at you. those things in there” – he tapped the book she was carrying – “they’re simple stories. Real life is a story, too, only much more complicated. It’s still got a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everyone follows the same rules, you know. . . It’s just that there are more of them. Everyone has chapters and cliffhangers. Everyone has their journey to make. Some go far and wide and come back empty-handed; some don’t go anywhere and their journey makes them richest of all. Some tales have a moral and some don’t make any sense. Some will make you laugh, others make you cry. The world is a library, young Poison, and you’ll never get to read the same book twice.”


Chris Wooding, Poison
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Poison Poison by Chris Wooding
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