Two years with ebooks: favorite highlights

Tomorrow, it’ll be two years since I bought my e-reader. In retrospect, decision I am glad for as it brought be back to reading books while as well saving my precious space. As long as it’s not freezing (currently waiting for winter and spring to agree who rules now) I can carry it around pretty much anywhere – a whole small library if I wanted.

Important advantage, even though I am not too regular in using it, is highlighting passages I find interesting, whether they are funny, inspirational or otherwise remarkable.

So, to “celebrate” my two years of e-reading, I’ll share some of my favorite highlights. Since there’s many of them for the two years, this time I’ll focus on the funny ones and leave the serious and inspirational for some other day.

Mortal instruments series

In summer 2016, I decided to read the first book to compare it with the movie I saw a few years ago. Eventually, I finished the original trilogy, then put it at hold, though I am considering getting to the collection of stories about Magnus Bane. In fact, it’s Jace and Bane who made it fun read for me with their one-liners.

“Mostly extinct,” he said, his voice trembling with rage, “is NOT EXTINCT ENOUGH.”

This is probably what made me laugh the most. Yeah, a demon that is mostly extinct and you are so unlucky it finds you…

Jace hated it when other people were worried on his behalf. It made him feel like maybe there really was something to worry about.

“The Inquisitor said, the Inquisitor said,” Jace interrupted. “The last Inquisitor we met completely exceeded her command—if she hadn’t died, the Clave would have relieved her of her position, maybe even cursed her. What’s to say this Inquisitor isn’t a nut job too?”

Jace shook his blond head in exasperation. “You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn’t you? You couldn’t just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?”

David Dalglish’s Paladins series

What starts as werewolf problem turns into a deeper clash of faiths and the question how far should faith be allowed to go. Yet, even this series managed to have several funny lines.

Here he was, facing off against one of the most terrifying creatures of all Dezrel, and his only weapon was a wheelbarrow. He was fucked. Totally, completely fucked.

It tends to be bad if you are caught unaware by something bad, more so if it’s pack of werewolves. This poor villager was in that exact position.

On the other hand, there were looks from the other side. The leader of these werevolves was undergoing some kind of trial where he had to crawl through a dark cave, and this is what he thought afterwards.

“What did you learn?” she asked. “That without the moon, without the daylight fire, there is only shit.”

Paladin abilities have many uses in battle, but sometimes you need to use them in other ways. What is troublesome is when the others don’t get it. LIke Jerico’s attempt to use the glow of his shield as a signal.

“Come on,” he muttered, watching the men patrol the walls. “Come on, come on, see the big blue dot? Not a bug, not a fire, now turn and look!”

Paolini’s Inheritance series

While the story of Eragon is where most of my highlights are wise or inspirational, Angela did good job having a funny comment when she was around, and so I can’t just skip her contribution.

“I’ve been here for nearly a month now, though I really don’t care for this place—it’s far too musty for my taste. And everyone in Farthen Dûr is so serious and noble. They’re probably all doomed to tragic deaths anyway.”

And her comment about the trial of long knives…

“Barzûl,” muttered Angela. “Only men would think of cutting themselves to determine who the pack leader is. Idiots!”

And finally, Sapphira’s explanation why she does not like eating sheep.

A soft growl emanated from Saphira. I can’t help it. I have wool stuck between my teeth. Now I remember why I hate eating sheep. Horrible, fluffy things that give me hair balls and indigestion.

James Dwyer: Fireborn

This book is quite long and starts slowly, but when it gets to the later parts, it’s very well worth it. Warning: strong language in this part.

All of Furea was supposed to blessed with Frehep’s heated touch, but it was so cold lately that Thisian wondered if someone had moved the bloody borders and not bothered to tell the sun god about it.

Doesn’t that suck for a species of warmth-loving barbarians? I guess it does. Thisian eventually manages to be at right place in right time and gets quite some interesting powers, which he celebrates in his own barbaric way.

‘Yeah!’ he screamed and jumped up and down on the spot. ‘Yes! Finally something has happened to me! Yes! Thank you to whichever horse-rutting god heard me and answered my blasphemous prayers!’

