| home | the library | fanlistings | vertical file | webmistresss |
| affiliates | credits | links |


Dime Store Magic
by Kelley Armstrong


p.23-24 I knew Sandford was a sorcerer the moment I looked into his eyes--a gut-level recognition that registered before I could have told you what color those eyes were. This is a peculiarity specific to our races. We need only look one another in the eye, and witch recognizes sorcerer, sorcerer recognizes witch.
     Witches are always female, sorcerers are always male, but sorcerers aren't the male equivalent of witches. We are two separate races with different yet overlapping powers. Sorcerers can cast witch spells, but at a reduced potency, as our ability to use sorcerer spells is handicapped.
     No one knows when sorcerers and witches originated, or which came first. Like most supernatural races, they've been around since the beginnings of recorded history, starting with a handful of "gifted" people who grew into a full-fledged race--still rare enough to hide from the human world but plentiful enough to form their own microsociety.
     The earliest references to true witches show that they were valued for their healing and magical skills, but in Medieval Europe women with such powers were viewed with growing suspicion. At the same time, the value of sorcerers was increasing, as aristocrats vied to have their own private "magicians." The witches didn't need weather-forecasting spells to see which way the wind was blowing, and they devised for themselves a fresh role in this new world order.
     Until that time, sorcerers could cast only simple spell using hand motions. Witches taught them how to enhance this power by adding other spell-casting elements--incantations, potions, magical objects, and so on. In return for these teachings, the witches asked that the sorcerers join them in a mutually advantageous covenant.
     If a nobleman wanted help defeating his enemies, he'd consult a sorcerer, who would take the request to the witches and together they'd cast the appropriate spells. Then the sorcerer would return to the nobleman and collect his reward. In turn, the sorcerer would provide for and protect the witches with his wealth and social standing. The system worked for centuries. Sorcerers gained power, in both the human and supernatural worlds, while the witches gained security, through protection and a guaranteed income. Then came the Inquisition.
     Sorcerers were among the first targeted by the Inquisition in Europe. How did they react? They turned on us. The Inquisition wanted heretics? The sorcerers gave them witches. Freed from the moral restrictions imposed by Covens, the sorcerers turned to stronger and darker magic. While witches burned, sorcerers did what they did best, becoming rich and powerful.
     Today sorcerers rule as some of the most important men in the world. Politicians, lawyers, CEO's--search the ranks of any profession known for greed, ambition, and a distinct lack of scruples, and you'll find a whole cadre of sorcerers. And witches? Ordinary women living ordinary lives, most of them so afraid of persecution they've never dared learn a spell that will kill anything larger than an aphid.

p.39 I'd been sitting in Cary's office for twenty minutes, gazing out the oversized window behind his desk while he read through my papers. So far everything had gone well. Other than a lingering look at my boobs when I walked in, he hadn't done anything untoward. I'd probably been too harsh on the guy. I seemed to attract a lot of Cary-types--forty-something married guys who see me, if not as a gorgeous blonde that who'd look good on their arm, as a young woman who might enjoy and appreciate the attentions of an older man.
     From what I'd seen of Grantham Cary II, h e likely hit on every younger woman he met. You know the type. All-American boy of 1975, the town's brightest star, every girl in town wetting her pants if he so much as looked at her. Fast-forward to 2001. His weekly golf game lo longer keeps his love handles in check, he's recently resorted to a slight comb-over to cover that growing bald spot, he squints to avoid wearing the bifocals he hides in his desk drawer, and he spends h is days in an office filled with decades-old sports trophies. Still a good-looking guy, but these days more likely to be coveted for his bank account than his biceps.

p.47 "In case you didn't guess, the answer is no. Don't take it too hard. It's not just because you're married. It's because you've been married longer than I've been alive."

p.74 glossolalia = speaking in tongues

p.180 "We have been invaded, Paige. Not only by a half-demon, but a sorcerer and a necrophiliac--"
     "Necromancer," I said. "A necrophiliac is someone who has sex with dead people. Necromancers don't--or at least, I hope they don't... On second thought, let's not go there."

p.294 ""What are you putting that dirt in?" Savannah asked as we approached the trees surrounding Mott's grave.
     I took a sandwich bag from my pocket.
     "A Baggie?" she said.
     "A Ziploc Baggie."
     "You're putting grave dirt in a Ziploc? Shouldn't we have a fancy bottle or something?"
     "I thought of bringing a jam jar, but it could break."
     "A jam jar? What kind of witch are you?"
     "A very practical one."
     "What if the Baggie breaks?"
     I reached into my pocket and pulled out another one. "Backup Baggie."
     Savannah shook her head.