"Bennu’s narrow beak curved the full length of its body, which was as round as a grapefruit. A lone beetle, an escapee from that morning’s feeding, scurried across the cage bottom. Bennu puffed up his red-black feathers and needled the insect a bit before plunging its beak into the shell to pick at its insides."
"Elemental Attunement is an exercise of concentration and inner-vision conditioning using the classical elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The guided visualization is an essential practice in preparation for any magical act because it functions as a barometer of the mind’s 'weather.'"
"The shearing of their heads had been as revealing as circumcision, bringing to light conical crowns, pinched or dented scalps, birthmarks, and ingrown hairs. As if in communion, Jonah, too, was hairless and nude, tipping the bucket, one by one, over each pale and dotted dome."