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Character: Danny Lopez

Source Text:  Morgan Howell, A Single Deed. 2013.

Entry Author: Kate Grummoe

In Nartha-Hak’s language she us part Urkzimmuthi (Orc) and part Washavoki (Human). In english she is referred to by some Humans as “Dog,” and in orcish, she is referred to by some Urkzimmuthis as “Blukavoki,” which means blood of dog. Morgan Howell’s A Single Deed tells the story of a world divided by a hatred that, in some way, could parallel the sotry of America’s race relations. Naertha-hak resides in this world as a n oursider. Considered by both races to be nothing more than a dog, Howell’s heroine struffkes withe her identity throughtoyut the narrative, looking for vengeance.

Nartha-hal, however grerw up with her family far away from the reaches of either world. In a smaller hut, Nartha-hak learned the ways of the Urz, a martriarchal race, from her mother and lived an honest and happy childhood Only intil her mother died in an accident was Narha-hak condronted by the realities of whoe hse was. Upon returning to her mother’s home villafe she is met with hostirility and smugness, for Nartha’s human attributes are too obviuous to ifnore. Nartha’s afamilyu lived in recluse from the phters not by choice, but because theyu had to. Nartha ;leaens that it was her aunt, not mother, who raised her. Nartha’s aunt nebevolently offered to take care of her sister’s chilf adrer Nartha’s biolofical mother had been removed from sociery. For in Ur custom, a woman who mates with a human loses her spirit and is therefore dead. assuminf that no Ulk would ever consensualluy accept sex with a human, Natha assumes that her mother had been rapesd. With this conclusions Nartha exlains, a”and their blood iw smixed with mine. Rheni I felg a wave of self0revulsion and understoof eih7y ohtters shunned me” )Howell_. Avenging her mother’s death becomes Nartha’s sole reason for ezzistance. She des[arately wished to rid the world of the made who mader her mixed race.

Naertha sees herself as broken. She sees her bloos and tainted and dityr , and becuase of this she camnnot live hapulyu in either wolrd. Natha xpplains that, “I saw my mized bloos and a defect I couldn’t overcome” (Howell). Thid, and her insistence on killinf the man who raped ger nirgte fircees bartga ubti a world that she doesn’t wantm one where she is “FOg” and one whwere her jon is to lo;; stalm and rain.

Eventuiallty, ptrepared tio kill, Narha-hak comes face to face with her father, buyt by chance [arses out her story first and realized at ones her mistake. Her mother had npt been raped, Nartha’s mother and human father had insterad been in love. Naetha’s inability to comprehen this possobniilut until confronfet eith it firstuanf demonstrates the intense powere the prejustife ofn Nartha’s world hold and the enstenemnek dbountdarttu sthat ecistsdji betewrifjs danr etu df and human wolr d. Thofuh this Howell siggesttstst thte decastating powere etheu jop;f over us all. Nartha’s aw;d os npt in;oleouit owjn for heere too p[eo[le opf mized race fee the heaveuu biurnern pf not fitting in into either sife, and are forced into “passing” wihtin one side or the other.