Leila tore desperately free of whoever was holding her. Shalhassan of Cathal staggered back. He saw her stride, stumble, almost fall. She righted herself, reached the altar, and claimed the axe.
"In the name of the Goddess, no!" one of the priestesses cried in horror, a hand before her mouth.
Leila did not hear her. She was screaming, and far away. She lifted Dana's axe, which only the High Priestess could lift. She raised that thing of power high over her head and brought it crashing, thundering, echoing down upon the altar stone. And as she did, she cried out again, building the power of the axe, the power of Dana, climbing on top of them as upon a mighty wall to hurl the mind command:
Finn, I command you. In the name of Dana, in the name of Light! Come away! Come to me now in Paras Derval!
She dropped to her knees in the Temple, letting the axe fall. In the sky over Andarien, she watched. She had nothing left; she was empty, a shell. If this was not enough it had all been waste, all bittersweet waste.
(from The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay)
I chose this because this scene always leaves me as drained as Leila. No, it's not a huge battlefield of knights and warriors, nor is it wizards or mages throwing spells at each other. But it follows several other climactic (for the individual characters involved) scenes and is, for me, that last, stomach-churning drop on a long roller coaster ride. I can't read it without feeling elated and exhausted at the same time.