Those who are rewarded are rarely found waiting in the corners.

“Juan, so fresh and smooth that there is almost a girl’s prettiness to his face. But at nearly seventeen, there is nothing feminine in his behavior. Such boundless energy, such outrageous confidence. Where others see vanity, Alexander only sees promise. A young man roaring and chafing at the bit, ready to take on the world. And why not? When did life ever reward those who cowered in its corners?”

– Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant.

Sacrificing anything for victory

“I think if they had not fought each other over me, Ferrakind and the Dead King, if either had his sole attention on me as I opened myself to their realms and let those places burst through me in such reckless abandon, I would have been claimed. Such powers can’t be mastered, not without cost, and that cost would seem to include losing all those reasons you wanted that strength for. And it is a sacrifice I would have paid in the moment, with the arms of thousands raised against me. In the end, my brothers, there is no price I will not pay to win this game of ours. No sacrifice too great that it will not be paid to stop another placing their will over mine.”

– King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

It would not show if you did not know.

“The years never seem to weigh on Brother Maical, as if his inability to count their passing protects him from their passage. He watches the world through calm grey eyes, broad-chested, thick-limbed. If no one told you that his thoughts rattle in an empty head, you might think Brother Maical as capable a rogue as rides among the Brothers. In battle though his hands grow clever, and you’d think him whole, until the din fades, the dying fall, and Maical wanders the field weeping.”

– The King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence