Opening Quotations

All my fantasy novels begin with an opening quotation. With the exception of the quote in King’s Property, the quotes are drawn from the cultures described in the novel. I suspect a lot of readers overlook these tidbits, but I put much thought into their creation. Each one reflects the tone of the tale it introduces. Here’s the entire collection:

King’s Property, Queen of the Orcs
Glaciers have erased the past. The mountains are diminished. The plains are scraped bare. The First Children have departed, and their works have perished. Only tales remain, worn thin by retelling.

Clan Daughter, Queen of the Orcs
Your scent lingers,
And we think of you,
Though you have wandered
From sight and touch.
    — Urkzimmuthi Lament

Royal Destiny, Queen of the Orcs
When she gazed upon her land, it seemed that clouds moved over it. But those shadows were hordes of soldiers. Steel lightning flashed amidst their darkness as they brought death, not rain.
    —From the Deetpahi of Tarma-goth

A Woman Worth Ten Coppers, The Shadowed Path
Oh Goddess, cup your hands about me! Tumult fills this
world, and I am but a candle in the storm.
    —The Scroll of Karm

Candle in the Storm, The Shadowed Path
The true path is neither wide nor straight,
and on either side lies the abyss.
        —The Scroll of Karm

The Iron Palace, The Shadowed Path
These things crack a stone—iron, frost, and love.
    —Averen Proverb