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I took a breath. "Your highness - "
"Nikolai," he corrected. "But I've also been known to answer to 'sweetheart' or 'handsome. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've never understood this taste for otkazat'sya. Is it because you thought you were one of them for so long?"
"I had a taste for you, once." His head snapped up. He hadn't expected that. Saints, it was satisfying. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm not what you think I am," I whispered desperately.
The Darkling stepped closer to me and said, his voice so low that only I could hear, "I doubt you have any idea what you are. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I am ancient Alina.
I know things about power that you can barely guess -- Leigh Bardugo
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You were meant to be my balance Aline.
You are the only person in the world who might rule with me, who might keep my powers in check -- Leigh Bardugo
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Will you say it?

"Aleksander"

His grin faded and his grey eyes seemed to flicker.

"Again."

"Aleksander -- Leigh Bardugo
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What if I'm no better than you? What if instead of stopping you, I'm just another avalanche? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Why don't you just admit that you wanted to belong to him? Why don't you admit that part of you still does? -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's true," I said softly. "You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience." I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. "But I am an apt pupil. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I already unleashed Baghra on Nikolai. He's going to think I stockpile vicious old women. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I have loved you all my life, Mal. There is no end to our story. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I want to kiss you," Nikolai said. "But I won't. Not until you're thinking of me instead of trying to forget him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You don't want to be doing this.
This is the only thing I want to be doing -- Leigh Bardugo
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On a whim, I picked up a pen and flipped to the last page of the diary and wrote our names.
Alina Starkov
Maylen Oretsev
I wasn't sure why I did it. I just needed to say we had been there. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Fight me as long as you're able.
You will find I have far more practice with eternity -- Leigh Bardugo
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Tell him you see me when he takes you in his arms -- Leigh Bardugo
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You are all I've ever wanted," he said. "You are the whole of my heart. -- Leigh Bardugo
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A privateer learns to press any advantage."
"And a prince?"
"Princes get used to the word yes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He has served countless kings, faked countless deaths, bided his time, waiting for you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It seems to work better than jabbing them with a stick," he said.
"Less fun."
"My jabbing arm is tired. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I know what you thought, what you always thought of me.
It's so much easier that way, isn't it? -- Leigh Bardugo
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And there's nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What is wrong with you?" I whispered furiously.
"Nothing," he said, surprised. "I feel great."
"But how can you be so ... so jaunty?"
"Jaunty? I've never been jaunty. I hope never to be jaunty. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I want you to know my name.
The name I was given, not the title I took for myself.
Will you have it?

"Yes"

"Aleksander -- Leigh Bardugo
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Close your mouth before something flies in, I snapped. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Whether I was a Saint or a queen or the most powerful Grisha who ever lived, I would always turn to him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He'd wanted me to believe in his ruthlessness.
Then I remembered his words from so long ago: Make me your villain. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've seen what you truly are," said the Darkling, "and I've never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do you think I could have come to you again and again, if you had been less alone?
You called me and I answered -- Leigh Bardugo
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We are alike," he said, "as no one else is, as no one else will ever be."
The truth of it rang through me. Like calls to like. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I will stip away all that you know, all that you love....
Until you have no shelter byt me -- Leigh Bardugo
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I sought Morozova amplifiers for you Alina, so that we can rule as equals -- Leigh Bardugo
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She would have her ship and he would have his city. -- Leigh Bardugo
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When we get our money, you can burn kruge to keep you warm."
"I'm going to pay someone to burn my kruge for me."
"Why don't you pay someone else to pay someone to burn your kruge for you? That's what the big players do. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Can we get to the cuddling later? I want us ashore before dawn."
Mal sighed. "Eventually, I'm going to punch him."
"I will support you in that endeavor. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Don't worry, tracker. You'll know when our deal is up ... I'll be certain you hear it when I make her scream. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I got used to seeing him waiting for me at the end of corridors, or sitting at the edge of my bed when I fell asleep at night. When he didn't appear, I sometimes found myself looking for him or wondering why he hadn't come, and that frightened me most of all. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And the Darkling?"
"I tried to kill him."
"As one does. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The problem with waiting is that it makes us weak -- Leigh Bardugo
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The Darkling just stared out into the waves. I considered shoving him over the railing. Sure, he was hundreds of years old, but could he swim? -- Leigh Bardugo
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You live in a single moment. I live in a thousand. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've waged the war you forced me to, Alina," said the Darkling. "If you hadn't run from me, the Second Army would still be intact. All those Grisha would still be alive. Your tracker would be safe and happy with his regiment. When will it be enough? When will you let me stop? -- Leigh Bardugo
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How could he be so cruel and still so human? -- Leigh Bardugo
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A single laugh burst from his lips, and a fin spray of blood settled over his chin. "Like this?"
His legs faltered. He tried to stop his descent, but his arm gave way and he crumpled, rolling to his back. It's simple enough. Like calls to like. The Darkling's own power. Morozova's own blood. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've been busy. I might have some surprises in store for the Darkling yet."
"Please tell me you plan to dress up as a volcra and jump out of a cake."
"Well, now you've ruined the surprise. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The Darkling slumped back in his chair. "Fine," he said with a weary shrug. "Make me your villain. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Then the memory of the Darkling's kiss blew through me and rattled my concentration, scattering my thoughts like leaves and making my heart swoop and dive like a bird borne aloft by uncertain currents. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We all have our secrets. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You two have a bad habit of acting like fools and calling it heroic. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You begged me for clemency once," he called over the dead reaches of the Fold, over the hungry shrieks of the horrors he had made. "Is this your idea of mercy?"
Another bullet hit the sand, only inches from us. Yes, I thought as the power rose up inside me, the mercy you taught me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You sound just like the Darkling."
"If you ever have trouble telling us apart, look for the person who isn't torturing you or trying to kill Mal. That will be me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The stag had been showing me my strength-not just the price of mercy but the power it bestowed. And mercy was something the Darkling would never understand. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I knew there was no bottom to the Darkling's pain. He would just keep falling and falling. -- Leigh Bardugo
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In this moment he was just a boy -brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I don't care if you think I'm a Saint or a fool or the Darkling's whore. If you want to remain at the Little Palace you will follow me. And if you don't like it, you will be gone by tonight, or I will have you in chains. I am a solider. I am the Sun Summoners. And I'm the only chance you have. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I seem to be a victim of my own wishes where you are concerned. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Mal snickered.
"What's so funny?"
"I just pictured the Darkling being cornered by a sweaty duchess trying to have her way with him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I didn't have to stand here in the darkling arms. I could vanish from his grip, slide back into consciousness and the safety of a stone room hidden in the mountaintop. But I didn't want to go. Despite, everything, I wanted this whispered confidence .
"Yes." I breathed. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina" He said. "You and I are going to change the world. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He studied me for a long moment. He had always watched me this way, as if I were an equation that didn't quite tally. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I felt it then, the vibration along that invisible tether. I pushed away from it. I would not go to the Darkling now. I wouldn't go to him ever again. But still, I knew wherever he was, he was grieving. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Don't feel too bad, tracker," said the Darkling. "All men can be made fools. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I will tell you a story, one I used to tell to a little boy with dark hair. A silent boy who rarely laughs, who listened more closely than I realized. A boy who had a name and not a title -- Leigh Bardugo
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So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?"
"You're under his protection."
"What's the difference?"
"Pray you never find out. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I just know there's no way to live without pain
no matter how long or short your life is. People let you down. You get hurt and do damage in return. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sturmhond had a way of talking that made me want to shoot someone. Preferably him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Aleksander."
His eyes fluttered shut. "Don't let me be alone," he murmured. And then he was gone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Why does the brave druskelle Matthias Helvar eat no meat? 'Tis a sad story indeed, my child. His teeth were winnowed away by a vexatious Grisha, and now he can eat only pudding. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Have you even held a command? Nikolai asked. I'd once led a seminar of junior mapmakers, but I didn't think that was what he meant. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Were you always this much trouble?"
"I like to think of myself as delightfully complex. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Pull your shirt up over your mouth," he told Wylan.
"What?"
"Stop being dense. You're cuter when you're smart."
Wylan's cheeks went pink. He scowled and pulled his collar up. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Was that chloro gas?"
"Definitely cuter when you're smart. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You let Mal come back for me. After you gave me your vow."
"He broke away," said Tamar.
I lifted a brow. The day Mal could break Tolya's hold was indeed a day of miracles.
