War Quotes


"An empire cannot be destroyed from without till it is destroyed from within. Remember that. We’re empire-breakers, not terrorists."

- Dancer O'Faran
Red Rising, ch. 10: The Carver, p. 72

"no man can pursue any endeavor in the face of tribal warfare."

- Octavia au Lune
Red Rising, ch. 22: The Tribes, p. 170

"Laws are silent in times of war"

- Tactus au Valii-Rath
Red Rising, ch. 36: A Second Test, p. 301

"I have seen the cracks in their Society, and I know what I must do. I know what the Golds most fear. And it has nothing to do with Reds rising. It has nothing to do with bombs or plots or revolution. What terrifies the Golds is simple, cruel, and as old as mankind itself. Civil war."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 11: Red, p. 100

"Love and war. Same coin. Different sides."

- Lorn au Arcos
Golden Son, ch. 34: Blood Brothers, p. 292

"I hate how my body shivers at the idea of glory. There’s something deep in man that hungers for this. But I think it weakness, not strength, to abandon decency for that strange darker spirit."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 36: Lord of War, p. 312

"Each time I returned to my wife, I told her that her boys died well.” He fidgets with his ring. “There’s no such thing."

- Lorn au Arcos
Golden Son, ch. 36: Lord of War, p. 317

"To my left and right, the falling soldiers look like raging lightning bugs jerked out of some Carver’s fantasy. I admire one to my left, the bronze sun is behind him as he falls, silhouetting him, immortalizing him in that singular moment—one I know I shall never forget—so that he looks like a Miltonian angel falling with wrath and glory. His exoskeleton sheds its friction armor, as Lucifer might have shed the fetters of heaven, feathers of flame peeling off, fluttering behind. Then a missile slashes the sky and high-grade explosives christen him mortal once again."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 38: The Iron Rain, p. 329

"It takes a day to break a city, then fifty years to rebuild,” Mustang snaps. “You want to sign up to oversee the reconstruction?"

- Virginia au Augustus
Golden Son, ch. 39: At the Wall, p. 337

"The heroes of Red songs have mercy, honor. They let men live, as I let the Jackal live, so they can remain untarnished by sin. Let the villain be the evil one. Let him wear black and try to stab me as I turn my back, so I can wheel about and kill him, giving satisfaction without guilt. But this is no song. This is war."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Morning Star, ch. 4: Cell 2187, p. 35

"I watch my mother stare distantly at a crackling lightbulb in the ceiling. What is this like for her? For a mother to see her child broken by other men? To see the pain written in scars on his skin, spoken in silences, in far-off looks. How many mothers have prayed to see their sons, their daughters return from war only to realize the war has kept them, the world has poisoned them, and they’ll never be the same?"

- Darrow O'Lykos
Morning Star, ch. 8: Home, p. 59

"This is more a part of war than trumpets or starships. Quiet, unremembered moments of cruelty."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Morning Star, ch. 16: Paramour, p. 124

"Victra vibrates next to me. I remember sitting with her in Mickey’s lab as she told me how she loves the smell of battle. The old sweat in the gloves. The oil on the guns. The pulled muscles and shaking hands afterward. It’s the honesty of it, I realize. That’s what she loves. Battle never lies."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Morning Star, ch. 46: Helldiver, p. 363

"This is the grind of war. No matter the tech or the tactics, it all comes down to terrifying moments crouching chalk-mouthed at a corner as a friend lays down cover fire and you try not to trip over the hi-tech gear that’s wrapped around your body as you advance, head lowered, legs churning. It’s not bravery, it’s fear of shaming yourself in the eyes of your friends that keeps you moving."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Morning Star, ch. 47: Hell, p. 367

"I have seen the heavens, I have seen the hells, and I know now that our future is war,"

- Sefi the Quiet
Morning Star, ch. 54: The Goblin and the Gold, p. 425

"When I was a soldier, I watched as your wife gave pardons to murderers, to slavers, and I bore it because I was told it was necessary to win the war. I watch now as our people live fifteen to a room with scraps for food, rags for healthcare, while the highColor aristocracy live in towers, and I bear it because I’m told it is necessary to win the war. I’ll be damned if I sit back and watch another tyrant replace the one we left behind because it is necessary to win the fucking war."

- Dancer O'Faran
Iron Gold, ch. 2: Darrow, p. 20

"For those who dine with war and empire, the bill always comes at the end."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Iron Gold, ch. 3: Darrow, p. 29

"I suppose that is what every man must tell himself in war.” His voice rasps and he sucks again on the water tube. “That there will be an end, and when it is done, enough of himself will remain. Enough to be a father. A brother. A lover. But we know it isn’t true. Don’t we, Darrow? War eats the victors last."

- Magnus au Grimmus
Iron Gold, ch. 60: Darrow, p. 563

"War is our time. Sevro thought he could escape it. I thought I could end it. But our enemy is like the Hydra. Cut off one head, two more sprout. They will not sue for peace. They will not surrender. Their heart must be excised, their will to fight ground to the finest dust. Only then will there be peace."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Dark Age, ch. Prologue, p. 1

"I once thought the greatest sin of war was violence. It isn’t. The greatest sin is it requires good men to become practical."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Dark Age, ch. 1: Darrow: Till the Vale, p. 3

"Is a man a coward if he realizes that bravery is just a myth the old tell the young so they line up for the meatgrinder?"

- Lysander au Lune
Dark Age, ch. 10: Lysander: The Ash Rain, p. 77

"An omega-atomic will impact in thirty seconds,” I say quietly. The Red outside my cockpit is listening too, his face pressed to the glass just two hand spans away from my own. “Your fight is behind you. Remember now your beloved. Your wife, your husband, your father, your mother, your daughter, your son.” I meet his eyes. They look so much like my mother’s. “Remember the sea, the highland forests, Agea at dawn, Olympia at twilight, Attica in spring, Thessalonica in harvest.” As I speak, they close their eyes and unscrew the canisters of Martian soil to clench in their hands. Gold and Red, Blue and Orange, Gray and Obsidian. My heart breaks in half. “Remember home. Remember Mars. You go there now to rest under the shade of her—"

- Darrow O'Lykos
Dark Age, ch. 11: Darrow: Red Reach, p. 89

"Your sensors picked up some people.” She levers to her feet as I climb into my cockpit. “Did your sensors tell you they didn’t have weapons? No. Did they tell you they weren’t saboteurs or snipers? No. Or even Howlers? No. So how can mercy exist when anyone could carry an atomic rocket, and you don’t know? That’s the problem with this war. Cruelty is necessary. Yet cruelty is a thermal runaway."

- Kalindora au San
Dark Age, ch. 12: Lysander: White Golems, p. 96

"From a distance, death seems the end of a story. But when you are near, when you can smell the burning skin, see the entrails, you see death for what it is. A traumatic cauterization of a life thread. No purpose. No conclusion. Just snip. I knew war was dreadful, but I did not expect to fear it. How can anyone not, when death is just a blind giant with scissors?"

- Lysander au Lune
Dark Age, ch. 16: Lysander: Rider of the Storm, p. 124

"Distance has sanitized war nearly as much as Stoneside’s fucking ramblings. It has made it easy…romantic. I have no interest in sanitization nor romance. I apply scientific methods to produce psychological trauma in our enemies in order to create psychological casualties. To end their willingness to fight and shorten this war. That is my purpose."

- Atlas au Raa
Dark Age, ch. 59: Lysander: The Impaler, p. 501