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  • Writer's pictureNoa Fay

Powerful, Inspiring, and Often True, Literary Quotes

Updated: May 28, 2020

A Foggy Morning on the Cape Cod Bay

YA Fantasy:

"To the stars who listen, and the dreams that are answered."

-Rhysand, A Court of Mist and Fury

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

-Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“‘Fireheart—why do you cry?’

‘Because I am lost,’ she whispered onto the earth. ‘And I do not know the way.’”

-Heir of Fire

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom... very much.”

-Aelin Galathynius, Heir of Fire

“Hell–this was what the dark god’s underworld felt like. This was what awaited her when she took her last breath.”

-Heir of Fire

"When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

“Remember that we have something to fight for, and it will always triumph.”

-Aedion Ashryver, Kingdom of Ash

“At least if you’re going to Hell, then we’ll be there together.”

-Rowan Whitethorn, Heir of Fire

"I had centuries ahead of me... Perhaps I'd sort myself out sometime along the way. Perhaps not."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

"I don't believe in guardian angels, I believe in what I can do for myself."

-Rose Hathaway, Frostbite

“Death had been her curse and her gift and her friend for these long, long years. She was happy to greet it again under the golden morning sun.”

-Kingdom of Ash

“Aelin smiled, and Goldryn burned brighter. ‘I am a god.’”

-Kingdom of Ash

"It is the well-tempered blade that is the strongest."

-Revered Mother, Grave Mercy

"A distracted king makes for a more powerful queen."

-Evangeline Samos, King's Cage

"Cal is exactly the kind of person who will never kneel. It's not in him. He was not made that way."

-Cameron, King's Cage

“I have knelt, and found I have no interest in doing so again.”

-Dorian Havilliard, Kingdom of Ash

"'My father will hunt you for taking his power if he finds out,' he said into the frigid dark. 'And kill you for learning how to wield it.'

'He can get in line,' was all I said."

-Feyre to Lucien, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"'If Feliks can't control you, he'll seek to have you killed.'

'I dare him to try.'"

-Crystal Blade

“I am what I am and I don’t particularly care what you think of me.”

-Celaena Sardothien, The Assassin’s Blade

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name is Celaena or Lillian or Bitch because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

-Celaena Sardothien, Throne of Glass

"'I was slaughtering on the battlefield before you were even born.' Rhysand snarled."

-A Court of Thorns and Roses

"You bow to no one."

-Rhysand, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"It was war upon them all. Let them tremble in fear at what they had awoken."

-Crown of Midnight

"'There's no such thing as a High Lady,' one of Lucien's brothers spat.

A faint smile played on my mouth. 'There is now.'"

-Feyre, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"Where better to plot your enemy's demise, to learn their weaknesses, than at their side?"

-Jurian, A Court of Wings and Ruin

“You say I should be a weapon, not a pawn—they seem the same to me. The only difference is who’s wielding it.”

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

"'You bring my Court into this, Chaol,' Aelin said with lethal softness, 'and I don't care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don't care how long it takes, or how far you go: I'll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you'll learn just how much of a monster I can be."

-Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Shadows

"I love my friends, and my family. Do not think I would not become a monster to protect them."

-Rhysand, A Court of Mist and Fury

"Faction before blood."

-Jeanine Matthews, Divergent

"We do not look back. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on."

-Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Shadows

"Teeth bared, Nesta pointed one finger at the King of Hybern.

One finger, a curse and a damning.

A promise."

-A Court of Mist and Fury

"She'd been made differently, from something harder and stronger than bone and blood."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Thorns and Roses

"...If you take me from my mate, I will destroy you. I will destroy your court, and everything you hold dear."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

"When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds."

-Amren, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"Let him die here now. I'd be glad to end him."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Thorns and Roses

"My ears are deaf to her warning. I am certain all men are like that, and I would kill them all gladly."

-Ismae Rienne, Grave Mercy

"'When your people are lying dead around you,' she hissed, 'Don't come crying to me."

-Celaena Sardothien, Crown of Midnight

"I went too long without demanding retribution. I have no interest in forgiveness."

-Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Shadows

"The glass is cold to the touch, but it refuses to freeze. So will I."

-Mare Barrow, King's Cage

"I can think of no better way to end my existence than to defend those who need it most."

-Cassian, A Court of Mist and Fury

“There are memories from Under the Mountain, Feyre, that are best left unshared. Even with you.”