Tolya hung his head and heaved his huge shoulders. "Forgive me," he said. "I couldn't be the one to keep him from you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If you two keep fighting, you're going to get us all killed, and I have a lot more card games I need to lose. -- Leigh Bardugo
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A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Inej's mother and father might still shed tears for the daughter they'd lost, but if Inej died tonight, there would be no one to grieve for the girl she was now. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse. Inej -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias locked the cell door and hurried down the passage toward Nina, toward something more. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I am not ruined. I am ruination. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I hope you weren't looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret. -- Leigh Bardugo
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But when someone does wrong, when we make mistakes, we don't say we're sorry. We promise to make amends."
"I will."
"Mati en sheva yelu. This action will have no echo. It means we won't repeat the same mistakes, that we won't continue to do harm. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Being around Nikolai was always like this, watching him shift and change, revealing secrets as he went. He reminded me of the wooden nesting dolls I'd played with as a child. Except instead of getting smaller, he just kept getting grander and more mysterious. -- Leigh Bardugo
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For a girl who hated looking at herself, I was at risk of becoming vain. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No matter what they thought of him, they'd walk a little taller tonight. It was why they stayed, why they gave their best approximation of loyalty for him -- Leigh Bardugo
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Then tailor him," Kaz said coldly. The challenge in Kaz's eyes was clear. So he knew she'd been struggling. Of course he did. Dirtyhands never missed a trick. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I will have you without armor. Those were the words she'd said to Kaz aboard the Ferolind, desperate for some sign that he might open himself to her, that they could be more than two wary creatures united by their distrust of the world. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Go home to Ravka, Nina. Be free, as you were meant to be. Be a warrior, as you always have been. Just save some mercy for my people. There has to be a Fjerda worth saving. Promise me -- Leigh Bardugo
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Mal had made me promise not to cry. He'd said it would only make it harder on him. So I swallowed my tears. I kissed him one last time and let Ivan lead me away. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She'd hurt him, but she'd attempted everything in her power to make things right. She'd shown him in a thousand ways that she was honorable and strong and generous and very human, maybe even more vividly human than anyone he'd ever known. -- Leigh Bardugo
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When evening fell the boy would bring the girl a glass of tea, a slice of lemon cake, an apple blossom floating in a blue cup. He would kiss her neck and whisper new names in her ear: beauty, beloved, cherished, my heart. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Good luck, Oretsev. Find the firebird, and when this is over, I'll see you well rewarded. A farmhouse in Udova. A dacha near the city. Whatever you want."
"I don't need any of that. Just ... " He dropped Nikolai's hand and looked away. "Deserve her. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The boom, the bang, the flint and fuss. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do you answer a question directly?"
"Hard to say. Ah, there, I've done it again -- Leigh Bardugo
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The moment our lips met, I knew with pure and piercing certainty that I would have waited for him forever. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She smiled then, a small smile of such aching sadness that it was hard to look at. "You think I don't love my son," she said. "But I do." "It is because I love him that I will not let him put himself beyond redemption. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If you ever cared about me at all, don't follow. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Botkin cannot build house from such little twigs!" he shouted at me, giving my upper arm a squeeze. "Eat something! -- Leigh Bardugo
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What are you two doing barefoot and half naked in the mud?" asked a familiar voice. "Looking for truffles, I hope? -- Leigh Bardugo
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The storm had come out of nowhere, tossing the ship like a toy on the waves. The sea had played along until it had tired of the game, and dragged their boat under in a tangle of rope and sail and screaming men. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There was no sound but it own for falls and the crackling of the flames behind us. No rustle came from the trees, no insect buzz or nightbird call. The woods were sent in their grief. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Next time I'll try getting captured. Just to keep things interesting." He tossed Mal a rifle. "Shall we?"
"I can't tell who's who!" I protested.
"We're the side that's hopelessly outnumbered. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I wonder what Matthias would have to say about that outfit." "He wouldn't approve." "He doesn't approve of anything about you. But when you laugh, he perks up like a tulip in fresh water." Nina snorted. "Matthias the tulip." "The big, brooding, yellow tulip. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Inej had once offered to teach him how to fall. "The trick is not getting knocked down," he'd told her with a laugh. "No, Kaz," she'd said, "the trick is in getting back up. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And get me clean clothes and fresh water." "Since when am I your valet?" "Man with a knife, remember?" he said over his shoulder. "Man with a gun!" Jesper called after him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Her blades were reliable. And they made her feel like she'd been born with proper claws. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He saw that Jesper was staring at his hands. "What were you expecting?" Kaz growled.
"Claws, at least,"Jesper said, shifting his gaze to his own bony feet. "Possibly a spiny thumb. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I didn't know what to say to Mal. I never did these days. But maybe I could just start with the truth: that I was lost and confused, and maybe losing my mind, that I scared myself sometimes, and that I missed him so much it was like physical pain. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I thought the love I'd had for him belonged to the past, to the foolish, lonely girl I never wanted to be again. I'd tried to bury that girl and the love she'd felt, just as I'd tried to bury my power. But I wouldn't make that mistake again. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They sang together, fumbling through the verses, hopelessly out of key, until the lanterns burned low. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina glanced from Inej to Kaz and saw they both wore the same expression. Nina knew that look. It came after the shipwreck, when the tide moved against you and the sky had gone dark. It was the first sight of land, the hope of shelter and even salvation that might await you on a distant shore. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You dug this grave. Go lie in it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I had spared the stag's life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The living world had disappeared. Darkness fell around us, black, weightless, and absolute. We were in the Fold. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You are a stolen painting, Kuwei. Too recognizable to sell on the open market, too valuable to leave lying around. You are worthless to me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We'd made the wise choice, done the right thing. I had to believe that logic would bring comfort in time. Tonight, there was just this too-quiet room, the ache of loss, knowledge deep and final as the tolling of a bell: Something good has gone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe you're hungry," said Zoya. "I always get mean when I'm hungry. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Tell me, priest,' I ordered, 'or I'll cut you open right here, and your followers can try to pray you back together. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Speak, she begged silently. Give me a reason to stay. For all his selfishness and cruelty, Kaz was still the boy who had saved her. She wanted to believe he was worth saving, too. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Six of Crows
A smol precious deadly flower, two gaybies, a beautiful Grisha warrior, a grumpy convict, and their brilliant, fearless (and sometimes clueless) leader perform a heist of epic proportions. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We didn't quite fit together. We had edges so jagged we cut each other sometimes, -- Leigh Bardugo
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She's like a dessert-hoarding dragon." Alys -- Leigh Bardugo
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Every act of violence was deliberate, and every favor came with enough strings attached to stage a puppet show. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'd learned to avoid mirrors. They never seemed to show me what I wanted to see. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And feast on the dead, I thought with a shudder. As if he could read my thoughts, he pressed a hand to my shoulder. His fingers were long and white, splaying over my arm like a waxen spider. If the gesture was meant to comfort me, it failed. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Pick up the pace," Kaz said, eyeing his watch.
"If I spill a single drop of this, it will burn straight through the floor onto my father's dinner guests."
"Take your time. -- Leigh Bardugo
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In the end, Kaz Brekker was a just a boy, and she'd let him lead her to this fate. -- Leigh Bardugo
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That boy had betrayed his weakness in a single glance, had ceded the war for the sake of a single battle, and put Inej--all of them--in danger. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Trickery is not my native tongue, but I may learn to speak it yet. -- Leigh Bardugo
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In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I winced. "I shouldn't have said that." "You once put goose droppings in my shoes, Alina. A bad mood I can handle." He glanced at me and said, "We all know the burden you're carrying. You don't have to bear it alone." I -- Leigh Bardugo
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There wasn't even a bed in the room, just a narrow settee where Nina curled up every night. When Kaz had asked Nina why, she'd simply said, "I don't want anyone getting ideas." "A man doesn't need a bed to get ideas, Nina. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And there's no way I'm leaving you alone with Prince Perfect."
"So you don't trust me to resist his charms?"
"I don't even trust myself. I've never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I'm pretty sure the rocks and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It felt like something that was meant to be kept secret, a new seed that might grow to something extraordinary if it wasn't forced to bloom too soon. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jes, I've thought about this-"
"Thought of me? Late at night? What was I wearing?"
