Kathleen2point0 said: Was anyone else annoyed with the whole "Oh, Ruffel, you're getting taller and whiter" thing?
It did make me feel slightly uncomfortable, I'll admit. Not because there's not a legitimate logic to but because of the how this might come across in our real world, where racism is still alive and well. I wonder if it was necessary to call this out, when it might cause people to form assumptions about EQ without really giving it a chance, or to get distracted by a plot point that doesn't mean what they think it does.
But it does make sense within the story. The Sun Folk, living inside the Palace, don't need dark skin to protect them from the sun's rays anymore, just like they don't need small bodies to hide and survive on "scarce meat" (as Timmain put it). That, coupled with the fact that these are magical beings who have extremely malleable forms and for whom adaptation and evolution happen at the individual level rather than it happening slowly over many generations, and whose innate shelf-shaping magic is enhanced and greatly sped up by the Palace, make it understandable that this could happen within the story. The big takeaway from this, for me, is that what might take thousands of years of evolution in humans, or even for elves not living in the Palace, is now happening to the Sun Folk in the space of a few decades. The plot point is meant to emphasize this extreme effect of the Palace, not to make any social commentary on events in the real world.