Barbara Hambly

American fiction writer

Barbara Hambly (born August 28, 1951) is an American novelist and screenwriter within the genres of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and historical fiction.

Quotes edit

The Rainbow Abyss (1991) edit

All page numbers are from the mass market paperback first American edition published by Del Rey ISBN 0-345-37101-1
Italics as in the book. Ellipses represent elision of short passages of description.
  • But too many people had come to him and Jaldis over the years, asking for magic to fix their lives. He knew of no spell which could not be twisted out of its purpose by fate, no potion which would for better or for worse change a human soul’s inner essence. No sigil he’d made had ever altered the words that rose automatically to a person’s lips when they weren’t thinking.
    Yet people kept acting as if someday the laws of magic would spontaneously change and spells would do all these things.
    • Chapter 8 (p. 133)
  • “I brought coffee.”
    “Dinar of Prinagos has just won my unqualified support against the perfidious White Bragenmeres under any circumstances, at any time, in thought, word, deed, spell, and incantation.”
    • Chapter 9 (p. 144)
  • “I suppose the talisman you gave me will keep people from noticing a full-grown horse?”
    “I’m not sure,” he said, gladly accepting the offer of a straight line. “It might keep them from noticing half of it but then the rest would be awfully conspicuous.”
    • Chapter 9 (p. 145)
  • “Where’d you learn to make coffee like this?…If wizardry ever quits paying, you really will be welcome in my father’s service.”
    “What do you mean, if wizardry ever quits paying?” Rhion demanded in mock indignation. “For one thing, as you may have noticed, wizardry doesn’t pay, and for another, making good coffee is wizardry.”
    • Chapter 9 (p. 145)
  • Loving and hating were so close, two sides of a coin whose name was Need.
    • Chapter 9 (p. 153)
  • “Why do they call them love-spells, anyway?” he added bitterly. “It isn’t love, you know.”
    “Maybe because some people can’t tell the difference.…Or if they suspect there’s a difference, they don’t want to know.”
    • Chapter 9 (p. 156)
  • The priests of Agon saw in wizardry what the priests of all the cults of the gods saw: a body of men and women who did not need to petition the deities for assistance, a challenge to their authority, and a living question about the way they said the world worked.
    • Chapter 10 (p. 183)
  • Now they had given their wills to Agon, and it was Agon who acted through them—they could spy upon their benefactors, they could betray their friends, they could torture the weak, prostitute themselves, beat a helpless old cripple to death in an alleyway, and remain, in their hearts, good people, kindly people, men and women worthy of regard, because it was, after all, the Veiled God who was acting, not them.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 225)
  • From what I understand only the priests of Agon claim to have seen the Great Evils, and then they pretty much seem to be whatever will fit Agon’s purposes at the time.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 257)

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