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Red Rising (2014)
- I am alone with my sin. This is why they rule. The Peerless Scarred know that dark deeds are carried through life. They cannot be outrun. They must be worn if one is to rule. This is their first lesson. Or was it that the weak do not deserve life?
- Ch. 20: The House Mars
- All my people sing of are memories. And so I will remember this death. It will burden me as it does not burden my fellow students - I must not let that change. I must not become like them. I'll remember that every sin, every death, every sacrifice, is for freedom.
- Ch. 20: The House Mars
- Humans are always negotiating. That's what conversation is. Someone has something, knows something. Someone wants something.
- Ch. 41: The Jackal
Golden Son (2015)
- "You have everything, Karnus. Wealth. Power. Seven brothers and sisters. How many cousins? Nieces? Nephews? A father and mother who love you, yet...you are here, drinking alone, killing my friends. Setting the purpose of your life to ending me. Why?"
"Because you wronged my family. No one wrongs the Bellona and lives."
"So it's pride."
"It's always pride."
"Pride is just a shout into the wind."
He shakes his head, voice deepening. "I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind - how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall." He leans forward. "So you see, pride is the only thing."
- Ch. 11: Red; Karnus and Darrow
- "Lies are rust on iron. A blemish on power."
- Ch. 15: Truth; Aja
- "You are a worm who thought himself a serpent just because you slither. But your power was not real, Pliny. It was all a dream. Time now to wake."
- Ch. 35: Teatime; Darrow
- These Peerless thump their chests in salute to me. The monsters. They go with the wind, chasing power. But they don't realize power doesn't shift. Power is resolute. It is the mountain, not the wind. To shift so easily is to lose trust. And trust is what has kept me alive. Trust in my friends, and their trust in me.
- Ch. 35: Teatime
- War is chaos. It always has been. But technology makes it worse. It changes the fear. At the Institute, I feared men. I feared what Titus and the Jackal could do to me. You see death coming there and can at least struggle against it. Here, you don't have such luxury. Modern war is fearing the air, the shadows, fearing the silence. Death will come and I won't even see it.
- Ch. 38: The Iron Rain
- Tradition is the crown of the tyrant.
- Ch. 51: Golden Son
Morning Star (2016)
- Yes. I'm alone.
I would have thought there to be worse fates than this, but now I know there are none. Man is no island. We need those who love us. We need those who hate us. We need others to tether us to life, to give us a reason to live, to feel.
- Ch. 1: Only the Dark
- "No. I am not an anarchist, a communist, a fascist, a plutocrat, or even a demokrat, for that matter. My boys, don't believe what they tell you in school. Government is never the solution, but it is almost always the problem. I'm a capitalist. And I believe in effort and progress and the ingenuity of our species. The continuing evolution and advancement of our kind based on fair competition. Fact of the matter is, Gold does not want man to continue to evolve. Since the conquering, they have routinely stifled advancement to maintain their heaven. They've wrapped themselves in myth. Filled their grand oceans with monsters to hunt. Cultivated private Mirkwoods and Olympuses of their very own. They have suits of armor to make them flying gods. And they preserve that ridiculous fairy tale by keeping mankind frozen in time. Curbing invention, curiosity, social mobility. Change threatens that."
- Ch. 21: Quicksilver
- In war, men lose what makes them great. Their creativity. Their wisdom. Their joy. All that's left is their utility. War is not monstrous for making corpses of men so much as it is for making machines of them. And woe to those who have no use in war except to feed the machines.
- Ch. 25: Exodus
- When I looked up at my father as a boy, I thought being a man was having control. Being the master and commander of your own destiny. How could any boy know that freedom is lost the moment you become a man. Things start to count. To press in. Constricting slowly, inevitably, creating a cage of inconveniences and duties and deadlines and failed plans and lost friends. I'm tired of people doubting. Of people choosing to believe they know what is possible because of what has happened before.
- Ch. 31: The Pale Queen
- How can I feel so melancholy for so terrible a past? Maybe it's just the nature of us, ever wishing for things that were and could be rather than things that are and will be.
- Ch. 39: The Heart
- "What kind of parent would want their children to have servants?" he asks, disgusted by the idea. "The moment a child thinks it is entitled to anything, they think they deserve everything. Why do you think the Core is such a Babylon? Because it's never been told no.
"Look at the Institute you attended. Sexual slavery, murder, cannibalism of fellow Golds?" He shakes his head. "Barbaric. It's not what the Ancestors intended. But the Coreworlders are so desensitized to violence they've forgotten it's to have a purpose. Violence is a tool. It is meant to shock. To change. Instead, they normalize and celebrate it. And create a culture of exploitation where they are so entitled to sex and power that when they are told no, they pull a sword and do as they like."
- Ch. 41: The Moon Lord
- "It's hard for me to speak to you as if you were not a tyrant," I say. "You sit here and think you are more civilized than Luna because you obey your creed of honor, because you show restraint." I gesture to the simple house. "But you're not more civilized," I say. You're just more disciplined."
"Isn't that civilization? Order? Denying animal impulses for stability?"
- Ch. 41: The Moon Lord
- "What is pride without honor? What is honor without truth? Honor is not what you say. It is not what you read." Romulus thumps his chest. "Honor is what you do."
- Ch. 42: The Poet
- I breathe in the full scent of her. If it ends tomorrow or in eighty years, I could breathe her for the rest of my life. But I want more. I need more. I tilt her slender jaw up with my hand so that she's looking at me. I was going to say something important. Something memorable. But I've forgotten it in her eyes. That gulf that divided us is still there, filled with questions and recrimination and guilt, but that's only part of love, part of being human. Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living.
- Ch. 56: In Time
- If pain is the weight of being, love is the purpose.
- Ch. 65: The Vale