"I've thought about your powers," Wylan said, cheeks flushing pinker. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She lived in happy solitude, and grew old, and never worried when her beauty faded, for in her reflection she always saw a free woman. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The fox and the nightingale made a quiet life together. A lesser creature might have held Koja's mistakes against him, might have mocked him for his pride. But Lula was not only clever. She was wise. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Alone in the gloom, surrounded by books, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The boy held her tighter, murmured soft words to lull her to sleep.
"It's only a nightmare," he whispered. "The dreams will stop."
He didn't understand. The dreams were the only place it was safe to use her power now, and she longed for them. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sometimes when we find love we pretend it away, or ignore it, or tell ourselves we're imagining it. Because it's the most painful kind of hope there is. By indifference . By death. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Mal adjusted his hood to better hide his face and tipped up his mask, then reached forward and did the same with mine. He leaned in. Our jackal masks bumped snouts.
I started to laugh.
"Next time, different costumes," he grumbled.
"Bigger hats? -- Leigh Bardugo
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I feel you slipping away from me, and I don't know how to stop it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Eli's long fingers cupped her face, traced the nape of her neck, kept her still, as if he needed to give her every bit of his attention, as if he could learn her like a language, plot her like a course. Eli kissed Gracie like she was a song and he was determined to hear every note. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we'd shared, for the love I'd felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Purpose," he said thoughtfully. "You know you can't stop them all.'
"If I don't try, I won't stop any. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Greed may do your bidding, but death serves no man. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Good luck hitting a skinny little schooner cutting through the waves bound for fortune and glory."
"I'll quote you on that when a cannonball lands in my lap," said Nina. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It was fatiguing, but nothing was sacred to the Kerch except trade, so she'd gone out of her way to make the risk much higher than the reward when it came to disrespecting her. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They do love their pretty colors," grumbled Tolya. "Don't give me any ideas," I whispered. "Maybe I'll decide my personal guard should wear bright yellow pantaloons." For the first time, I saw an expression very much like fear cross his face. -- Leigh Bardugo
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That night, Kaz took Saskia's red ribbon from beneath his pillow. He rolled it into a neat spiral and clutched it in his palm. He lay in bed and tried to pray, but all he could think about was the magician's coin: there and then gone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's a promise to be better than I was. It's a vow that if I can't be anything else to you, at least I can be a weapon in your hand. And I guess it's a reminder that wanting and deserving aren't the same thing. -- Leigh Bardugo
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But if Koja had words, then he had hope. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I need to see Jakob Hertzoon."
"Who?"
Kaz felt like he was about to climb out of his skin. He pointed through the window. "Jakob fucking Hertzoon. I want to talk to him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What is infinite?" she recited. I knew that text well. "The universe and the greed of men," I quoted back to her. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There is something more powerful than any army. Something strong enough to topple kings, and even Darklings. Do you know what that thing is?"
I shook my head, inching away from him.
"Faith," he breathed, his black eyes wild. "Faith. -- Leigh Bardugo
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But the girl had spent long years being invisible. She'd already had a ghost's life, hidden from the world and from herself. Better than anyone, she knew the power of things long buried. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe that's why I wrote this letter,Alina. Maybe it's a promise-that I'll survive tomorrow and the day after that, and somehow, no matter what it takes, I'll see you safe again...
M. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What you want and what the world needs are not always in accord, Kaz. Praying and wishing are not the same thing. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No matter the height of the mountain, the climbing is the same. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She was welcoming and perfect in his arms. He kissed her, buried his face in the sweet hollow of her neck. Her curls brushed his cheeks, and he felt that if he could just hold her a little longer, every wound, every hurt, every bad thing would melt away. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper: "If Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."
Kaz: "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."
Matthias: "My ghost won't associate with your ghost. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Apparently, Adrik and Harshaw had been evicted for the night. A very bleary Genya and David blinked up at us from beneath the covers of a single narrow cot.
Mal gave a little cough. Can't say I'm surprised. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Huh," Zoya said to Adrik. "I'm impressed." At the elation that burst over his face, she groaned. "Never mind. I'm downgrading that to grudging approval. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Abruptly, Adrik snarled, 'I'm glad Sergei's dead. I'm just sorry I didn't get to wring his neck myself.'
'You'd need two hands for that,' said Zoya.
There was a brief, terrible silence, then Adrik scowled and said, 'Okay, stab him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Facts are for the unimaginative. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nikolai laughed. "Next time, bring a flask. Every time he changes his mind, take a sip."
I groaned. "I'd be passed out on the floor before the hour was up. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I just don't get it. I've spent my whole life hiding the things I can't do. Why run from the amazing things you can do? -- Leigh Bardugo
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old women must know something, or they wouldn't live to gather wrinkles and yell from their front stoops. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I have been made to protect you. Even in death, I will find a way. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He picked her up and spun her in the air.
"You're going to strain something if you keep doing that," she said with another radiant smile.
"You're light as a feather."
"I do not want to see that bird. Now let's go get me a stack of waffles twice as tall as you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina is everything you say. It's too much."
"Mmm," Inej murmured, taking a sip from her mug. "Maybe you're just not enough. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Just because you escape one trap, doesn't mean you will escape the next. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Brick by brick.

Brick by brick, I will destroy you.

"It was the promise that let him sleep at night, that drove him every day, that kept Jordie's ghost at bay. Because a quick death was too good for Pekka Rollins. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I think the hard work of writing is just how long a book is terrible before it's good."--Leigh Bardugo -- Leigh Bardugo
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Simple as that," said Nina. "Did you know I'm next in line for the Fjerdan throne? They call me Princess Ilse of Engelsberg." "There is no princess of Engelsberg," said Matthias. "It's a fishing town." Nina shrugged. "If we're going to lie to ourselves, we might as well be grand about it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Dirtyhands had come to see the rough work done. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Who'd deny a poor criple his cane?
If the cripple is you, then any man with sense. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe your tutors didn't cover this lesson, but you do not argue with a man covered in blood and a knife up his sleeve. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No one knew who he was. No one knew where he came from. He'd become Kaz Brekker, cripple and confidence man, bastard of the Barrel. The -- Leigh Bardugo
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One of his hands balanced on his cane. The other rested at his side next to her. She'd need only move the smallest amount and they would be touching. He was that close. He was that far from reach. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He laughed then. It was the first time I'd ever heard his laugh, a lovely dark sound that rippled through the air. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He's horrible."
"But effective. Being angry at Kaz for being ruthless is like being angry at a stove for being hot. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The trap is loneliness, and none of us escapes it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe I should lie down on a table in the workroom and wait to see if he welds something to me." "I think that's the way most great love stories begin. -- Leigh Bardugo
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A chemical weevil," said Jesper, "But Wylan still hasn't named it. My vote is for the Wyvil."
"That's terrible," said Wylan.
"It's brilliant," Jesper winked. "Just like you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Wylan didn't think he imagined the tension in the rasp of Kaz's voice. Kaz never yelled the way Wylan's father did, but Wylan had learned to listen for that low note, that bit of black harmony that crept into Kaz's tone when things were about to get dangerous. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You'll get what's coming to you some day, Brekker."
"I will," said Kaz, "if there's any justice in the world. And we all know how likely that is. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She was Inej Ghafa, and she would not quiver like a rabbit in a snare. -- Leigh Bardugo
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This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do you take anything seriously?"
"Not if I can help it. Makes life so tedious. -- Leigh Bardugo
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At night, she slipped into the shelter of the boy's arms as they stood together on deck, picking out constellations from the vast spill of stars: the Hunter, the Scholar, the Three Foolish Sons, the bright spokes of the Spinning Wheel, the Southern Palace with its six crooked spires. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If I want to watch men dig holes to fall into, I'll find myself a cemetery. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You were meant for more than me, and I'll die fighting to give it to you. But please don't ask me to pretend it's easy. -- Leigh Bardugo
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One minute he made her blush and the next he made her want to commit murder. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. 'Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Too much champagne?"
"Maybe."
"Silly girl," she said, looping her arm through mine. "There's no such thing as too much champagne. Though your head will try to tell you otherwise tomorrow. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No matter what street law decreed, this night smelled like violence. Go on, give those guns -- Leigh Bardugo
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Street law dictated that for a parley of this kind each lieutenant be seconded by two of his foot soldiers and that they all be unarmed. Parley. The word felt like a deception - strangely prim, an antique. No matter what street law decreed, this night smelled like violence. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Her voice was gentle, patient - why was it making him want to set fire to something? -- Leigh Bardugo
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How did you fare with the Queen?" he asked.
