Courage cannot be left like bones in a bag. It must be brought out and shown the light again and again, growing stronger each time. If you think it will keep for the times you need it, you are wrong. It is like any other part of your strength. If you ignore it, the bag will be empty when you need it most.
They had learned that Sorhatani expected the same sort of instant obedience as her husband. She had grown up around men of power and had married into the great khan’s family at a very young age. She knew that men prefer to follow, that it takes an effort of will to lead. She had that will.
We are all fools with our sons. We wipe them and suckle them and all we expect is for them to be grateful to the end of their days.
There is no escape from me, not even in death.
If he had learned anything in manhood, it was that it didn’t matter what other people thought of him-even the ones he respected. In the end, he would patch together a life, with its sorry errors and its triumphs, just as they had.
This is my empire, Uriang-Khadai. I will not be made to leave. Ready the tumans for battle, Orlok. I will face my enemies and I will destroy them.
If he had learned anything from his father’s fate, it was to win, no matter how you did it. It was not important if someone else was hurt, or killed. If you won, you would be forgiven anything. You could be taken from a stinking ger and forced through the ranks until a thousand men followed your orders as if they came from the khan himself. Blood and talent. The nation was built on both.
I am the rightful khan of the nation. I am the gur-khan. My word is iron and my word is law.
If a man has gold, he lives with the terror that someone will take it away from him, so he builds walls around it. Then everyone knows where the gold is, so they come and take it. That’s the way it always goes, brother. Fools and gold, together.
There was no destiny in life, nothing beyond what a man could take and hold for himself.