1. She lived and breathed her art, saturating every moment of her life with a joy he could never emulate, only admire. She loved him, he knew that, but he would never come first.
2. Their stolen swords are sharpened to an edge meant for flesh, not steel, and they dent and deform as he parries with the improvised rebar staff. It’s brutally effective, but his heart breaks a little as he watches his uncle’s masterworks destroyed.
3. Seeing the future is a curse, not a gift, but I do my best to turn it into one.
4. “Think of me as a magical life coach,” the ferret said as it curled around her neck. “Or fairy godferret, if you must, but I am no one’s ‘familiar’.”
5. I would have preferred to die alone.