Fanlisting Site Main

Favorite Quotes from "The Oracle"

Their meeting and Mirany's first impressions of Seth
There were two of them, the steward of the Archon's house, a swarthy, sweating fat man in an ornate robe, and behind him a scribe, probably from the City, no older than she was. The scribe had dark, curly hair; his face was handsome and she thought he knew it.

. . .

The scribe was two steps back. At the door she turned and waited for him. He seemed preoccupied so he didn't notice and almost walked into her. Instantly he stepped back and bowed. "I'm sorry."

"It was my fault." Her voice was small, her face red. She turned away and walked on quickly.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), pp. 48-9

Seth's first impressions of Mirany
She was a mousy litte thing, he thought. Jumpy. Had no idea how to behave. For a start she kept waiting for him to catch up, though the regulations were that he should walk three steps behind and never speak unless she spoke to him.

Maybe she didn't even know that.

And as if they'd give her one of the Archon's servants just for the asking! He should have stayed out of this. Rich little girls were trouble.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 54

Before he could say anything the curtain moved and Seth walked in, looking calm and slightly pleased with himself. Mirany was so glad to see him it surprised her.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 102

Breathless, Seth thought about Pa and Telia and Mirany. God knows where they thought he was. And his job--would she make that all right, like she'd said? Maybe she wasn't such a mousy little thing after all. But he was finished with her after this.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 165

(Seth has just told Mirany that he wants no further part in helping Alexos become Archon.) Mirany looked past him to the flames of the ziggurat. The disappointment she felt was a shock; it felt like fear. She murmured, "If you feel like that..."

"Take this." He was holding something out; as he pushed it into her hand she saw it was wrapped in linen, a small, hard thing. "Call it an offering for the god. I came across it."

"We'll miss you." Without his help, what would they do, she thought.

He shrugged, that arrogant, annoying way he had. "Good luck with everything. I hope things... work out."

"Work out."

"Well, you know..."

"That I don't die, you mean. That Oblek doesn't die."

Seth scowled. "Yes."

"That Argelin doesn't have us all killed, and then take over. That he doesn't tyranize the people any more than he needs to.""

"Look, you have to understand."

"Oh, I understand." Her bitterness amazed him; it seemed to blaze out of her. "You're just like all the rest. If you get enough to eat and drink, you're happy. If you can bribe and threaten and blackmail your way up to be first archivist, you're happy. And everyone else can rot!"

He stepped back, cold with controlled anger. "I didn't say that. But since you obviously think it--"

"I do. And we can manage without you." She had pulled the thing mantle so tight round her shoulders it almost tore. "The god doesn't need a conceited little scribe. Oblek was right."

She turned, but he caught her arm and pulled her back. "What do you know about work? When have you ever had to worry about getting enough to eat, saving and scrimping enough to pay for water? All my life we've been as poor as dirt, Mirany. To get them food, water, you have no idea what depths I've had to sink to! Look at you! Rich and spoiled and thinking you can hear the god! We can all hear the god, Mirany, it doesn't take an Oracle!"

"Let me go!"

He did; she jerked away furiously.

"And don't tell me your family didn't bribe you into the Nine." He smiled scornfully. "They'd never have accepted you otherwise."

The moon slanted between them, a silver streak. Mirany's hands were clenched on the tiny gift. For a moment he thought she would throw it in his face, then she turned, and ran, over the slabs of the courtyard, toward the shadowy gate.

Silent, bitter with shame and anger, he watched her go.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), pp. 188-9

(Mirany and Seth think about their last encounter...)
She scowled. Seth was the only one with any sense. But Seth had walked out on them. Seth had made his feelings quite clear. She whipped a branch savagely out of her way, and ducked under and arch into the loggia of the Upper House.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 200

For a moment, Seth felt lost and bewildered and utterly sorry for himself. His whole life was a total mess. He was doing this for Pa and Telia, and there was no one he could explain that to. Pa wouldn't understand. Would be furious, in fact. And now Mirany... there was no way she would ever speak to him again, except as some groveling little clerk, some pen pusher.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 212

If only Seth was here. Seth was normal.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 222

(Seth, Oblek and Alexos have escaped from Argelin, but Mirany was captured)
Shuddering, in a sweat of fear, the huge aftershock washed over her, and she let it, seeing again, stupidly, the monkey leaping, the jerk of Oblek's knife, his fierce joy. And then, like a flicker of dulled pleasure, that glimpse of Seth in the shadows.

But if they caught him he would die, too.

And then she really did cry, hands over her face, shaken with sobbing gasps, while the optio stared impassively out at the night.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), pp. 239-240

"Save it! What about Mirany? How did you think she'd escape?" He was so sick with despair he slammed a palm against the stone wall.

Alexos looked up, frowning. "Don't, Seth. You're scaring Eno." The monkey was still in his arms. He seemed not to be worried about anything else.