-Rhysand, A Court of Mist and Fury

"Better to die with my chin held high than groveling like a cowering worm."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Thorns and Roses

"Fear doesn't shut you down it wakes you up. I've seen it, it's fascinating."

-Tobias 'Four' Eaton, Divergent

"There are many types of strengths beyond the ability to wield a blade and end lives."

-Nesta Archeron, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"I had given that name to Rhysand.

And he had not forgotten it."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end.”

-Rhysand, A Court of Mist and Fury

"I dared a glance at Rhys, and there was something like devastation on his beautiful face."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

"Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all."

-Rhysand, A Court of Thorns and Roses

"But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key... He was the one who let me out."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Mist and Fury

"I have known many High Lords. Cruel ones, cunning ones, weak ones, powerful ones. But never one that dreamed."

-Amren, A Court of Mist and Fury

"It's a rare day indeed when someone thanks you for bringing them to their death."

-Alis, A Court of Thorns and Roses

"I'm not supposed to die this way. I'm not supposed to see it coming. My death is not some appointment penciled in on a calendar."

-Rose Hathaway, Last Sacrifice

"Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you."

-The Suriel, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"Feyre Archeron. I told you—to stay with the High Lord. And you did."

-The Suriel, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"Light can be found in even the darkest of hells."

-Rhysand, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"To look powerful is to be powerful."

-Elara Merandus, King's Cage

"Cruelty is not strength."

-Ruby Otrera, Fireblood

"Those who seek peace above all else, they say, will always deceive to keep the water calm."

-Candor, Divergent

"I think the time has come for us to remove the masks. To stop playing the part."

-Feyre Archeron, A Court of Wings and Ruin

"Fear can be a good thing. Fear doesn't let you forget."

-Morrey, King's Cage

"The words sound like a slamming door. I suppose they are."

-Mare Barrow, Glass Sword

"I relish the opportunity to avenge my fallen people. Bring war now or later. We are ready."

-Queen Nalani, Fireblood

"'A brave man recognises the strength of others.'

'A brave man never surrenders.'"


"We always have a choice, even when it feels like we don't."

-Robin Hood, Scarlet

“For the child sprung from misery will be the one to bring hope, from the weakest will come strength, from the hunted will come freedom.”

-The Kiss of Deception

A Family Monument in Paris, France


"It was stolen from the Jews on the way to the gas chambers, and I want it back."

-Ari Shamron, A Death in Vienna

“Two eyes stared coldly back at him. No fear, only anger.”

-The English Spy

“Death, the inevitable end of everything, confronted him for the first time with irresistible force.”

-Anna Karenina

"He was in the hands of people who played the game by very different rules."

-The English Assassin

"I would much rather do battle with a sworn enemy than with an enemy who finds expediency in posing as a friend"

-Ari Shamron, The Kill Artist

“Miss Herzfeld kept walking. And she never looked back. Not once. And she never saw her family again. Within three weeks, they were dead. But not Miss Herzfeld. She was alive because she had blonde hair. And her sister had been turned to ashes because hers was dark.”

-Lena Herzfeld, The Rembrandt Affair

"I live for the moment that I can place my foot against the throat of my enemy and crush the wind out of him."

-Ari Shamron, The Kill Artist

"He found beauty only in a perfectly conceived operation or the destruction of an enemy."

-The English Assassin

"'We killed thirteen members of Black September, and it didn't bring back one of those boys they slaughtered in Munich.'

'Yes, but it felt good.'"

-The Kill Artist

"Being defiant can be a good thing sometimes... It is not a bad thing when it is used right."

-Ifeoma, Purple Hibiscus

“But this antiquated, patriarchal way of managing the affairs of the nobility must be put a stop to.”

-Levin, Anna Karenina

“How odious you men are!”

-Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina

“That’s a question I have never asked myself, Anna Arkadyevna...The same as in war— one doesn’t ask oneself whether one is sorry or not sorry.”

-Yashvin, Anna Karenina

“But some strange spirit of evil held her back, as if the rules of warfare would not permit her to surrender.”

-Anna Karenina

“...To feign love was beyond her power.”

-Anna Karenina

“He is the kind of man whom people say they were not born for this world.”

-Levin, Anna Karenina

“...She went to bed. The whitefolks had tired her out at last.”


“‘America will find its way.’

‘Will it? I’m not so sure.’”

-House of Spies

Tzfat, Israel


“A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will burn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.”

-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings

"Let loose the dogs of war."

-Mark Antony, Julius Caesar

“You kneel before my throne unaware that it was born of lies.”


