Ugh, getting a little uncomfortable about all the Sarai hate showing up in the comments of Mark Reads TQ chapter 7. “She’s so selfish!” “She shouldn’t try to hit servants, how classist of her! Plus, Aly was just trying to keep everyone safe!” “How could she say nobody was helping in the riot besides Zaimid - Winna and Nuritin and Aly helped with the kids that got rescued, blah blah blah!” “She made a mess in the study and left everyone else to clean it up, at least Dove cleans up after herself when she breaks stuff out of anger!”
Look, I don’t even like Sarai very much, but I don’t understand any of this criticism?? She’s eighteen fucking years old and has spent her whole life living among rich white people who try to be her friends while at the same time spitting on half of her identity. Within the last year, her family has been exiled and her father killed by the man who had been courting her, after which she helped kill him. Now she’s back in Rajmuat, her home, after experiencing some legitimate trauma, and she has to watch her people die right in front of her for no reason? Of course she’s not going to be totally rational when faced with all that. She’s ferociously compassionate and has a furious temper, we know this.
Let’s think of where she’s coming from. Here she is, in the middle of a riot, watching a bunch of white soldiers put down a bunch of people who share her skin color and heritage. Immediately prior to this, one of the white dudes who flirts with her on the regular called these people dogs and takes a riding crop to one of them. All these brown people are dying in front of her, like they do every day, like she knows they have done every day since her father’s people came and conquered them, and all she can see are that the white people in her riding group are doing absolutely nothing to stop it.
So when she goes to hit Aly, do I think she’s doing it because Aly’s a servant who’s in her way? Of course not. I think Sarai would have hit almost anyone in that situation, saving maybe her family and Nomru. That doesn’t make it okay, but the people who are making snide remarks about how Sarai’s going to make a terrible queen if she can’t respect the people beneath her in status are full of shit. We’ve never seen Sarai mistreat a servant or a slave before. She’s almost always treated Aly as an equal, regardless of her status. And remember that part where she insisted upon meeting and talking to every single raka peasant on Tanair who came to visit her?
Is it completely logical? No. But does it make some sense? Absolutely. And it’s a moot point to bring up what Aly was trying to do, because Sarai’s not a mind reader, and Sarai knows absolutely nothing about the conspiracy or Aly’s role in it. Sarai also doesn’t think highly of leaving all the victims of the riot bleeding in the street so that she can go home, like her family and friends want her to do - duh, she’s going to have a fuckton more respect for Zaimid going around healing the injured than for any of that shit. Comparing how Sarai and Dove break things is pretty ridiculous too, because we’ve known for a long time that they’re on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how they express emotion.
Basically I’m just done with all this Sarai hate. It’s not lost on me that she’s brown, which automatically means she’s going to receive more hate than she really deserves, or that she’s girly and likes pretty things and hanging out with cute boys, which some people seem to think is not worth respecting. Disliking Sarai is totally within your rights as a reader, and as I said before, she’s not my favorite character, but if you’re one of the people throwing all this heavy crit at her, I think you should take another look at why you dislike her so much.