Dark Is Not Evil

Thanks to the website TV Tropes for the title of this important post.

I stumbled upon an important article that analyses the contents of two upcoming highly anticipated releases.  This is the link to that article that I highly recommend you read (though beware there are some spoilers for those two books).  Please, Please click the link and read the article!

To summarise what it says, the first few sentences of that article provide that eloquently:

Oh, worldbuilding.  You are so hard and so important to any fantasy world.  Worldbuilding sets the scene in a big way and allows a writer to create a world unlike ours in which to tell a story. 

But what happens when your worldbuilding is vaguely racist and relies heavily on aspects of white supremacy?


Both rely on a tired old trope for their worldbuilding: a dark skinned savage race that serve as the aggressors throughout the story.  This isn’t anything new, but it is lazy and promotes problematic ideas of race and culture.

It goes on to point out how the plot of the highly anticipated Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth and The Continent by Keira Drake follows the racist and white supremacy themes.  Having not read either book, the points the article make are very clear and compelling.  Being white, this is also something I’m not finely tuned to see in literature as I benefit from my whiteness.  Thus, I am so so thankful to have read this article and I want to share it as widely as I can.  Sure, I did know it was an issue, but I never had it explained so well.  Now that I am aware of this trope and issue and how it can manifest in the novels that I read I can hopefully more readily identify it in other novels and point it out to others.  

The point of this post is this:

1) To highlight someone’s words on this topic that are so much more important and eloquent then mine.  In all likelihood they have more experience and expertise in this area and I want to give their words a wider audience.

2) To help shed light on this topic so that readers can point it out as being something they don’t want to see in books thus pushing publishers to not publish novels with similar themes.

3) To point out this issue to all the future authors they may be reading my blog so they can endeavour to avoid falling in this trap in their writing. 

Edit #1: Adding a link to a great review for The Continent (with spoilers) which talks more on this subject.

Edit #2: There are many more reviews out there for The Continent in the blog-verse and on Goodreads that discuss it’s issues and there is some starting traction for Carve the Mark.  YOu can find them if interested, yet the point of my post is the same, I want to bring awareness to the issue so that is can be addressed.


6 thoughts on “Dark Is Not Evil

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