The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

(The Stormlight Archive #1)

  • “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” 
  • “Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.” 
  • “Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees.” 
  • “Life before Death.
    Strength before Weakness.
    Journey before Destination.” 
  • “And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”
  • “Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”
  • “To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”
  • “Just because I do not accept the teachings of the devotaries does not mean I’ve discarded a belief in right and wrong.”
    “But the Almighty determines what is right!”
    “Must someone, some unseen thing, declare what is right for it to be right? I believe that my own morality — which answers only to my heart — is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.” 
  • “Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right.” 
  • “In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.”
  • “Ah, the outdoors,’ Shallan said. ‘I visited that mythical place once.”
  • “Too many of us take great pains with what we ingest through our mouths, and far less with what we partake of through our ears and eyes.”
  • “Authority doesn’t come from a rank.,” Kaladin said, fingering the spheres in his pocket.
    “Where does it come from?”
    “From the men who give it to you. That’s the only way to get it.”
  • “This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again.”
  • “The hallmark of insecurity is bravado.”
  • “There are two kinds of people in this world, son. Those who save lives, and those who take lives.”
    “And what of those who protect and defend? Those who save lives by taking lives?”
    “That’s like trying to stop a storm by blowing harder. Ridiculous. You can’t protect by killing.”
  • “Overcome your guilt. Care, but not too much. Take responsibility, but don’t blame yourself. Protect, save, help- but know when to give up. They’re precarious ledges to walk. How do I do it?”
  • “An excuse is what you make after the deed is done, while a justification is what you offer before.” 
  • “I want you to go back into the barrack and tell the men to come out after the storm. Tell them to look up at me tied here. Tell them I’ll open my eyes and look back at them, and they’ll know that I survived.”
  • “In the end, I must proclaim that no good can be achieved of false means. For the substance of our existence is not in the achievement, but in the method.”