"I have no idea," I said honestly. "Everything she said was perfectly nice, but the whole time she was looking at me as if I were something her dog spit up. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do I get to wear a fancy hat?"
"The fanciest," I said. "And possibly a cape."
"Will there be plumes?"
"Oh, yes. Several."
"Then I'm in. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I wanted to believe anything so that I wouldn't have to face the future alone. The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If you ever get tired of skin and bones," she called to Mal, "I've got something to tempt you." I stiffened. Mal glanced over his shoulder. Slowly, he looked her up and down. "No," he said flatly. "You don't. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz didn't look remotely entertained. "The Ravkan king lets you negotiate for him in matters of state?" he asked skeptically.
"Occasionally," said Sturmhond. "Especially if less than savory personages are involved. You have a reputation, Mister Brekker."
"So do you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We're all someone's monster. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Morozova's stag. Rusalye. The firebird. Legends come to life before my eyes, just to die in front of me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sorry," I mumbled.
"Maybe you're hungry," said Zoya. "I always get mean when I'm hungry."
"Are you hungry all the time?" asked Harshaw.
"You haven't seen me mean. When you do, you'll require a very big hanky."
He snorted. "To dry my tears?"
"To stanch the bleeding. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The others. Swear to me you'll at least try to help them, to make them see. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There's always more."
"More money, more mayhem, more scores to settle. Was there never another dream? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Aleksander," I whispered. A boy's name, given up. Almost forgotten. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz is ... I don't know, he's like nobody else I've ever known. He surprises me." "Yes. Like a hive of bees in your dresser drawer." Jesper barked a laugh. "Just like that. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do you blame me for every mistake I made? For every girl I tumbled? For every dumb thing I've said? Because if we start running tallies on stupid, you know who's going to come out ahead. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If you don't care about money, Nina dear, call it by its other names."
"Kruge? Scrub? Kaz's one true love?"
"Freedom, security, retribution. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You still may die in the Dregs."
Inej's dark eyes had glinted. "I may. But I'll die on my feet with a knife in my hand. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He made himself refocus on Inej's feet. "Saints," he said.
Inej grimaced. "That bad?"
"No, you just have really ugly feet."
"Ugly feet that go you on this roof. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I shivered in my kefta, comforted by the soft brush of the fox fur. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Back at the treasury Matthias had said, He's one of us. She liked that word. Us. A word without division or borders. It seemed full of hope. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Zoya stared up at Nina in wonder. "You're alive," she said. Her gaze slid to Matthias, thrashing like the biggest, angriest butterfly ever pinned to a page. "And you've made a new friend. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina, I am with you because you let me be with you. There is no greater honor than to stand by your side. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Saints, Kaz, you actually look happy."
"Don't be ridiculous," he snapped. But there was no mistaking it. Kaz Brekker was grinning like an idiot. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He knew he was being reckless, selfish, but wasn't that why they called him Dirtyhands? No job too risky. No deed too low. Dirtyhands would see the rough work done. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Just to be clear, I'm not really interested in defending your honor. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Lying in the dark, waiting for sleep, I wondered if thos paths would just keep taking us further and further apart, and if a day might come when we would be strangers to each other once again. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You must marry ugly man," I said. "Very fet." I held my arms out in front of me, indicating a giant belly. "He weeel make you heppy." I heard Mal snort beneath his mask. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She still talks of fairness. What does fairness have to do with any of this? The people curse my name and pay for you, but you're the one who is ready to abandon them. I'm the one who will give them power over their enemies. I'm the one who will free them from the tyranny of the king. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They'd even made him imitate the different patterns of the bells. A necessity, but he'd felt like a fool chanting, Bing bong bing bing bong. No, wait, bing bing bong bing bing. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She righted herself, her balance returning. Had she really thought the world didn't change? She was a fool. The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. The boy beside her. The future before her. Anything was possible. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz narrowed his eyes. I'm not some character out of a children's story who plays harmless pranks and steals from the rich to give to the poor. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias knew if he started trailing after Nina on missions like some kind of watchdog, she'd put her hands on those glorious hips and demonstrate her knowledge of profanity in several different languages. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I was just a girl again, but this girl didn't owe her strength to fate or chance or a grand destiny. I'd been born with my power; the rest I'd earned. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I need you to do something for me."
He snorted. "You mean other than deserting the army, scaling mountains, and freezing my ass off on the cold ground every night?"
"Yes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I don't think-"
"Clearly. Why start now? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Everyone okay?" Mal asked.
"Never better," said Genya shakily.
David raised his hand. "I've been better. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Just this minute, I'll settle for an apology, she decided. And I wont' board the boat without one. Even if Kaz isn't sorry, he can pretend. He at least owes me his best imitation of a human being. -- Leigh Bardugo
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STRYMAKTFJERDAN. Fjerdan might. -- Leigh Bardugo
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(Some girl) "You said we'd have breakfast!"
(Jasper) "If i live, i'll buy you waffles."
"You don't have enough money to buy her waffles," Wylan grumbled.
"Be quite. We're in a library. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. -- Leigh Bardugo
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All these people dead, and I miss pretty things. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He'd told her they would fight their way out. Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. She would fight for him, but she could not heal him. She would not waste her life trying. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He was a collection of hard lines and tailored edges -- Leigh Bardugo
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I have to spend the rest of my life finding ways to deserve a certain white-haired girl. She's very prickly, occasionally puts goose droppings in my shoes or tries to kill me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What is he doing?" asked Matthias.
"Performing an ancient Zemeni ritual," Kaz said.
"Really?"
"No. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Mal shouted. I heard scuffling behind me and knew Tolya had taken hold of him. "Alina!" His voice was raw white wood, torn from the heart of a tree. I did not turn. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You know I'd be lost without you." "You've never been lost in your life," I scoffed. I was the mapmaker, but Mal could find true north blindfolded and standing on his head. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's hard to keep track of all your wisdom. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Chaos will come and I will be its master. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper could never tell how much of what Kaz got away with was smarts and planning and how much was dumb luck. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm used to being the center of attention wherever I go. I've been told I could charm the shoes off a racehorse midstride, and yet you seem impervious. -- Leigh Bardugo
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In those moments, it was easy to believe that Izumrud still lived somewhere, waiting to be woken by the call of heroes, dreaming of the fine meal he would have it only some hapless child would walk into his mouth. A beast like that rests; he does not die. -- Leigh Bardugo
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When you can't beat the odds, change the game. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You were like a stranger, Alina. Beautiful," he said. "Terrible. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm going to get my money, Kaz vowed. And I'm going to get my girl. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We meet fear. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Long ago, after a bad fall, her father had explained that only fools were fearless. We meet rear, he'd said. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen. (p51) -- Leigh Bardugo
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The ox feels the yoke, but does the bird feel the weight of its wings? -- Leigh Bardugo
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He doesn't need a donkey," says Ana Kuya. "He has a wife. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I opened my mouth, but the same words came to me again and again.
I will not scream. I will not scream. I will not scream. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Usually people don't start hating each other until a week into the job, but you two have a head start. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It is always the same trap," she said gently. "You longed for conversation. The bear craved jokes. The gray wolf missed music. The boar just wanted someone to tell her troubles to. The trap is loneliness, and none of us escapes it. Not even me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Tell me some lies. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I don't hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We are the Triumvirate. We do not take orders from Kerch street rats with dubious haircuts. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm not sure why I began this," she admitted. "But I know why I have to finish. I know why fate brought me here, why it placed me in the path of this prize. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There is no greater power than faith, and there will be no greater army than one driven by it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Of course not," said Sturmhond. "Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They don't know who we are. Not really. They don't know what we've done, what we've managed together. So let's go show them they picked the wrong damn fight. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No mourners," Jesper said as he tossed his rifle to Rotty. "No funerals," the rest of the Dregs murmured in reply. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He'd known even then, though: He'd start as a grunt, but the Dregs would become his army. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I am a King-"
"And I am a Saint. Shall we see whose word carries more weight? -- Leigh Bardugo
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He had become a great beast, and yet that beast would devour him -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's a symbol, Helvar. If your god is so delicate, maybe you should get a new one. Let's get out of here. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Zoya picked up a kefta hanging over the back of my chair. It was gold brocade, the sleeves and hem embroidered lavishly in blue, the cuffs marked with jeweled sunbursts. "Sable," she said to me, stroking the lining. "I have never loathed you more. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Good," said Kaz, but the answer didn't come as quickly as Matthias might have expected. He fears for her, Matthias thought, and he does not like it. For once, he could sympathize with the demjin. -- Leigh Bardugo
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At some point, Jesper realized Kaz was gone.
