Quotations of Orin Herne

In my book, King’s Exile, Orin Herne is the retired leader of West Landly’s Guard. A master tactician, Herne mentors young Dax through a critical period. Several readers have expressed a desire to see a collection of the legendary general’s thoughts and observations. I am more than happy of comply.

 On Preparation:

Nothing worthwhile comes without a wagon full of work.

The more proficient you look with a weapon, the less likely it is your opponent will do something rash.

[A prudent man would] wish the best, but plan the worst.

You can never know too much about the enemy.

Every mile today is one less tomorrow.

Surprises are problems.

Caution is always better than regrets. 

Now you’re thinking tactically. Shoe the horses and patch the tack before the trip I always say.

The Perils of Over-Planning:

You may be selling the fish before you’ve dug the bait.

Webs of wishes ensnare the over optimistic.

You’re taking a loan on trouble you’ve yet to see.

When second thoughts become thirds and fourths, they get a little stale.

Even the best battle plan only lasts until the second swing of the sword. After that, it’s all up to the fighters.


Decisions have consequences.

Every leader needs a legend.

Just wearing the crown, leading a fancy parade—that's not being a king.

Personal Appearance:

[Why he kept his hair cropped short] Keeps the hair out of your eyes in battle and makes your helmet fit better.

[The benefits of disguise] I’ve found it useful to have options for whom I choose to be. From time to time the general finds it instructive to get out and hoist a pint in a pub.

Other Observations:

[Conducting surveillance] Listen with your ears and your skin.

[Distraction as a tactic] “Slight of hand for the slight of mind,” he sighed. “She gets the Ruling Council looking east when the problem is under their noses.”

[Restlessness caused by prolonged inaction] The fidgety-widgeties

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