In the sequel, Thisian adds one more comment about the weather, again in his own barbaric way.

Thisian had travelled with the Fureath’i army just as much, but whenever it rained in Eastern Furea, it was warm and refreshing. This freezing piss that Foreigners called rain was akin to getting spat on, without end, by a goat-rutting north-man.

J.D. Hallowell‘s War of the Blades and Legion of Riders series

Four books I reviewed on this blog at the year’s beginning, quite lighthearted take on dragon fantasy, which means there are some nice funny lines along the way. Important advice include to not leave your dragon alone and hungry or bored, definitely not both.

This time she wasn’t apprehensive about his going to town. “I can feed myself, Dear One. Just don’t be gone too long.” Then she teased, “If I get lonesome, I might eat your pony out of frustration.”

Or that some people might have strangely practical opinion on life debt after being saved from a pack of bandits.

“I am a simple doctor; please don’t take this wrong when I say that I hope I never have opportunity to repay your kindness.”

And that even dragon riders are just people that can disagree with one another and knuckle sandwich is still a way to settle some differences. Which gets even more funny if a light-hearted woman gets to comment it.

“We had a quick discussion,” he replied. “It’s settled now.” “A discussion?” She responded, “It sounded like the two of you were coming through the floor. Where I come from, Handsome, we call that a fight.”

And that you should not underestimate old wizard’s sense of humor.

“Sonny,” Jhren replied, “I started studying magic and human nature at the ripe old age of four. I’ve been pursuing those studies without a break for nine decades. I’ve seen just about every aspect of human behavior there is to see. I never said Warrick’s delusions make sense. After all, there’s a reason we’ve been calling him a mad-man.”

And for the last one, that it might not be bad idea to help someone far too foolish to go on a suicide mission in thirst for revenge. For a fee, of course. Useless amulet, price multiplied tenfold for someone who won’t return to complain anyway.

“I was going to take my gold and get out of here this morning. I didn’t see any harm in turning a profit, since he wouldn’t need the money once he was dead.”

Daniel M. Ford‘s Paladin trilogy

Series that will come to its conclusion presumably in autumn of this year was source of great fun for me. Allaystaire, a fearless former knight now in self-imposed exile, gets around fighting for those who can’t do it themselves and eventually becomes a paladin. His straightforward approach gets him into trouble several times and some others, it causes either him or those around him comment it in quite interesting ways.

First such situation is when he’s going to deal with a ruler of town that’s a big pile of lawless mess and the ruler himself seems to struggle with literacy while pretending to be a noble. And his home is none the better. The first quote is when said ruler invites Allystaire for a talk and he discusses it with Idgen Marte.

“What if he accepts?”
“I kill him. Problem solved. Wine all round.”
“What if he turns out to be a great river pirate who carved his way to the top of this mess?”
“He kills me. Problem solved. Wine all round.”

Instead of brick, it was fashioned from a hotchpotch of grey, white, and brown stone and looked like an idiot’s approximation of a fearsome castle, only far too small and vulnerable.

It’s good having some calling, but troubling when you don’t know when is the time to go, or have no idea where to go.

“Pick a direction. Throw a handful of grass in the air,” Idgen Marte suggested, throwing up her hands, exasperated. “Piss at the wind and follow the stream. Does it even matter where? We just need to go.”

And maybe sometimes, Allystaire’s approach to combat is not the best, as Torvul comments.

“If the only plan you can ever come up with is walk straight at ‘em and count on pounding ‘em into jelly, well, there’d be a lot of dwarfish generals who’d approve of the way you think. And every single freezin’ one of ‘em is dead.”

Torvul then has another moment in the second book where their enemies use magic to deprive them of rain, aiming to force their crops to wilt. Fortunately, they gained an ally that has some magical skill.

“…me and the bright boy here have put our heads together and have just about got this rain problem clubbed into submission. Only question remaining is whether we bring clouds here, or wait for some clouds to show up and give ‘em a thorough shaking so the rain falls out.”

Well, that’s from me for this time. I’ll probably make similarly-done list of my favorite inspirational quotes from those two years soon.

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