I finished reading The Curse of Chalion the other day, and I love it. Here are some of my favorite passages. I know some of you said it's hard to get into, but if you push through the beginning I promise you’ll be glad you read it. The hero's name is Cazaril.
“Men’s will is free. The gods may not invade it, any more than I may pour wine into this cup through its bottom.”
“You cannot outguess the gods. Hold to virtue—if you can identify it—and trust that the duty set before you is the duty desired of you. And that the talents given to you are the talents you should place in the gods’ service. Believe that the gods ask for nothing back that they have not first lent to you. Not even your life.”
“What, everyone knows of Royesse Iselle’s clever secretary, the man who keeps his own counsel—and hers—the bastion of Gotorget—utterly indifferent to wealth—“
“No, I’m not,” Cazaril assured him earnestly. “I just dress badly. I quite like wealth.”
This is how I felt when my husband told me “we need to be done.” Upon hearing of her son’s death:
“You understand my words, Royina?” Cazaril said hesitantly.
“Oh, yes,” she breathed. One corner of her mouth turned up; Cazaril could not call it a smile. It was nothing like a smile, this black irony. “When it is too-long-anticipated, a blow falls as a relief, you see. The waiting is over. I can stop fearing, now. Can you understand that?”
Bergon shook his head. “Any man can be kind when he is comfortable. I’d always thought kindness a trivial virtue, therefore. But when we were hungry, thirsty, sick, frightened, with our deaths shouting at us, in the heart of horror, you were still as unfailingly courteous as a gentleman at his ease before his own hearth.”
“Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men have always a choice—if not whether, then how, they may endure.”
“Yes, but…I hadn’t known that before I saw it. That was when I began to believe it was possible to survive. And I don’t mean just my body.”
So, in choosing to share one’s will with the gods, was it enough to choose once, like signing up to a military company with an oath? Or did one have to choose and choose and choose again, every day?
“I’d storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was.” …
Betriz had it exactly backward. It wasn’t a case of storming heaven. It was a case of letting heaven storm you.