The Capture is a children's fantasy novel by Kathryn Lasky. It is the first book in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. It was first published in June 2003. It follows a young Barn Owl named Soren, who is pushed from his nest and taken to Saint Aegolius's Academy for Orphaned Owls, which is not the place that it first seems.
- "You just hatched out two weeks ago." Kludd turned to Soren, his younger brother. "What do you know about sisters?"
Maybe, Soren thought to himself, they would be better than brothers.
- Chapter One: "A Nest Remembered", p. 1
- Once upon a very long time ago, in the time of Glaux, there was an order of knightly owls, from a kingdom called Ga'Hoole, who would rise up each night and perform noble deeds. They spoke no words but true ones, their purpose was to right all wrongs, to make strong the weak, mend the broken, vanquish the proud, and make powerless those who abused the frail. With hearts sublime they would take flight...
- Noctus, Kludd's father, telling a legend of Ga'Hoole, repeated throughout the series; Chapter One: "A Nest Remembered", p. 14
- "I don't really know what happened. I just fell out of the nest." But the second Soren said those words he felt a weird queasiness. He almost knew. He just couldn't quite remember, but he almost knew how it had happened, and he felt a mixture of dread and shame creep through him. He felt something terrible deep in his gizzard.
- Soren explaining to Gylfie how he got captured; Chapter Three: "Snatched!", p. 29
- Gylfie felt that the moment was right. "You are the last owl in the world that I would ever say lacked humility, 12-8. You are for my friend and myself a perfect example of humility. You are beyond humbleness! You are ..." Gylfie was madly searching for a word. What's she going to say next? Soren couldn't imagine. He had never seen such a demonstration of outrageous fawning. "You are subglaucious." 12-8 blinked at the word as did Soren, who had no idea what subglaucious meant. "We, my friend and I, only wish that we could serve in the eggorium and thus attain such humbleness as yourself."
"Your words are kind, 25-2. I shall hope that they might encourage me in my continuing quest for humility while in service to a great cause." She wandered off looking a tad more moon blinked than before, if that was possible.
"What in Glaux's name is subglaucious?" Soran said as soon as she was out of earshot.
"No idea. I made it up."
- Chapter Thirteen: "Perfection!", pp. 102–103
- "Bye-bye," Auntie cooed, and waved a tattered wing. "Bye-bye, 12-8, you fool!"
- After she kills Hortense; Chapter Seventeen: "Hortense's Story", p. 128
- Gylfie looked at Soren gravely. "That is why we must learn how to fly before the next newing."
"But I won't be ready. I won't have enough feathers," Soren said.
"Almost? There's a difference, Gylfie, between almost and enough."
"Yes. The difference is belief, Soren. Belief."
- Chapter Nineteen: "To Believe", p. 139
- Oh, if only I were perfectly moon blinked [hypnotized]. If only I were...
- Grimble; Chapter Nineteen: "To Believe", p. 143
- You can do it! You believe! Feel it in your gizzard. You are a creature of flight. Fly, my children. Fly!
- Grimble; Chapter Twenty-two: "The Shape of the Wind", p. 162
- I have redeemed myself by giving belief to the wings of the young. Blessed are those who believe, for indeed they shall fly.
- Old Boreal Owl prayer, Grimble's last words; Chapter Twenty-two: "The Shape of the Wind", p. 162
- [After discovering Soren's former home is abandoned] Then Twilight spoke, "Soren, they're gone. Maybe something happened to them. You shouldn't take it personally. Buck up now, old buddy."
"Personally? What do you know, Twilight, that is personal about any family? You've never had a family. Remember, you're always telling us about how much you learned in your own orphan school of tough learning. You don't know the feel of a mother's down. You don't know what it's like to hear stories from a father, or to hear him sing. Do you know what a psalm is, Twilight? I bet you don't. Well, we Barn Owls know about psalms and books and the feeling of down."
Twilight's feathers had ruffled up, spiky with ice crystals. He looked fearsome. "I'll tell you what I know, you miserable little owl. The whole world is my family. I know the softness of a fox's fur, and the strange green light that comes into their eyes during the spring moons. I know how to fish because I learned from an eagle. And when meat is scarce I know how to find the ripest part of a rotten tree and peck the juiciest bugs from it. I know plenty."
- Chapter Twenty-four: "Empty Hollows", p. 181
- Gylfie turned to Digger and spoke, "Come with us, Digger."
"But where is it you're going?" he asked.
"To the Great Ga'Hoole Tree."
"What?" said Digger, but before Twilight could answer, Streak broke in. "I've heard of that place, but isn't it just a story, a legend?"
"To some it might be," Twilight said, and blinked at the eagle.
But not to owls, thought Soren. To owls, he thought, it is a real place.
- Chapter Twenty-seven: "Horten se's Eagles", pp. 215–216