This won't be a long post, because Pyromancy is behind schedule, and I've got some writing to do. But I recently read The Bitter Kingdom, which is the conclusion to The Girl Of Fire and Ice trilogy and I've got to talk about it. I love that series. The world building is brilliant, the plot constantly surprised me, and Elisa is one of the strongest characters I've ever read. She's a phenomenal leader, and so smart, and likable. It's a great, great book and a satisfying end to one of my favorite books ever, The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Then I read a few sentences that changed this great book, into a favorite book. Maybe even a holy book, at least for me. A special book, that did what books are for, and taught me a lesson that made my life better.
Slight spoilers ahead.
"You look beautiful," Alodia says.
I startle at the compliment. Then I smile. "I'm beautiful to the one person who matters."
She nods. "Hector's mouth will drop open when he sees you."
"I hope so. But I meant me. I'm beautiful to me."
Those were the words I've needed to hear for a long time. Those were the words I've been looking for, and thank you Rae Carson for finding them and speaking them so simply so they could teach me.
Sometimes I read books, and I think, I can do better than that. Sometimes I read books, and I despair because I know no matter how hard I work I will never be able to craft a story that gorgeous or turn a sentence so beautiful. And then I read books, like The Bitter Kingdom, and I don't think about me at all. All I can think is to hold that mound of words and think...this is what I want to do. This is why I do this. This is why I keep trying and growing and reading and gosh, you darn book, thank you for existing.
When I read books like this one, I forget I'm a writer, and I'm just a reader, in love with a book.
Swim on, humans.