The King Quotes in Shadow and Bone
Everywhere I looked, I saw marble and gold, soaring walls of white and palest blue, gleaming chandeliers, liveried footmen, polished parquet floors laid out in elaborate geometric designs. It wasn’t without beauty, but there was something exhausting about the extravagance of it all. I’d always assumed that Ravka’s hungry peasants and poorly supplied soldiers were the result of the Shadow Fold. But as we walked by a tree of jade embellished with diamond leaves, I wasn’t so sure.
“Alina, the Darkling doesn’t notice most of us. We’re moments he’ll forget in his long life. And I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. Just…be careful.”
I stared at her, baffled. “Of what?”
“Of powerful men.”
“Genya,” I asked before I could lose my nerve, “what happened between you and the King?”
She examined the toes of her satin slippers. “The King has his way with lots of servants,” she said.
“Just admit it,” he sneered. “He owns you.”
“He owns you, too, Mal,” I lashed back. “He owns us all.”
He wasn’t at all shocked to hear of the contempt with which most Grisha regarded the King. Apparently, the trackers had been grumbling more and more loudly amongst themselves about the King’s incompetence.
“The Fjerdans have a breech-loading rifle that can fire twenty-eight rounds per minute. Our soldiers should have them, too. If the King could be bothered to take an interest in the First Army, we wouldn’t be so dependent on the Grisha. But it’ll never happen,” he told me. Then he muttered, “We all know who’s running the country.”
“He plans to bring us peace.”
“At what price?” I asked desperately. “You know this is madness.”
“Did you know I had two brothers?” Ivan asked abruptly. The familiar smirk was gone from his handsome face. “Of course not. They weren’t born Grisha. They were soldiers, and they both died fighting the King’s wars. So did my father. So did my uncle.”
“Yes, everyone is sorry. The King is sorry. The Queen is sorry. I’m sorry. But only the Darkling will do something about it.”
They’re hungry for this, I realized. Even after they’ve seen what he can do, even after watching their own people die. The Darkling wasn’t just offering them an end to war, but an end to weakness. After all these long years of terror and suffering, he would give them something that had seemed permanently beyond their grasp: victory. And despite their fear, they loved him for it.