"Not one for goodbyes, is he?" he muttered.
"He doesn't say goodbye," Inej said. She kept her eyes on the lights of the canal. Somewhere in the garden, a night bird began to sing. "He just lets go. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he'll never have enough of her. Like he's trying to capture what he can before she's gone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's a great honor," said Fedyor. "To save a life. You saved many. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She'd laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Really?" asked Nina, tugging at her corset. Pollen from one of the irises had scattered over her bare shoulder. Matthias had the overwhelming urge to brush it away with his lips. It's probably poisonous, he told himself sternly. Maybe he should take a walk. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Normal people don't wall their wives up in insane asylums. They don't disinherit their sons because they didn't get the child they wanted. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There were patterns in the way people moved, the way they clustered around power. They thought they were drifting, milling aimlessly, but really they were being drawn towards people of status. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Haskell whisked the pistol from his pocket and flipped open the barrel. It was empty. "You little--" Then Haskell barked a laugh and plucked the bullets from Kaz's hand, shaking his head. "You've got the devil's own blood in you, boy. Go get my money. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz had tapped his crow's head cane on the flagstones of the tomb floor. "Do you know what Van Eck's problem is?"
"No honor?" said Matthias.
"Rotten parenting skills?" said Nina.
"Receding hairline?" offered Jesper. -- Leigh Bardugo
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None of us moves on without a backward look. We move on always carrying with us those we have lost. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No, Tolya, your gifts lie elewhere," Sturmhond said soothingly. "Mostly in the celebrated fields of killing and maiming. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Only two were unmarked. Tolya and Tamar led the charge, eyes wild, blades flashing, roaring my name. -- Leigh Bardugo
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So is Tolya, for that matter." Tamar's lips twitched. "Would you like to be the one to tell him he can't come?"
Mal considered this. "Maybe we can disguise him as a really big tree. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You didn't really think they were ghosts, did you?"
I blushed and Tolya cleared his throat. Zoya rolled her eyes and strode toward the hill. "I am surrounded by fools. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe that brought us together, but it didn't make us who we are. It didn't make you the girl who could get me to laugh when I had nothing. It sure as hell didn't make me the idiot who took that for granted. Whatever there is between us, we forged it. It belongs to us. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The world is changing," said Nikolai, the steel edge emerging in his voice. "We change with it, or there will be nothing to remember us but dust. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Inej cast a meaningful glance at his cane. "Have a long trip down," she said, then leapt onto the banister, sliding from one flight to the next, slick as butter in a pan. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm not like you, Mal. I never really fit in the way you did. I never really belonged anywhere."
"You belonged with me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's not natural for women to fight."
"It's not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won't you do me the honor of acquiring me a new hat? -- Leigh Bardugo
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The names they gave were false ones, though the vows they made were true. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They are orphans again, with no true home but each other and whatever life they can make together on the other side of the sea. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I would come for you and if I couldn't walk I would crawl to you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina would never let Kaz abandon her. She'd fight with everything she had to free Inej even if she was still in the grips of Parem. Matthias would stand by her with that great heart full of honor. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If he cannot be tried for his failures as a king, let him be tried for his failures as a man. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I don't care if you danced naked on the roof of the Little Palace with him. I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I didn't come looking for an apology, Jesper. You have a weak spot. We all have weak spots."
"What's yours?"
"The company I keep," she said with a slight smile. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Maybe your stay in Hellgate was too short, Matthias. There's always more to lose. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I didn't think he was in love with me and I had no idea what I felt for him, but he wanted me, and maybe that was enough. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She's worth it. And one day maybe she'll let me chase her into a chapel. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I hope you don't expect fairness from me, Alina. It isn't one of my specialties. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I need someone who can be invisible, who can become a ghost. Do you think you can do that?"
I'm already a ghost, she thought. I died in the hold of a slaver ship.
"i think so. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Ravka is grateful for your service," Sturmhond said as they turned to go. "And so is the crown." He waved once. In the late afternoon light, with the sun behind him, he looked less like a privateer and more like... but that was just silly. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She smiled then, her cheeks red, her cheeks scattered with some kind of dust. It was a smile he thought he might die to earn again. -- Leigh Bardugo
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On my word as a liar and cutthroat. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What makes you think we can do this? There will be other teams out there, trained soldiers and spies, people with years of experience."
"This isn't a job for trained soldiers and spies. It's a job for thugs and thieves. Van Eck knows it, and that's why he brought us in. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Remember what we've been through. Remember what we came here for. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The easiest way to steal a man's wallet is to tell him you're going to steal his watch. You take his attention and direct it where you want it to go. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina was about to snap that she didn't appreciate the sarcasm when she saw the expression on his face. He looked like someone had just given him a tuba full of puppies. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Brick by brick, I will destroy you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You weeel catch the korpa." "The what?" "The korpa!" I declared in dire tones. "Your private parts weeel shrink to nothink! -- Leigh Bardugo
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If it were a trick, I'd promise you safety. I'd offer you happiness. I don't know if that exists in the Barrel, but you'll find none of it with me.
For some reason, those words had comforted her. Better terrible truths than kind lies. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Shame holds more value than coin ever can." He -- Leigh Bardugo
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Don't argue. Never deign to deny. Meet insults with laughter. -- Leigh Bardugo
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My life would be allegiance instead of love, fealty instead of friendship. I would weigh each decision, consider every action, trust no one. It would be life observed from a distance. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You have no finesse," a gambler at the Silver Garter once said to him. "No technique."
"Sure I do," Kaz had responded. "I practice the art of 'pull his shirt over his head and punch till you see blood. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You are as much there as you are here. The same things that make the mountain make you. It has no lungs, so let it breathe with you. It has no pulse, so give it your heartbeat. That is the essence of the Small Science. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you're human, but never when you feel it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Six people, but a thousand ways this insane plan could go wrong. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've been nothing but kind to you. I'm not some sort of monster."
"No, you're the man who sits idly by, congratulating yourself on your decency, while the monster eats his fill. At least a monster has teeth and a spine. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina said something to Kuwei in Shu. He shrugged and looked away, lip jutting out slightly. Whether it was the recent death of his father or the fact that he'd found himself stuck in a cemetery with a band of thieves, the boy had become increasingly sullen. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You're passable at demo. You're excellent at hostage. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I shook my head in wonder. "How does he do it?"
"Want to know my secret?" Nikolai asked from behind us. We both jumped. He leaned in, looked from left to right, and whispered loudly. "I have a lot of money."
I rolled my eyes.
"No, really," he protested. "A lot of money. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Stop treating your pain like it's something you imagined. If you see the wound is real, the you can heal it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sure, I'm skinny,' he said as they hurried back through the stables, 'but I stay drier in the rain.'
'How?'
'Less falls on me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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That's where you're wrong," said Kaz. "I don't hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins." "I'm -- Leigh Bardugo
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Just waiting, hoping that you'd miss me enough to tell them all to go to hell. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Everything is a negotiation with you, Brekker. You probably bartered your way out of the womb. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It was because she was listening so closely that she knew the exact moment when Kaz Brekker, Dirtyhands, the bastard of the Barrel and deadliest boy in Ketterdam, fainted. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You must find a way to make peace," said Inej. "At least for a while."
"This is not your concern," Matthias growled.
Kaz stepped forward, his expression dangerous. "It is very much our concern. And watch your tone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don't forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I hope he didn't cross Kaz Brekker," Nina said with a shudder.
"Wylan wouldn't--"
"Of course not," said Nina as she shook out the cuffs of her kefta and prepared to exit the dining room." Only a fool would. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Go on, Van Eck, threaten me. Tell me all the little things I am. You lay a finger on me and Kaz Brekker will cut the baby from your pretty wife's stomach and hang its body from a balcony at the Exchange. -- Leigh Bardugo
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A liar, a thief, and utterly without conscience. But he'll keep to any deal you strike with him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?"
"So?" said Kaz.
"Well, usually it's just half the city. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You can't spend his money if you're dead."
"I'll acquire expensive habits in the afterlife. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He didn't mean to say it. He meant to let her go. "I can help you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Pekka Rollins couldn't count the threats he'd heard, the men he'd killed, or the men he'd seen die, but the look in Brekker's eye still sent a chill slithering up his spine. Some wrathful thing in this boy was beginning to get loose, and Rollin's didn't want to be around when it slipped its leash. -- Leigh Bardugo
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That, Kuwei, is the sound that death makes when she comes calling. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And what god do you serve, then?"
