Here are some quotes from the book accompanied by images of a few of the characters.
“They’re such an odd group of individuals. Full of patience. And keen for truth and knowledge.” He sounded pleasantly surprised.
Morgan nodded. “Yes. Those are their chief characteristics. But they are also stubborn, careful, wild, and unpredictable. There is a primal element to them that, when it comes out, shocks one who is accustomed to their politeness. You heard that war cry. I have seen far worse and far more baffling examples of their feral nature.”
“Is it dangerous?”
“They’re Human. Humanity is always dangerous. I think the real question is: are they good? That remains to be seen in each and every one of them.”
Dalimi is one of the Halfbreed children. She is six years old when we first meet her, and by the end of the story, has grown to be a woman. She is smart, sensitive, loving and patient; quick to judge and sometimes too quiet for her own good.
When we first meet her: “The Halfbreed inside was a little girl about six years old, with red hair and normal legs. But her eyes, which were mostly blue, had orange streaks in them.”
Five years later: “She was beautiful. At eleven she promised to one day be the most gorgeous girl in camp, with her fiery red hair and prettily rounded figure. There was nothing of a Schump in the way she carried herself.”
“Bobakin looked at the little redhead whose vivid, blue eyes were like sparkling crystals. She was so responsible, so sensitive, so concerned.”
A few years later: “Damili watched with patience and deep heartache.”
“She was making breakfast, and looking remarkably pretty with her red curls pulled back and her face flushed with the heat of the fire.”
“As he turned and went away, Damili watched him with starry, tear-filled eyes.”
“She was always so cautious and suspicious…”
“She was cast upon the ground, her red hair spewed like a cataract of glistening fire, her dress a blue cloud of daintiness, and her shoulders heaving in hard sobs.”
A few more years after that: “Dalimi came over and sat beside Bobakin, busying herself with weaving a basket. Bobakin did not send her away as he once would have, but was obviously contented and more at peace with her by his side.”
“She knew better than to push him when he was reticent to speak, and so she just went quietly about the tent, tidying, sewing, and doing the little things a wife does.”
“She sat at his feet for what felt like a long time, but was less than a minute. Then he held out his arms, and she fell into them. He held and caressed her for all he was worth, bitten by the sting of the words he had flung at her. She was his own flesh, and when he wounded her he wounded himself.”
Bobakin is the leader of the halfbreeds. He is motivated by the kinship and responsibility he feels for each and every child in his care. He is passionate but intelligent, fierce but melancholy. He has experienced great heartbreak and boundlessly wild, unfettered joy.
“Bobakin leaned forward, curious and anxious to understand.”
“One day, after he’d had a bath and was combing it before the mirror, he saw to his horror that his hair was green. Only a small tinge of green in the muddy brown color, but it was there. He was transforming into a Schump for his sins and would be burned to death.”
“Bobakin had no thoughts of death, for himself or the Humans. Just joy, and it was joy that was ripping through his untamed heart.”
“Bobakin stood still a long moment. He was not surprised, just saddened; abandonment was an old wound, freshly stabbed.”