I read the following passages from Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire:
"Don Vicente, let me ask for your arm. I'm faint as a dowager who has taken Madeira at noon." She looked about as faint as a lightning bolt.
Is "as faint as a lightning bolt" a common simile in English? Because...in my opinion, lightning bolt is something strong rather than faint...;-)
"It is 1502 .... every chin in Europe turns away from Byzantium and toward Lisboa and Castile."
Does this imply that everybody switched their attention / interest from Byzantium to Lisboa and Castile?
"I was a dark twist of child hiding behind my father."
What does it mean by "a dark twist" of child?