"The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown."

-King Hamlet, Hamlet

“The ones who break never return.”

-We Were the Lucky Ones

"The first to perish were the children... From these... Our new dawn may have risen."

-Itzhak Katzenelson, The Song of the Murdered Jewish People

"Oh, I bet you regret making an enemy out of me."

-Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself In This One

“And that was the end of them, for they never woke again.”

-Solon, Herodotus The Histories

“Those were the last tears of mine, my lord, that the sun will ever see.”

-Xeones, Gates of Fire

"You have never tasted freedom, friend, or you would know it is purchased not with gold, but steel."

-Dienekes, Gates of Fire

"Be wary then, best safety lies in fear."

-Laertes, Hamlet

"Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love."

-Hamlet, Hamlet

"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."

-Anne Elliot, Persuasion

"To abandon facts is to abandon freedom."

-Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

"True strength is a quiet determination."

-Strong is the New Pretty

"For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long."

-Charlie Marlow, Heart of Darkness

“All that was needed for this new theory was a champion—articulate, young, clean. And maybe this new champion had arrived.”

-We Were Eight Years In Power

"Being a hero doesn't mean you are invincible, it means you are brave enough to stand up and do what's needed."

-The Mark of Athena

"Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still."


"I am afraid of her... Quite afraid of her, because she is so very clever; but I respect her amazingly..."

-Henrietta Musgrove, Persuasion

"To girls everywhere, I am with you."

-Emily Doe, What Happened

"...I learned that society is broken, not me."

-Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself In This One

"For the boy who lived. Thank you for inspiring me to be the girl who survived. You may have a lightning bolt to show for it, but my body is a lightning storm."

-Amanda Lovelace, The Girl Saves Herself In This One

"Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry."

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

"They will have no empathy for you."

-Sheryl Sandberg, What Happened

"Any man who chooses to believe women's minds are inferior is underestimating them at his own peril."

-Gabriel St. Vincent, Devil in Spring

"I wish [Dorothy Rodham] could have seen the America we're going to build together. An America where a father can tell his daughter, yes, you can be anything you want to be—even President of the United States."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

"Girls are strong, intelligent people. And I am proud to be one."

-Zohe, Strong Is The New Pretty

"I'm of the belief that in most industries, women have to work twice as hard to get half the credit."

-Amy Schumer, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo

"I passionately believe that the only way we're going to get sexism out of politics is by getting more women into politics."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

"And [the Women's March] was completely peaceful. Maybe that's what happens when you put women in charge."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

"Men aren't naturally more confident than women. We tell them to believe in themselves, and we tell women to doubt themselves. We tell them this in a million ways, starting when they're young. We've got to do better. Every single one of us."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

"...We should begin to dream about and plan for a different world... And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently."

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“It’s often said that a woman’s weapon is her tongue... but it’s far from our only one.”

-Lady Berwick, Marrying Winterborne

"... But I have a voice too, and for good or evil, mine is the speech that cannot be silenced."

-Charlie Marlow, Heart of Darkness

"I suppose you could hardly be expected to stand by and let a woman do all the fighting. The masculine sense of pride is fragile, after all."

-Dr. Gibson, A Devil in Spring

"Modesty is for the weak and dishonest."

-Prince Nicholas, Royally Screwed

"... She does sometimes provoke me excessively, by her nonsense and her pride; the Elliot pride. She has a great deal too much of the Elliot pride..."

-Louisa Musgrove, Persuasion

"I've tried to learn from my own mistakes. There are plenty, and they are mine and mine alone."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

"Women are particularly uneasy with drawing fire. Which is too bad. Because nothing draws fire like a woman moving forward."

-Dear Madam President

“Don’t let the bastards get you down. Stay true to yourself and your values. Most of all, keep going.”

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

“In the words of Secretary Clinton, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue your dreams. You are rare and unique. Let yourself be flawed. Go proudly and confidently into the world with you blinding hues to show everyone who’s boss and break every glass ceiling that still remains.”

-Tala Nashawati, Wellesley College Graduate, Class of 2017, What Happened

“Like clouds on an overcast day, sometimes we have to face the fact that what happens to us in life isn’t controllable, and if we wait a while, don’t take it personally, and decide to enjoy ourselves anyways, the sky will eventually clear up. It always does. Then, one day, it’ll finally be your turn.”

-Lauren Graham, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It

"May they never underestimate you again."

-Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself In This One

“‘What do we do now?’ I said. There was only one answer. ‘Keep going.’”

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened

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