Mark Reads ‘Nawat’

In the Tortall and Other Lands short story “Nawat,” precisely EVERYTHING EVER is NOT OKAY AT ALL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read “Nawat.”


I think that in a lot of ways, “Nawat” was the most surprising of the Tortall and Other Lands short stories. It’s brutal in a way that left me feeling disturbed long after it was over. The realism present in this story worked to convey what it was like to be Nawat – to be stuck between the worlds of the crows and the world of the humans – which was very necessary to understand the struggle Nawat went through here.

Which doesn’t negate the horror I felt either. Pierce dances close to a line that is just unfathomable for most of us. I do admit that the set up in The Trickster Series and the exposition work done here helped to get why Nawat was forced to choice between Ochobai’s life and the cultural practice of culling. But the real world implications of this? Just so relentlessly horrifying that I honestly don’t know how to feel about this. I mean, Nawat should love and care for his child even if she isn’t his favorite! I also worry how that sort of treatment would affect Ochobai as she grew up. Sometimes, making a child feel too special can be alienating.

But I absolutely loved that Pierce was so honest and detailed about childbirth and the oftentimes frustrating and painful experience that many of those who give birth go through. WE WERE NOT TAUGHT ANY OF THIS STUFF IN HIGH SCHOOL, OH MY GOD. I had to learn about it in college, and that’s ABSURD. Ugh, thanks to my school board’s insistence on abstinence-only education and a focus on all the girls in my school only learning how to care for children after they’re born, I’m not surprised there are a lot of people who don’t know the logistics of childbirth.

BUT BABIES. BABIES. LITERAL CUTE BABIES. And it was so great to meet so many more members of Nawat’s flock!!!! Honestly, I was fairly pleased with the ending to the series already, but there’s just SO MUCH INSIGHT into the world that Aly has helped Dove build in the Isles. I mean, I didn’t expect Aly to stay there in the first place, but this is CLEARLY TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH. 

If you’ll excuse the brevity of this, reading 76 pages straight on video is pretty exhausting. WHAT DID Y’ALL THINK OF THIS STORY.

Please note that the original text/videos contains use of the words “idiot” and “mad.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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