The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1)

Any fool can see what's there. You need to see what is not there.

Are you angry?

Assume nothing,’” he said. The first chapter of the Tactics. “If we figure everyone might be a murderer, we’re less likely to be disappointed.

Believe what you see with your eyes, trust what you hear with your ears; know what you feel with your flesh. The rest is dream and delusion.

Believe what you see with your eyes; trust what you hear with your ears; know what you feel with your flesh. The rest is dream and delusion.

dozens of groups of seven to sit on the dozens of trials that would take place, each group composed, as decreed by Terial himself, of the Seven: a mother, a merchant, a pauper, a prelate, a soldier, a son, and a dying man.

Easier to recall a loosed falcon than a spoken word.

Emptiness exists only when something else has been gouged away.

Henderson Jakes, the founder of the Eyrie, had envisioned a cadre of elite soldiers dedicated to celibacy, the empire, and the art of war. He had to settle for two out of three. Young men and women willing to leap off massive birds into burning buildings at a mere nod from a commanding officer grew violently rebellious when required to abstain from sex.

I’d leave you here longer, but it’s no longer safe.

If you hope to play a part in this empire, Sanlitun had told her time and time again, you must learn to divorce your feelings from your face. The world sees what you allow it to see, judges you according to what you reveal.

I’m doubly sorry for your loss,” the old monk began after a time. “First, because every son should have a chance to know his father, not as a child knows his protector, but as a man knows another man.

It was just as all the Kettral said: You went to Hook to escape your problems and came back with a dozen more.

Men tend to die when you slide steel beneath their skin and wiggle it around. Even priests.

Obedience is a knife that cuts the cord of bondage.
Silence is a hammer that shatters the walls of speech.
Stillness is strength; pain a soft bed.
Put down your basin; emptiness is the only vessel.

Our lives were short, no more than a blink to the foes we fought, but we were fertile. Fathers fought our battles, but it was our mothers who won the war.

Resist faith. Resist trust. Believe only in what you touch with your hands. The rest is error and air.

So,” he began slowly. “I see

The ablest swordsman, Hendran wrote, the consummate tactician, the peerless general: All seem invulnerable until luck turns against them. Make no mistake—place a man in death’s way enough times, and his luck will turn.

The fighters who frighten you are not the fighters to fear. The man you barely notice will be the one to bury a blade in your back.

The man still fighting last week’s battle will always lose to the man already fighting tomorrow’s,

The present is the present. Tomorrow will still be ‘now.

The process is the goal,” Kaden responded innocently, trying not to feel smug. It was about time one of those Shin maxims worked in his favor.

There’s no blade as keen as surprise.

Triste lay in a heap, her dress hitched up around her thighs, whimpering and shuddering until Gwenna shifted to kick her ungently in the head.

We all have our hobbies,” Kaden replied. He could have been discussing farming techniques.

we use the time we have. There is no other.

What I observe is that the world is ruled by men—good men and bad, desperate men and those with principles.

When you know nothing about a creature," the monk ground out, his voice as hard as a rock slide, "expect it has come to kill you.

You squint hard enough, and everything starts to look suspicious.