"Whichever will grant me good fortune."
"I don't think gods work that way."
"I don't think I care. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You came back for me."
"I protect my investments." Investments.
"I'm glad I'm bleeding all over your shirt. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She'd often wished to chip away a bit of his arrogance, but she couldn't bear the idea of seeing Kaz stripped of his pride. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Greed is your god, Kaz."
He almost laughed at that. "No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No one got the better of Kaz. He was the toughest, scariest thing walking the alleys of the Barrel. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We'll be Kings and Queens, Inej. Kings and Queens. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I trade in information, Geels, the things men do when they think no one is looking. Shame holds more value than coin ever can. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Has she at least done it before?" said Kaz. "For this purpose?" asked Sturmhond. "I've seen her do it twice. It worked splendidly. Once". -- Leigh Bardugo
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Compromise," Kaz said. " 'I'm sorry' does the trick and uses fewer bullets. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Before you finish that sentence, I want you to think about what a promise from me costs and what you're willing to pay for it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He knew exactly what he intended to leave behind when he was gone.

Damage. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Feeling anything for Kaz Brekker was the worst follishness. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Though Kaz's tone was easy, Matthias heard the dark anticipation in his words. He had often wondered how people survived this city, but it was possible Ketterdam would not survive Kaz Brekker. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz had always kept himself at a remove from everyone. They'd wanted camaraderie, friendship, but he had never agreed to play their game, only his own. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm pragmatic. If I were cruel, I'd give him an eulogy instead of a conversation. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You can only sharpen a blade so far", Kaz said as he joined them at the front of the church. "In the end, it comes down to the quality of the metal. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There are no good men in Ketterdam, Kaz said. And then he'd simply let go. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Find her tells. Everyone has them. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You're the fool," Jesper snarled. "He's smarter than most of us put together, and he deserves a better father than you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Vasily laughed. "I can't decide if you're a fearmonger or a coward."
"And I can't decide if you're an idiot or an idiot. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They said nothing, caught in an eddy of silence, not touching, her knees on either side of him. Inej's eyes were wide and dark, lost planets, black moons. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They're all crazy, Oncat. Invisible armies, monster princes. Let's go set fire to something. -- Leigh Bardugo
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His heart was pounding, and adrenaline crackled through his body in delicious spikes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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More flexible!" David said in near ecstasy.
"What can I say?" asked Genya drily. "He's a passionate man. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Despise your heart. I wanted to. I didn't want to grieve anymore, to feel loss or guilt, or worry. I wanted to be hard, calculating. I wanted to be fearless. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Inej was always trying to wring little bits of decency from him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Inej's mother had told her that gifted wire walkers were descended from the People of the Air, that they'd once had wings, and that in the right light, those wings could still be glimpsed on the humans to whom they showed favor. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We're not going in through the embassy,' said Kaz. 'Always hit where the mark isn't looking.'
'Who's Mark?' asked Wylan.
Jesper burst out laughing. 'Oh, Saints, you are something. The mark, the pigeon, the cosy, the fool you're looking to fleece. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You're shaking."
"I'm not used to people trying to kill me."
"Really? I hardly notice anymore. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She could smell the storm on him, like the lightning had followed him home, like he was made of the same dense rain clouds. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The deal is the deal. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And yet I didn't think pain like that ever faded entirely. Grief had its own life, took its own sustenance. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If you write, you're a writer. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I can hear the change in Kaz's breathing when he looks at you."
"You... you can?"
"It catches every time, like he's never seen you before. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Memories were a luxury for other children, not the Keramzin orphans. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If I see a single scratch or nick on those, I'll spell forgive me on your chest in bullet holes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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This was what Ravka did. It made orphans. It made misery. No land, no life, just a uniform and a gun. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Usually he liked the quiet; in fact, he would have happily sewn most people's lips shut. But when she wanted to, Inej had a way of making you feel her silence. It tugged at your edges. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Only you could contemplate imminent death and just say 'all right.'"
He smiled at me and pushed the hair back from my tear-stained face. "How about 'oh no'? -- Leigh Bardugo
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I wonder sometimes how much we really understand our own gifts. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What do you want then?
The old answers came easily to mind. Money. Vengeance. Jordie's voice in my head silenced forever. But a different reply roared to life inside him, loud, insistent, and unwelcome. You, Inej. You. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We put on our best clothes and die like heroes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Taught little girl to fight, no?" "Yes," I agreed, wincing at the memory.
"But little girl is not so little anymore," he said taking in the gold of my kefta. "You come back to train with Botkin. I hit big girl same as little girl."
"That's very egalitarian of you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I will have you without armor or I will not have you at all. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina screamed, a howl that tore from the black space where her heart had beat only moments before. She searched for his pulse, for the light and force that had been Matthias. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The person she liked best didn't like her enough to want more of her, and she didn't want to pretend that wasn't awful. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The first time I'd entered the Fold, I'd feared the darkness and my own death. Now, darkness was nothing to me, and I knew that soon death would seem like a gift. I'd always known I would have to return to the Unsea, but as I looked back, I realized that some part of me had anticipated it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Only one?" asked Wylan.
"Matthias said four guards for non-operational gates."
"Maybe Yellow Protocol is working in our favor," said Wylan. "They could have been sent to the prison sector or - "
"Or maybe there are twelve big Fjerdans keeping warm inside. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And then he kissed me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What about Alys?" asked Wylan.
Again Kaz shrugged. "No one is going to believe that girl had anything to do with a financial scheme. Alys will sue for divorce and probably move back in with her parents. She'll cry for a week, sing for two, and then get over it. Maybe she'll marry a prince. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She'd smiled. He'd smiled. She'd wanted to claw his face to shreds. -- Leigh Bardugo
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How many times have you told me you're a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?"
"Guns?" asked Jesper.
"Ships?" queried Inej.
"Bombs?" suggested Wylan.
"Political bribes?" offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. "This is where you tell us how awful we are," she whispered. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It had started with a storm, and in a way, that storm had never ended. Nina had blown into his life with the wind and rain and set his world spinning. He'd been off balance ever since. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I saw myself then - sour, silly, difficult, lovely in his eyes. I drew him to me, felt him shudder as our bodies came together, skin against skin, felt the heat of his lips, his tongue, hands moving until the need between us drew taut and anxious as a bowstring waiting for release. -- Leigh Bardugo
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That's a good fellow,' Sturmhond said to Ivan. 'Now, I'll take the prisoner back to her quarters, and you can run off and do ... whatever it is you do when everyone else is working.'
Ivan scowled. 'I don't think - '
'Clearly. Why start now? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina, little red bird. Don't go. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You wanted to wear the second amplifier. You have it. You want to go to Os Alta? Fine, we'll go. You say you need the firebird. I'll find a way to get it for you. But when all this is over, Alina, I wonder if you'll still want me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If any of you survive, make sure I have an open casket," Jesper said as he hefted two slender coils of rope over his shoulder and signalled for Wylan to follow him across the roof. "The world deserves a few more moments with this face. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And I'm sorry to inform you, but you're not proper either. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Because I am a doll, and a servant. Because I am a pretty thing and a soldier all the same. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You showed mercy, Kaz. You were the better man."
There she went again, seeking decency when there was none to be had. "Inej, I could only kill Pekka's son once." He pushed the door open with his cane. "He can imagine his death a thousand times. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You don't look like a monster."
"I'll tell you a secret, Hanna. The really bad monsters never look like monsters. -- Leigh Bardugo
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For my country," she said. "For my people. For every child you put to the pyre. Reap what you've sown, Jarl Brum. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I don't like this."
"To be fair, Matthias, you don't like much. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They were twin souls, soldiers destined to fight for different sides, to find each other and lose each other too quickly. She would not keep him here. Not like this. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Farvell," she said in Fjerdan. "May Djel watch over you until I can once more. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Alys Van Eck waddled along beside him. Her blindfold had been removed, and through his long glass, Matthias could see her lips moving. Sweet Djel, is she still singing? Judging from the sour expression on Kaz's face, it was a distinct possibility. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The stars looked like they were close together, when really they were millions of miles apart. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Capture Nikolai. Put him in a cage. See if we could pull him from the shadow's grasp. The too-clever fox, finally caught. I blinked and looked away. I didn't want to cry again. -- Leigh Bardugo
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His knuckles brushed against her skin and lightning cracked through him, left him paralyzed, rooted to the earth. His heart should not be making that sound. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I say we go down fighting." ... "We do the best we can. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'd missed him. The way he talked. The way he attacked a problem. The way he brought hope with him wherever he went. For the first time in months, I felt the knot in my chest ease. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The less you say, the more weight your words will carry. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The volcra, the nichevo'ya, they were my monsters, all of them. And he was my monster, too. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Na razrusha'ya. E'ya razrushost." (Translation): I am not ruined. I am ruination. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Baghra," Nikolai said, "how are you this evening?"
