inhabiting or frequenting trees
The woods were full of sound: the stream between the rocks, the wind among the needles of the pine branches, the chitter of insects and the cries of small
arboreal mammals, as well as the birdsong; and from time to time a stronger gust of wind would make one of the branches of a cedar or a fir move against another and groan like a cello.
characterized by doing or performing again
Ama’s eyes glittered widely in the gloom, and her hands were moving together in a
repetitive gesture of finger on thumb, finger on thumb, to ward off danger by confusing the evil spirits.
unpleasantly loud and harsh
He’d been in no condition to notice things the day before, but now he saw more clearly the intense color of the water, and heard the
strident insect noises from all around.
in a softened tone
Balthamos made a sound of
the shape of something rotating rapidly
The form of the angel seemed to condense and swirl into a little
vortex in midair, and then a blackbird swooped down onto the grass at Will’s feet.
easily irritated or annoyed
What Will could see of his expression was
having complicated nutritional requirements
“What is that...” said the angel
fastidiously, indicating the Kendal Mint Cake.
having or showing arrogant superiority
Balthamos was slender; his narrow wings were folded elegantly behind his shoulders, and his face bore an expression that mingled
haughty disdain with a tender, ardent sympathy, as if he would love all things if only his nature could let him forget their defects.
put out, as of a candle or a light
Will scooped up some earth with his good hand and
doused the flames.
shaking or trembling
From above came a deep
tremor, like a mighty dynamo, almost too low to hear, though it shook the very atoms of the air and jolted the marrow in Will’s bones.
Even from that distance, and even in that urgent second or so, Will felt himself searched and
scoured from one end of his being to the other by some vast, brutal, and merciless intellect.
a stronghold for shelter during a battle
It’s sometimes called the Chariot. It’s not fixed, you see; it moves from place to place. Wherever it goes, there is the heart of the Kingdom, his
citadel, his palace. When the Authority was young, it wasn’t surrounded by clouds, but as time passed, he gathered them around him more and more thickly.
censure severely or angrily
“Balthamos,” said Baruch gently, “don’t
chide Will. We need his help, and he can’t be blamed for not knowing what it took us so long to find out.”
a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
She wept with rage and fear and
remorse: rage against the woman Coulter, whom she had sworn to kill; fear of what was happening to her beloved land; and
remorse...She would face the
brace consisting of a bar or rod used to resist compression
Between the edge of the burned forest and the mountains, a rocky slope of heavy boulders and scree was littered with scorched and twisted metal: girders and
struts that had belonged to some complex machine.
skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
deft movements of his claws, he ripped aside the dead man’s clothes, opened the body with one slash, and began to feast on the flesh and blood of his old friend.
curved or curving in and out
Ama saw a streak of white materialize at the girl’s throat as her dæmon effortfully changed into a long,
sinuous, snowy-furred creature with brilliant black eyes and black-tipped tail, and laid himself alongside her neck.
of noxious stench from atmospheric pollution
A lake of molten sulphur extended the length of an immense canyon, releasing its
mephitic vapors in sudden gusts and belches and barring the way of the solitary winged figure who stood at its edge.
injurious to physical or mental health
If he took to the sky, the enemy scouts who had spotted him, and lost him, would find him again at once; but if he stayed on the ground, it would take so long to get past this
noxious pit that his message might arrive too late.
animal hunted or caught for food
Then began a hunt in which the pursuers couldn’t see the
quarry and the
quarry could see nothing at all.
make fine adjustments for optimal measuring
In vast caverns beneath the rearing walls, provisions of every sort were stored and labeled; in the arsenals and magazines, engines of war were being
calibrated, armed, and tested; in the mills below the mountain, volcanic fires fed mighty forges where phosphor and titanium were being melted and combined in alloys never known or used before.
a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
On the most exposed side of the fortress, at a point deep in the shadow of a buttress where the mighty walls rose sheer out of the ancient lava-flows, there was a small gate, a postern where a
sentry watched day and night and challenged all who sought to enter.
an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
While the watch was being changed on the
ramparts above, the sentry stamped once or twice and slapped his gloved hands on his upper arms for warmth, for it was the coldest hour of the night, and the little naphtha flare in the bracket beside him gave no heat.
determine the direction of traveling
The sentry unbarred the door, and his terrier dæmon quivered as the three figures
maneuvered their burden with difficulty through the narrow entrance.
very hard native crystalline carbon valued as a gem
On the highest rampart of the fortress was a tower of
adamant: just one flight of steps up to a set of rooms whose windows looked out north, south, east, and west.
a severe interrogation
The churches in every world are corrupt and weak, he thinks, they compromise too readily...He wants to set up a permanent
inquisition in every world, run directly from the Kingdom.
a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind
A draft from the open door sent an
eddy of air across the bed, and the particles of the angel’s form, loosened by the waning of his strength, swirled upward into randomness and vanished.
a tiny piece of anything
The pale sunlight that filtered in through the great leaded windows held in its slanted beams a million golden
motes, but these were dust, not Dust—though more than one of the members of the Court had seen in them an image of that other invisible Dust that settled over every human being, no matter how dutifully they kept the laws.
fanatical devotion to a cause, belief, or idea
The twelve members, from the oldest (Father Makepwe, ancient and rheumy-eyed) to the youngest (Father Gomez, pale and trembling with
zealotry), gathered their notes and followed the President through to the council chamber, where they could face one another across a table and talk in the utmost privacy.
an absence of rigor or strictness
We should be chastised for our
laxity in letting it happen.
designed to prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence
I have done
preemptive penance every day of my adult life.
voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
penance and absolution were doctrines researched and developed by the Consistorial Court, but not known to the wider Church.
formal redemption as pronounced by a priest in penance
When the penance had reached the appropriate level for a particular sin, the penitent was granted
absolution in advance, though he might never be called on to commit the sin.
emitting light as a result of being heated
Father Gomez seemed transfigured; the certainty that ran through his veins seemed to make his very eyes
varying in color when seen in different lights
His dæmon, a large and
iridescent green-backed beetle, clicked her wing cases.
characterized by lightness and insubstantiality
In her week in the world of Cittàgazze, she had seen enough devastation, enough Specter-eaten adults and wild, scavenging children, to have a horror of those
not clear to the understanding
This was the difficult part, because the Book expressed itself in such an
a covering (usually of cloth) that shelters an area
The long shadows of the trees lay toward her now, and she could see flocks of birds wheeling in front of them, so small against the towering green
canopy that they looked like motes of dust.
release in drops or small quantities
exuding a kind of oil.
the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property
If her guess about these universes was right, and they were the multiple worlds predicted by
quantum theory, then some of them would have split off from her own much earlier than others.
in a hesitant manner
The creature spoke again, and this time Mary tried hard to make the same sounds: “Mulefa,” she said
He cried aloud and soared into the night air over the tundra,
flailing his wings and sobbing his anguish into the clouds; and it was some time before he could compose himself and go back to Will, who was wide awake, knife in hand, peering up into the damp and chilly murk.
a physical disturbance such as an earthquake or upheaval
“There has been a
convulsion in the earth,” the priest said.
stretch, so as to see better
And here at last there were people: some watching from upper-floor windows, some
craning anxiously around the corners of buildings to look ahead at the waterfront, where the metal fingers of
cranes and derricks and the masts of big vessels rose above the rooftops.
opening in the barrel of a gun where bullets can be loaded
The great bear had come down the gangway, and massed behind him were several others, so heavy that the ship listed; and Will saw that the men on the wharf had gone back to the gun and were loading a shell into the