[image is a drawing of Bitterblue, from Kristin Cashore’s Seven Kingdoms/Graceling series. She is a young woman of mixed heritage with tan skin, grey eyes, and brown hair. She is wearing a navy blue hood that cowls around her neck and a purple top of some sort.]
- We have now reached the stage in fangirling where I start drawing things. Not so sure about the braid. It worked better when I was on super-zoom doing the colour.
- I’ve been surprised and not surprised to see how many people read the Lienid as white, and draw them that way. The physical descriptions in Cashore’s books tend to be focused mainly on build and eye colour (since eye colour is an important plot indicator and is not necessarily tied to race at all), but she specifically mentions that the Lienid almost universally have dark hair, grey eyes, and features that are distinct from the other six kingdoms’ peoples*. I don’t know if Cashore intended them to be read as POC, but I took her as written and pictured a fantasy world people somewhat inspired by Pacific Islanders (they’re from the only island nation and also have highly symbolic tattoos, which definitely fed into my ideas about what they look like).
This distinction is so obvious that Bitterblue is able to identify Saf as culturally Lienid (by his clothing, accent, and jewelry) but not racially Lienid, while he knows she’s at least mixed without ever even seeing her face (and presumably without her having an unusual accent, given they are in her own kingdom at the time). When Cashore says the Lienid look different than everybody else, I do think she means more than just their jewelry and badass tats.
*Maybe it’s something about grey eyes and dark hair? Katniss gets a lot of whitewashing with a very similar description.