TEN… opening lines from favourite books

“It was no accident. A single point of red winked in the distance. It was joined by a second and a third, then the road ahead was a string of red beads. Almost too late, the car slammed to a stop. Gally, who had been lost in thought, looked across at the man she had married.”

– Ferney, by James Long

“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family has had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease free for nine years now. She’s been safe from love for so long, she says she can’t even remember its symptoms. I’m scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3. My birthday.”

– Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

“My father was a king and the son of kings. he was a short man, as most of us were, and built like a bull, all shoulders. He married my mother when she was fourteen and sworn by the priestess to be fruitful. It was a good match: she was an only child, and her father’s fortune would go to her husband. he did not find out until the wedding that she was simple. Her father had been scrupulous about keeping her veiled until the ceremony, and my father had humoured him. If she were ugly, there were always slave girls and serving boys. When at last they pulled off the veiled, they say my mother smiled. That is how they knew she was quite stupid. Brides did not smile.”

– The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

“Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness. It was cold, and it was dark – in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight – but it was also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.”

– Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

“The full moon sailed high and cold above the streaming clouds, aloof from the rising tide and the white-whipped waves. At the door of the hall a woman stared out across the water towards the glittering snows which mantled the peaks of Yr Wyddfa. Near her a man stood waiting in the shadows, silent, still, his hands clasped on his staff. Einion Gweledydd was tall, white-haired, austere in his patience. soon the child would be born; the child whose destiny he had foretold; the child whose hands would hold three crowns; the child he would claim for the ancient gods of Albion. He smiled. The English wife had been in labour for three long days and soon she would die.”

– Child of the Phoenix, by Barbara Erskine

“Few in town agreed on when the battle began. The matchmaker believed it started the morning after the wedding, when Eva took all of Meridia’s gold and left her with thirteen meters of silk. The fortune-teller, backed by his crystal globe, swore that Eva’s eyes did not turn pitiless until Meridia drenched them in goose blood three months later. The midwife championed another theory: the feud started the day Meridia held her newborn son with such pride that Eva felt the need to humble her. But no matter how loudly the townspeople debated, the answer remained a mystery – and the two women themselves were to blame. Meridia said little, and Eva offered conflicting explanations, which confirmed the town’s suspicions that neither one of them could actually remember.”

– Of Bees and Mist, by Erick Setiawan

“Gram is worried about me. It’s not just because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her houseplants has spots. Gram has believed for most of my seventeen years that this particular houseplant, which is of the nondescript variety, reflects my emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. I’ve grown to believe it too.”

– The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

“It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die. Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all the colours of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it’s pummelled by countless hooves. They run the horses on the beach, a pale road between the black water and the chalk cliffs. It is never safe, but it’s never so dangerous as today, race day.”

– The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

“That is my decision. We need not discuss it,” said the man at the desk. He was already looking at a book. His two children left the room, closing the door behind them.
“He doesn’t want us around,” the boy muttered. “He doesn’t care what we want.”
“We know that,” was the girl’s answer. “He doesn’t care about anything, except his books and scrolls.”
The boy hit the wall. “I don’t want to be a knight! I want to be a great sorcerer! I want to slay demons and walk with the gods–”
“D’you think I want to be a lady?” his sister asked. “Walk slowly, Alanna” she said primly. “Sit still, Alanna. Shoulders back, Alanna.’ As if that’s all I can do with myself!” She paced the floor. “There has to be another way.”

– Alanna: The First Adventure, by Tamora Pierce

“Berlin, a word that chimes in your chest like a bell. Berlin, a place so bright it pulls down the stars and wears them around its neck. Berlin, a city built on the scattered sand of circuses and the scuffed floorboards of theatre spectaculars. Roll up, roll up to see the living photographs.”

– The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite, by Beatrice Colin






Inspired by Sarah’s History Blog


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