Date of Graduation

Fall 2022


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Michael Czyzniejewski


Set in the fantasy world of Vriim, Splitleaf follows the story of the protagonist Dellum Lovira as he journeys to regain his freedom, find purpose in his life once he has freedom, and develop into a self-actualized person beyond the shadow of his mother and the societal judgement for his multiracial status. Raised on the island chain of Riitol, Dellum is a half-blood between a human father and a Nifaren mother, a race of scaled and feathered people whose emotional investment struggles to move beyond self-interest. He must in the early chapters included here travel back to his original home, a ruin on an offset island, to defeat the demon that cursed him to never leave the islands as a child. However, upon fighting the demon, he encounters a woman named Tavi who knows more than she is willing to tell about the demon, the ruins, and the magical sword hilt the demon wielded, Splitleaf. She departs with a clue to Dellum that the island Naruk may hold answers, and that she will tell more if he can impress her before their next meeting. Once she is gone, Dellum is left to return home, learn the truth about his father’s curse and infidelity, and his mother’s lack of paternal affection for him. They then head to meet the crew they will be sailing with to leave Riitol, including Dellum’s fully human siblings who he struggles to connect with before the departure. In the end, Dellum is left on the brink of leaving the only home he knows to embark on a journey to a foreign corner of the world, surrounded by family who are almost just as foreign to him.


fantasy, fiction, novel excerpt, family issues, racism, identity

Subject Categories



© Sean M. Turlington

Available for download on Sunday, December 01, 2024

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