"Still old and blind," she snarled.
"And charming," Nikolai drawled. "Never forget charming."
"Whelp."
"Hag."
"What do you want, pest? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz flexed his fingers in his gloves. How did you survive the Barrel? When they took everything from you, you found a way to make something from nothing. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We didn't draw anything," she said as she stepped through the door. "We volunteered." * -- Leigh Bardugo
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I am not sorry, she realized. She had chosen to live freely as a killer rather than die quietly as a slave, and she could not regret that. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Just trust me, Nina." "I wouldn't trust you to tie my shoes without stealing the laces, Kaz. -- Leigh Bardugo
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See you in Djerholm harbour," Specht called. "No mourners." "No funerals," the others replied. Strange people. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No Mourners.
No Funerals. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I can't make big changes, just small ones. Even out your skin. Do something with that mousy hair of yours. I've perfected myself, but I've had my whole life to do it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You come back to train with Botkin. I hit big girl same as little girl."
"That's very egalitarian of you." I said, and hurried Tamar out of the stables before Botkin decided to show me just how fair-minded he could be. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Don't wish for bricks when you can build from stone. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's none of my business, and I have no idea if he'd be good for you. Probably bring you ten kinds of headache. But I think you'd be good for him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Hope was tricky like water. Somehow it always found a way in. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Vasily chortled. "What a diplomat you've become! You've a most refreshing way about you. Given time, I have no doubt that, despite your humble antecedents, you will learn to conduct yourself with the restraint and elegance of a noblewoman."
"You mean I'll learn to shut up? -- Leigh Bardugo
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I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me we don't belong together. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Not bad looking? He's damnably handsome. Brave in battle, smart as a whip. An excellent dancer, oh, and an even better shot. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We don't look anything alike." "You're both tall," Inej offered. "And neither of us have gills," said Nina. "That doesn't mean we look related. -- Leigh Bardugo
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At that moment, the creature's back breached the waves, its body cutting through the water in a sinuous arch, rainbows sparking off the iridescent scales on its back. Rusalye. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We are all someone's monster. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The too-clever fox, finally caught. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Once it builds up in the victim's system, a threshold is reached, the organs begin to fail, and the degeneration is irreversible. It's not a killer. It's a thief. It steals years. And he will never get them back.
I felt a little chill at the satisfaction in her voice. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She'd been so docile that Nina had become concerned. "Maybe she's not getting enough blood to her
brain?" she'd murmured to Matthias. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I took my time walking down to the lake, hoping that somehow the ache in my heart would ease. My joy at the success on the roof had drained away, leaving me hollow, like a well someone could shout down and hear nothing back but echoes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I had no idea what the future held or what waited for me at the end of this grueling journey and yet, somehow, I wasn't miserable. I'd been lonely my whole life, but I'd never been truly alone before, and it wasn't nearly as scary as I'd imagined. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias was not fooled. Kaz always spoke logic, but that didn't mean he always told truth. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You will always be one of us. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Close your eyes!"
"You can't kiss me from down there, Wylan."
"Just do it! -- Leigh Bardugo
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Men mock the gods until they need them, Kaz. -- Leigh Bardugo
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But I pushed down my confused tears and did as she asked, still hoping that whatever I'd broken might be repaired. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sugar," said Kaz.
Jesper nudged the sugar bowl down the table to him.
Kaz rolled his eyes. "Not for my coffee, you podge. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Ivan gabbled something in Shu that I didn't understand. The giant just laughed.
"You speak Shu like a tourist," he said. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He'd expected more complaints, but even Wylan had simply put his head down and walked. They're all survivors, Matthias understood. They adapt. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz had been impressed with the sketches. "You think like a lockpick," he'd told Wylan. "I do not." "I mean you can see space along three axes." "I'm not a criminal," Wylan protested. Kaz had cast him an almost pitying look. "No, you're a flautist who fell in with bad company. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We don't know what may happen next. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We're giving them hope. That's better than nothing.'
'Spoken like a man who's never had nothing,' I said, and wheeled my horse away. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper gave him a little shake. "Pull it together, kid." "Not a kid," Wylan mumbled, batting Jesper's hands away. "Fine, you're an elder statesman. Do you know how to shoot?" Wylan nodded slowly. "Skeet. -- Leigh Bardugo
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From somewhere in the distance, we heard a rolling crack of thunder.
"He's coming," moaned one of the Inferni. "Oh, Saints, he's coming."
"He'll kill us all," whispered Sergei.
"If we're lucky," replied Zoya. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Well, Brekker, it's obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you're clearly the man for the job. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Be brutal. Be cruel. More lives will be saved in the long run. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There is no one I want more; there is nothing I want more than to be overwhelmed by you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You know I can do it, Kaz, and you know I'm not going to refuse. So why ask?"
Because I've been looking for an excuse to talk to you for two days.
"I want to make sure you know what you'll be dealing with and that you're studying the plans. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It was a calculated risk."
"It was cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best. Believe me, I know the difference. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If we don't survive this night, I will die unafraid, Kaz. Can you say the same? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Toss his over," Zoya said. "Break his heart cruelly. I will gladly give our poor prince comfort, and I would make a magnificent queen."
I laughed. "You actually might, Zoya. If you could stop being horrible for a minute."
"With that kind of incentive, I can manage a minute. Possibly two. -- Leigh Bardugo
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My mother was an oyster," he said with a wink. "And I'm the pearl. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I seem to be immune," I replied. "And luckily, I know what a real kiss should feel like."
I left him standing in the middle of the square. I could get used to making Mal blush. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Barrel boys don't have parents. We're born in the harbour and crawl out of the canals. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I think we often hold heroines to an absurd standard. Be brave! Be wise! Always know what's in your heart and speak the truth of it! No and no and no. We fight to be brave. We learn to be wise. We struggle to know ourselves and voice what we want. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He tapped the sun over his heart. I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's still the same heart, Mal. It's still yours. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's always just you and me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Zoya yelped. "That little brat just kicked me."
"Smart kid," said Mal.
I lifted a brow. "Smarter than some."
He had the good grace to blush. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You were meant to be my balance. What I felt for Mal was messy and stubborn and might leave me heartbroken in the end, but it was also human. -- Leigh Bardugo
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My mother is Ketterdam. She birthed me in the harbor. And my father is profit. I honor him daily. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I miss knowing what happens next. -- Leigh Bardugo
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We're alive," he said at last.
"It seems you prayed to the right god."
"Or traveled with the right people. -- Leigh Bardugo
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She was tall and built like the figurehead of a ship carved by a generous hand. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias handed over the bag. "What are you looking for?"
"A sedative," said the medik.
"Is that safe for a pregnant woman?"
"For me. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Laziness wasn't as reliable as greed, but it still made a fine lever. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You were an odd little girl."
"You have no idea. What did you and Toyla play with?"
"The skulls of our enemies. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Why won't you leave me alone?
Then I'd be alone too. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias and Wylan seized the rope to pull him up. Jesper wasn't sure how much Wylan was actually helping, but he was certainly working hard. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Her father would have said the shadows were about their own business tonight. Something bad was going to happen here. -- Leigh Bardugo
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If only you could talk to girls in equations."
There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls? -- Leigh Bardugo
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You keep storing up all that anger and grief. Eventually it spills over. Or you drown in it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I didn't belong in this beautiful world, and if I didn't find a away to use my power, I never would. -- Leigh Bardugo
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And the look they exchanged could have melted miles of northern ice. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm mad at you, too." "Me? Why?" "I don't know yet. I just am." Inej -- Leigh Bardugo
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When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Make me your villain. -- Leigh Bardugo
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But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren't chosen, -- Leigh Bardugo
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Her silks were feathers, and she was free. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It will never fade, Alina. It will only grow worse, no matter how many scarves you hide behind or what lies you tell, no matter how far or fast you run. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Three figures emerged in elegant fur hats and heavy wool kefta: one in crimson, one in darkest blue, and one in vibrant purple. "Grisha!" the girl whispered. "Quick!" said the boy. In -- Leigh Bardugo
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That's the laugh," he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'd prefer a pair of sable-lined swimming trunks. But we can't always get what we want. -- Leigh Bardugo
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A moment later the boy whispered, "I don't think you're ugly."
