egyptian hair

ok unpopular opinion but when we praise rick riordan’s current use of diverse characters, especially with regards to race, i don’t think we give enough of a shoutout to the kane chronicles

i get it, the kane chronicles is like neglected step-sibling of the percy jackson and heroes of olympus fandom, magnus chase is not nearly as successful as PJO/HoO and its still more popular than the kane chronicles but can we recognize how important of an experimental time period it was for rick as an author re: characterization

if you’re one of the slew of people who have read riordan’s other works but not kane chronicles, the two protagonists, Carter and Sadie Kane are siblings of mixed race. Carter has dark skin, dark curly hair, and Egyptian features like their black father, but Sadie has light skin, blonde hair, and traditionally European features like their white mother. Riordan uses this dynamic throughout the series to bring attention to racial microaggressions and blatant anti-black sentiments that we harbor intentionally or not in the modern world.

For example, in the books, there are several times when people assume by looking that them, that Carter and Sadie aren’t related, and both siblings expression their aggravation, because Sadie has every right to her Egyptian heritage as Carter does, just as Carter has the same right to feel connected to his mother and her side of the family as Sadie does, but because they look like polar opposites, they aren’t given the same treatment.

Additionally, Carter and Sadie’s mother dies before the start of the series, and afterwards, the two are split up, as sadie is taken from her father by her maternal grandparents (so white theyre sour cream) who err on hatred for carter, their father, and their paternal uncle (black) in a very dursley-ish sort of way and its hinted to be at least partially racially based, while Carter is allowed to remain with his father. By the time Carter reunites with Sadie at the beginning of the series, he and his father have been forced to stay away from her for so long that they basically have to relearn each other all over again. Meanwhile, their grandparents lash out at Carter for no reason other than the fact that he exists. (also its been 2 years i think since i read the first book so this might be wrong, but sadie also has some misconceptions about her father’s relationship to her because she seems to feel that he left her with her grandparents on purpose because he didn’t care about her the way he cared about carter some of which i think we hear straight from the grandparents mouth. but the reader sees this from another perspective because we know it physically pained their father to be away from sadie, and any implication otherwise plays into the “absent black father narrative”)

Idk i personally think developing the constant reoccurring mention to carter and sadie being different physically is like part of what helped him get out of the box of chronically not mentioning character races that nearly all white authors get stuck in, that and there was also probably a generous push from the “grover cant be black” outcry after the first movie and you can think im crazy for saying it but the fact of the matter is that the first kane chronicles book and The Lightning Thief movie both came out in 2010

so anyway if you have read the kane chronicles pls make an effort to celebrate its diversity the way you would celebrate other books of rick riordan, like including sadie kane in your gifsets about badass WOC or drawing attention to Zia and Anubis/Walt when you talk about love interests of main protagonists (re: annabeth, piper, and alex)

thanks good talk everyone


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