With a groan, Seth straightened up and stalked on, not caring if they followed or not. He should never, never have got back into this. He felt as if he was drowning in a sea of sand; however much he struggled he sank deeper and deeper, and now he couldn't breathe or see any way out. He stopped, and swung around. "We've got to get to her. Get her away."

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 241

And then, with a leap of her heart, she saw Seth and Oblek. Alexos saw them, too, and he gave a great cry and waved, but the Jackal grabbed him and hauled him down. "Keep still, stupid! Do you want to be seen?"

Mirany glanced at the guards; none of them seemed to have heard, they were too busy pushing the crowd back. Then her eyes moved back to Seth.

He was looking at her.

He stared, unbelieving. She looked so different. Older. And yet it was Mirany, that quick, hopeful smile, the brightness of her face.

He grinned back, and nodded, and as he turned to Oblek the grin was still there, foolish; he had to rub his hand over his face and say gruffly, "Take a careful look. They're up there, in the high seats."

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), pp. 324-5

Someone stepped in beside her; jerking round she saw it was Seth.

"You could have got away," she whispered, surprised.

He shrugged unhappily. "It's too late," he said.

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 336

She was soaked; her dress clung to her. Her hair was sleeked back and water was running from her ears and neck, and someone was yelling, "Put the bowl down, Mirany," and it was Seth, rain pouring in torrents down his face.

She flung it down; he grabbed her. "It's over! We've done it! You've done it!"

The Oracle Betrayed (US version), p. 340

Favorite Quotes from "The Archon"

Thinking of Seth made her frown. She hadn't seen him for weeks. Since he'd been promoted.

It may be he has other things to concern him now. The voice seemed amused.

Mirany snorted. Apart from himself, you mean? It wasn't fair. She knew that.

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 8

"Where is she?" Seth paced the turquoise floor impatiently. He felt trapped in a great jewel, the walls and ceiling were complex facers of blue glass. His own reflections marched toward and away from him, upside down, anxious.

Alexos, feeding the monkey, said mildly, "Running up the stairs. I wish you'd keep still, Seth. It's making Eno giddy."

Seth glared at him. Then the door opened and Mirany stumbled in.

He hadn't seen her for weeks. She never came near the City, and nowadays he rarely left there, because being second assistant archivist meant a lot more work than he'd imagined. She looked different, he realized. Flushed and hot, but more assured. Not the timid girl he'd first met. To his surprise it was he who felt shy.

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 87

"It's very exciting." Alexos came and sprawled on his stomach on the shiny floor, feet in the air. "Seth found Oblek and they had a fight with some soldiers. Then they fell off the cliff."

Her eyes widened, a flash of alarm. "Off a cliff! Were you hurt?"

"No." Seth had caught it, though; she still cared what happened to him.

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), pp. 88-9

("She Sees the Signs in His Face" -- the pivotal scene that Seth spends the next 2 books trying to make up for)
She went over and brought [the Sphere] out of the bag she had placed in the corner, and held it out, her eyes never leaving Seth's face. She saw what she had expected, that flicker of amazement, of desire. Unmistakable.

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 101

Hopeless, he nodded. A brief memory of Mirany holding up the Sphere came into his mind. He saw, quite suddenly, what he hadn't let himself see then, that she had been watching him. Testing him. And he knew he had given himself away, his leap of greedy interest---she had seen that. She hadn't really wanted to give him the Sphere.

Her mistrust filled him with anger.

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 121

Mirany took her mask off and blew hair from her eyes. She went and took Telia's hand. "Do you recognize me?"

"You're that girl. Seth's friend."


"He likes you."

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 250

Seth pulled himself upright. He was aching and sore and the sound of the song was in his ears. He said, "Someone died. Was it me? Was it Mirany? What's happened?

"She's dead," the boy whispered.

They stared, stricken. Seth took a shuddering breath, numb, not believing what he'd heard.

"She can't be! Why did you let her die!" he raged, grabbing Alexos and wrenching him around. "Don't you care! Don't you care about her at all!"

The Sphere of Secrets (US version), p. 364

FAVORITE QUOTES from "The Scarab"

She had tears in her eyes. To his amazement he heard her whisper, "Is it all my fault, Seth? That the Oracle is destroyed and everything's lost? Chryse says--"

"Well, it's rubbish, Mirany!" He gripped her hands, and as he did so thought how little he really knew her, how far apart they still were.

She was looking at him with a kind of distance, as if somehow she'd stepped back. But still he held her hands, until he realized and awkwardly let go.

They glanced away from each other. Mirany said, "I wanted to speak to you at the gate. What you're's too dangerous, Seth."

He couldn't answer her for a moment.

She nodded. "It isn't...because of me?"

He shrugged, that annoyingly arrogant shrug. "Of course not. Why you?"

She didn't answer. When she glanced up, she said, "I'm sorry I ever got you into this."

"I'm not."

"You're just saying that. Showing off."

"That's right."

She managed a smile.

'Why you?' he had said. It had made her feel foolish. And yet she had come to realize that he always did that cocky act when he was threatened.

Day of the Scarab (US version), pp. 101-104