"Shhhh!" the girl hissed. But hidden by the deep shadows of the cupboard, she smiled -- Leigh Bardugo
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We do the best we can do. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He dipped his hand in, then yelped and drew back. "They bite."
"Serves you right," I said. "'Oh, look, a dark lake full of something shiny. Let me put my hand in it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You can't be serious," I said.
"Not on a regular basis, no. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What doesn't kill me better run. - Kaz -- Leigh Bardugo
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Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you. There's so much in the world you don't have to be afraid of, if you would only open your eyes. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The tears that had been threatening to overflow finally did, coursing down my cheeks. I wanted to run after him, to take back what I'd said, to beg him to stay, but I'd spent my life running after Mal. Instead, I stood in silence and let him go. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You heard Prince Perfect," Mal said, and joined us at the table. Nikolai grinned. "I've had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You move forward, and when you falter, you get up. And when you can't, you let us carry you. You let me carry you. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I might not be a threat, but I could become one. -- Leigh Bardugo
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No, Alina. You came here for Ravka. For the firebird. To lead the Second Army." He tapped the sun over his heart. "I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation. But that doesn't seem to matter anymore. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Oh, and the easiest way to make someone furious is to tell her to calm down. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You're our chemist, Wylan," said Nina hopefully. "What do you think?"
Wylan shrugged. "Maybe. Not all poisons have an antidote."
Jesper snorted. "That's why we call him Wylan Van Sunshine. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They crushed the ship between them with a resonant boom, sending debris flying. Jesper screamed in rage and raised his guns. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Scheming face," Inej murmured.
Jesper nodded. "Definitely. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina might not be able to put you back, you know. Not without another dose of parem. You could be stuck like this."
"Why does it matter?"
"I don't know!" Jesper said angrily. "Maybe I liked your stupid face. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper, you're tall, brown, and conspicuous-"

"All synonyms for delightful. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I'm afraid for you," he'd said. "The world can be cruel to your kind." But Jesper had always wondered if maybe his father had been a little afraid of him, too. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper Llewellyn Fahey, that is enough!" Colm roared. (...)
Inej cocked her head to one side. "Jesper Llewellyn Fahey?"
"Shut up," said Jesper. "It's a family name."
Inej made a solemn bow. "Whatever you say, Llewellyn. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper always felt better when people were shooting at him. It wasn't that he liked the idea of dying (in fact, that potential outcome was a definite drawback), but if he was worrying about staying alive, he couldn't be thinking about anything else. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Wylan looked as if he was ready to wet himself. Helvar appeared grim as always. Jesper just grinned and whispered, Well, we've managed to get ourselves locked into the most secure prison in the world. We're either geniuses or the dumbest sons of bitches to ever breathe air. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina giggled. "You are in so much trouble."
Jesper scowled. "Matthias, Nina let Cornelis Smeet grope her bottom."
Nina stopped laughing. "I am going to turn your teeth inside out."
"That is physically impossible."
"I just raised the dead. Do you really want to argue with me? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Jesper couldn't keep the disdain from his voice. "Only Nina and Matthias speak Fjerdan."
"I speak Fjerdan," Wylan protested.
"Schoolroom Fjerdan, right? I bet you speak Fjerdan about as well as I speak moose."
"Moose is probably your native tongue," mumbled Wylan. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Don't start doing that."

"What?"

"Agreeing with me," said Jesper. "Sure path to destruction. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You're my son, Jesper. I can't protect you. Maybe I shouldn't have tried. But I will be there even when you falter. Every time. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Wylan blushed deeper, and Jesper shook his head. "Play piano, too?" "Flute," said Wylan defensively. "Perfect. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Wylan looked back at the water. He'd started to think of Jesper as fearless, but maybe being brave didn't mean being unafraid. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He was always in motion, like a lanky piece of clockwork that ran on invisible energy. Except clocks were simple. Wylan could only guess at Jesper's workings. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Matthias suspected that Brekker would drag the girl back from hell himself if he had to. Jesper -- Leigh Bardugo
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That's the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed. -- Leigh Bardugo
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What could he do with a pile of scratch that big? Jesper could just imagine his father saying, Land yourself in a pile of shit twice as big. Saints, he missed him. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Thanks for the rescue."
"Everyone needs a hobby."
"I thought yours was preening."
"Two hobbies. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Suffering is like anything else. Live with it long enough, you learn to like the taste. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Mal," I whispered into the night.
"What?"
"Thanks for finding me."
I wasn't sure if I was dreaming, but somewhere in the dark, I thought I heard him whisper, "Always. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Perfect night for tearing a hole in the universe, no? -- Leigh Bardugo
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Dear Mal, I haven't heard from you, so I assume you've met and married a volcra and that you're living comfortably on the Shadow Fold, where you have neither light nor paper to write. Or, possibly, your new bride ate both your hands. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I may not have been completely honest about that."
"You? Less than truthful? I'm shocked, Nikolai. Shocked and horrified. -- Leigh Bardugo
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On the day the Grisha Examiners came, the boy and the girl were perched in the window seat of a dusty upstairs bedroom, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mail coach. Instead, they saw a sleigh, a troika pulled by three black horses, pass through the white stone gates onto the estate. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I have waited hundreds of years for this moment, for your power, for this chance. I have earned it with loss and with struggle. I will have it, Alina. Whatever the cost."
"There will be nothing left," I whispered. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Van Eck raised a brow. How old are you, girl? Sixteen? Seventeen? Nations rise and fall. Markets are made and unmade. When power shifts, someone always suffers. -- Leigh Bardugo
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When someone does wrong, when we make mistakes, we don't say we're sorry. We promise to make amends. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You don't ask for forgiveness, Kaz. You earn it. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I love a little righteous comeuppance. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You'll still make a great king."
"Of course I will," he scoffed. "I'm melancholy, not daft. -- Leigh Bardugo
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They were eye to eye now. He took a step closer and then just stood there, unable to move. He could not do this. The distance between them felt like nothing. It felt like miles. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I am become a blade. -- Leigh Bardugo
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I can phrase it as a question if it will make your feathers lie flat. -- Leigh Bardugo
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To hell with revenge, to hell with his schemes. If Rollins had done something to Inej, Kaz would paint East Stave with his entrails. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The bottom fell out of my stomach. It was like putting a foot wrong on a frozen creek, the crack of ice, and sudden drop, the knowledge that there was nothing beneath but dark water. -- Leigh Bardugo
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He turned to me then, his expression serious, the firelight playing over the perfect planes of his features. I've spent my life searching for a way to make things right. You're the first glimmer of hope I've had in a long time. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Sunlight slanted through the windows, turning his eyes the color of strong tea. -- Leigh Bardugo
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You know the problem with heroes and saints, Nikolai?" I asked as I closed the book's cover and headed for the door. "They always end up dead. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz tossed the ledger back in the safe. "You're not weak because you can't read. You're weak because you're afraid of people seeing your weakness. You're letting shame decide who you are..." (p283) -- Leigh Bardugo
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I would burn a thousand villages, sacrifice a thousand lives to keep you safe. -- Leigh Bardugo
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There is no safe place. There is no haven. Not for us. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Nina just liked to flirt with everything. He'd once seen her make eyes at a pair of shoes she fancied in a shop window. -- Leigh Bardugo
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It's just another weapon. Its nature depends on who wields it. He would have to keep reminding himself. The thoughts of hatred were so old they had become instincts. This was not something he could cure overnight. Like Nina with parem, it might well be a lifelong fight. -- Leigh Bardugo
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This was one of the things he'd liked best about Nina- she savored everything, whether it was toffee or cold water from a stream or dried reindeer meat. -- Leigh Bardugo
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The sun was out for once, and Inej had turned her face to it. Her eyes were shut, her oil-black lashes fanned over her cheeks. The harbor wind had lifted her dark hair, and for a moment Kaz was a boy again, sure that there was magic in this world. -- Leigh Bardugo
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Kaz was going to kill her. She was going to kill Kaz. -- Leigh Bardugo
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the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too. The -- Leigh Bardugo