Happy (almost) third publishing anniversary to our fourth book, Skate the Thief by Jeff Ayers! Reviewers are calling this YA epic fantasy “hard to put down” and “a wonderful fantasy adventure.”
Need a bit more convincing to dive into the book? Then read the ten awesome quotes (excerpts, really) from Skate the Thief that we’ve compiled here!
1. “How aren’t you hurt?” She pointed an accusatory finger toward the apparently harmless wound in his side. “Is it a fake dagger or magic or what?”
“Don’t go trying to change the subject, young lady,” the wizard said. Skate felt the flush of heat as her cheeks turned red in embarrassed anger. “You can’t just go around stabbing people you’re afraid of.”
“Who else are you supposed to stab?” Skate asked, throwing her hands up. That she had not actually meant to stab anyone had temporarily slipped her mind.
“Well, if you’re going to insist on stabbing other people, then you can cross my name off your ‘stab if you feel like it’ list, because I won’t have any more of it, and it won’t do you any good anyway.”
2. Skate watched Rattle move some more, and it seemed only to be using the one leg to detect the titles, instead of the eye. “How come it’s not looking as it goes?”
“Because it’s a weird flying bat eyeball.” Petre’s eyes danced with mischief. “How should I know what goes on behind that big eye of its?”
“So you don’t know what Rattle is.”
“No one knows what Rattle is. Barrison made the thing, but even he couldn’t spell out what exactly it is if you asked him.”
3. Skate wondered why this new prospect bothered her so much. Because you’re not just stealing anymore, the voice in her head explained. If you do the job like the Boss wants, you’re selling Belamy into slavery. The idea put a knot into her stomach . . . It was a sensation she did not feel often, but she was familiar enough with it to name it: guilt.
“Stupid,” she muttered to herself. Why should she feel guilt about it? If he’s stupid enough to let me do the thing, then it falls on him to deal with the results. That’s the way it works.
Running over these truths of the world did not help the unwelcome sensation go away; the knot tightened. “He’s a mark,” she muttered to herself out loud.
He’s your teacher.
4. Kite tensed up, his hands becoming clawlike as he edged them closer to the blades. “What wazzat, spit?” His face hardened into the unmoving mask of indifference he took on before he hurt people. The only indication of his rage was the dancing hate in his eyes. “What did ya say to me?”
“I’ll say whatever I want, coward.” She moved closer to the dangerous young man, her eyes not dropping or blinking, despite the water she felt in her stomach. “You can’t use those nasty knives of yours. We’re still in the Ink. Boss Marshall’s still a Boss in the Ink. Keep your stupid threats behind your jagged teeth, because they don’t mean nothing.”
5. Be open with your gifts. That was one of the most important lessons of the ethos of the Ink. Stinginess rarely opened doors, and a budding thief never knew where or when a piece of information might be found—and an easy lie told to the Guards as a distraction might be expected if she only had the foresight to be kind with her coins.
6. Skate got within inches of the crystal ball and looked into its depths. She saw no one within. Indeed, she saw nothing but the churning gray fog. “I don’t see you.”
Another pause. “Pick up the ball.”
Skate thought this an odd request but did as she was asked. As she took hold of the sphere, the fog began to thin ever so slightly. The color within took on a blue tone as something moved closer to the surface. She saw a pair of eyes, wide-set and deep, under a dark brown brow. Nothing else appeared to her, not even the rest of the face.
7. “All magic is dangerous, Skate. Better that you learn that now, before it’s had a chance to do any lasting damage to you. It’s unforgiving, and even the simplest applications of it take years of study to perform with any measure of safety. As long as you’re aware of the danger,” he added with a smirk, “you should be fine. But never charge in unawares where the Craft is concerned. Many before you have done so, and it’s left them scarred or obliterated. I’d hate to see the same happen to you.”
8. The world shifted around Skate. She was off the ground and moving backward. Into Ossertine’s house. No one had grabbed her, and this, too, was a familiar sensation; it felt exactly as it had the night she’d tried to jump out of Belamy’s window and been caught by his magic. Ossertine had magic of her own, it seemed.
The door, her escape, closed in front of her when she landed back on the ground, like a statue picked up and shifted. She maintained her standing position, but she couldn’t be sure if that was because of Ossertine’s magic or her own stance.
“Let’s have a look at you, then, shall we?” Ossertine moved in front of Skate, surprise and recognition evident on her face. “Why, you’re Belamy’s pet urchin, aren’t you? I’d never have recognized you without your ratty . . . clothes. Well, get seated and you can calmly explain why I shouldn’t hand you over to the Guard for flogging or whatever it is they do to children who take what’s not theirs from their betters.”
9. If looks could kill, Skate mused, this one would be hanged for murder on a daily basis. “Why can’t I remember any of it?” The question sounded insane to her as she asked it, but it was what she could make no sense of. This time, Amanda’s and Kibo’s shared glance carried something that looked like fear.
“If you want someone to explain the story to you, I’m sure someone else can—”
“They can’t; I’ve asked. You know they can’t. Why?”
Miss Amanda scoffed and turned. Skate reached out to pull her back again, but stopped short when waves of pain shot up her arm. The pain lasted only a few moments, but she screamed. She felt like she’d dipped her hand into a pot of boiling water.
10. It was more than a simple question of right and wrong. It was a question of who she was. On some level, she understood that her choice was to be a defining crisis of her life, that to choose one way or the other would take her down avenues she would not readily find herself free of. To defy the Ink was unthinkable; to betray her teacher was unbearable. She could not make either choice without breaking something inside her, and she dreaded that more than she could describe.
. . . Hooked yet? Grab a copy here to see how all these quotes are tied together!
Skate the Thief is book 1 of The Rag and Bone Chronicles, which is perfect for fans of Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson. It’s available in paperback and e-book formats (DRM unlocked) on Amazon, including Kindle Unlimited.
The sequel, Skate the Seeker, comes out September 12th!
Check out our author interview with Jeff here, our official book review here, and a character interview with Ink lieutenant Haman Vaerion here.
Other articles in our Top 10 Quotes series:
The Blessed (Mythusian Empire #2)
The Disposable (Plot Bandits #1)
The Narrative (Plot Bandits #3)
The Taskmaster (Plot Bandits #4)
The Cosmic Turkey
Skate the Seeker (Rag and Bone Chronicles #2)
Painter of the Dead
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