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.
Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. 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, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
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.
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.
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.
I am grateful you're alive", he said. "I am grateful that you're beside me. I am grateful that you're eating." She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're better that waffles, Matthias Helvar." A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips. "Let's not say things we don't mean, my love.
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.
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.
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.
You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.
Don’t worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It’s basically a handshake.
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.
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.
Until this moment, Wylan hadn't quite understood how much they meant to him. His father would have sneered at these thugs and thieves, a disgraced soldier, a gambler who couldn't keep out of the red. But they were his first friends, his only friends, and Wylan knew that even if he'd had his pick of a thousand companions, these would have been the people he chose.
I would 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.
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.
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.
Jesper ran a finger up Wylan's forearm, and Wylan flushed a vibrant pink. Matthias couldn't help but sympathize with the boy. He knew what it was to be out of your depth, and he sometimes suspected they could forgo all of Kaz's planning and simply let Jesper and Nina flirt the entirety of Ketterdam into submission.
She could feel the press of Kaz’s fingers against her skin, feel the bird’s wing brush of his mouth against her neck, see his dilated eyes. Two of the deadliest people the Barrel had to offer and they could barely touch each other without both of them keeling over. But they’d tried. He’d tried. Maybe they could try again. A foolish wish, the sentimental hope of a girl who hadn’t had the firsts of her life stolen, who hadn’t ever felt Tante Heleen’s lash, who wasn’t covered in wounds and wanted by the law. Kaz would have laughed at her optimism.
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.
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.
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. […] It’s shame that lines my pockets, shame that keeps the Barrel teeming with fools ready to put on a mask just so they can have what they want with none the wiser about it. We can endure all kinds of pain. It’s shame that eats men whole.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I can’t raise them. I mean, they get up, but it’s not like they come back to life. I don’t think. I’m not totally sure.
Thoughts of moonlight and silken hair evaporated in a black bolt of fury. Kaz saw Inej tug on the sleeve of her left forearm, where the Menagerie tattoo had once been. He had the barest inkling of what she'd endured there, but he knew what it was to feel helpless, and Van Eck had managed to make her feel that way again. Kaz was going to have to find a new language of suffering to teach that smug merch son of a bitch.
He looked down at his boots. "That berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when―if you want to come back." Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. "I don't know what to say.
I would have come for you. And if I could'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.
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.
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.
Wylan summoned every bit of bravado he'd learned from Nina, the will he'd learned from Matthias, the focus he'd studied in Kaz, the courage he'd learned from Inej, and the wild, reckless hope he'd learned from Jesper, the belief that no matter the odds, somehow they would win. 'I won't talk,' he said. (...) In the end, he was not Nina or Matthias or Kaz or Inej or Jesper. He was just Wylan Van Eck. He told them everything.
Everything in him recoiled. The water was cold against his legs. His body had gone numb and yet he could still feel the wet give of his brother's rotting flesh beneath his hands. It's shame that eats men whole. He was drowning in it. Drowning in the Ketterdam harbor. His eyes blurred. "It isn't easy for me either." Her voice, low and steady, the voice that had once led him back from hell.
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.