I have two friends with whom I’ve been reading and sharing books for more than half our lives. We met in high school, and have stayed friends since then. Our reading tastes tend towards the much-maligned genre of Young Adult (or YA) fiction, since those are the sorts of books that cemented our friendship a decade and a half ago (and since there are some really wonderful YA writers out there!). One of the two friends recently had her own YA novel published, and we are so, so proud of her! It’s been amazing to see her writing develop — sometimes she would share her stories and books with us when we were still teenagers, and just last year I got to hold her first published novel in my hands. Amazing!
Anyway, the book we are reading for our book club meeting in a couple of weeks is called Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor. I finished it yesterday and really enjoyed it, which is not a surprise since I also love Taylor’s more popular series, beginning with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Although it perhaps seems unlikely in a fantasy novel about faeries and djinni, I came across a beautiful section discussing hope, love, and despair, that I thought was appropriate for this blog:
“Her beautiful face was a portrait of longing, of loneliness and need. And her eyes were the eyes of one who knows exactly where the border lies between hope and despair and who has stood before it many times and looked across…
“What was it? She’d called it obstinacy, but even Magpie, who had but a sprout’s understanding of it, could see that it was love, and it shivered her.
“Love. She’d always thought of love as… affection, the look that passed often between her parents, or the feel of their arms around her. But wasn’t it this too, the core of iron in someone’s soul that made them capable of impossible things? It seemed a terrifying force.”
For all those of you out there who teeter on the brink between hope and despair, and for those whose love is the core of iron in their soul that makes them capable of impossible things.