“Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.
Expectation wasn’t just about what people expected of you. It was about what you expected of yourself.
“You sent him to the sky to die, assassin,” Kaladin said, Stormlight puffing from his lips, “but the sky and the winds are mine. I claim them, as I now claim your life.”
Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.
As I fear not a child with a weapon he cannot lift, I will never fear the mind of a man who does not think.’”
Do not let your assumptions about a culture block your ability to perceive the individual, or you will fail.”
“I will protect even those I hate,” Kaladin whispered through bloody lips. “So long as it is right.”
To age truly was to suffer the ultimate treason, that of one’s body against oneself.
Power is an illusion of perception.”
“I ain’t grouchy,” Teft snapped. “I just have a low threshold for stupidity.”
“The Knights Radiant,” the Almighty said, standing up beside Dalinar, watching the knight attack the nightmare beast. “They were a solution, a way to offset the destruction of the Desolations. Ten orders of knights, founded with the purpose of helping men fight, then rebuild.”
“Spren are . shattered power. Power given thought by the perceptions of men. Honor, Cultivation, and . and another. Fragments broken off.”
“It frightens me,” Shallan said, “because we all see the world by some kind of light personal to us, and that light changes our perception. I don’t see clearly. I want to, but I don’t know if I ever truly can.”
“What you did tonight was clever,” Wit said. “You turned an attack into a promise. The wisest of men know that to render an insult powerless, you often need only to embrace it.”
“All stories told have been told before. We tell them to ourselves, as did all men who ever were. And all men who ever will be. The only things new are the names.”
Contradictions. Those were what made people real. Jasnah exhausted, yet somehow still strong—stronger, even, because of the vulnerability she revealed. Jasnah terrified, yet also brave, for one allowed the other to exist. Jasnah overwhelmed, yet powerful.
As for music being feminine, it’s interesting that the woman who wrote that treatise—the one you all practically worship in Alethkar—decided that all of the feminine tasks involve sitting around having fun while all the masculine ones involve finding someone to stick a spear in you. Telling, eh?”
He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. It was there, inside. She had been broken. Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway. It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life.
“Doing things he finds very important. I would fault him for it, as I find nothing more frightening than a man trying to do what he has decided is important. Very little in the world has ever gone astray—at least on a grand scale—because a person decided to be frivolous.”
Using a fetching face to make men do as you wish is no different from a man using muscle to force a woman to his will, she’d said. Both are base, and both will fail a person as they age.
This was the mark of humankind: to take the wild, unorganized world and make something logical of it. You could get so much more done when everything was in its place, when you could easily find what or whom you needed. Creativity required such things. Careful planning was, indeed, the water that nourished innovation.
“On both my most stupid days and my most incredible,” Taravangian said, “I am unable to interact with those around me in a meaningful way. It is like . like I become a gear that cannot fit those turning beside it. Too small or too large, it does not matter. The clock will not work.”
“So yes, I, Adolin Kholin—cousin to the king, heir to the Kholin princedom—have shat myself in my Shardplate. Three times, all on purpose.” He downed the rest of his wine. “You are a very strange woman.”
“So they’re all spren,” he said. “Shardblades.” Syl grew solemn. “Dead spren,” Kaladin added. “Dead,” Syl agreed. “Then they live again a little when someone summons them, syncing a heartbeat to their essence.”
To create art was not to capture it, but to participate in it.
Passionate, with an intense, smoldering resolve. A leashed anger that he used, because he had dominated it. And a certain tempting arrogance. Not the haughty pride of a highlord. Instead, the secure, stable sense of determination that whispered that no matter who you were—or what you did—you could not hurt him. Could not change him. Like the wind and rocks were.
“All things have three components: the soul, the body, and the mind. That place you saw, Shadesmar, is what we call the Cognitive Realm—the place of the mind.
Dalinar felt as if he’d been fighting on the battlefield for ten hours straight. Odd, how a few hours of delicate conversation could feel so similar to that.
Dalinar did not fight for his life. His life hadn’t been his own for years. He fought for Gavilar. He fought as he wished he had all those years ago, for the chance he had missed. In that moment between storms—when the rain stilled and the winds drew in their breaths to blow—he danced with the slayer of kings, and somehow held his own.