If there actually was an innocent goblin, Holly Short had yet
to meet him. They were clogging up the cells now, howling gang chants and
hurling fireballs at each other. (3.9)
The word "clogging"
makes it seem like goblins only really have one use, and that's filling up jail
cells and using police resources to watch them. And apparently this happens
just because they're goblins.
Mulch started, contraband dropping from his sleeve.
"Officer Short," he whined, his face a mask of
regret. "I can't help myself. It's my nature." (3.18-19)
Considering the later
appearances of Mulch with brazen confidence in the face of authority, this sad
image of Mulch stands out. Why claim that dwarfs are basically born
[…] if there was one race the People felt an affinity for it
was the Irish. Perhaps it was their eccentricity, their dedication to the <em>craic</em>, as they
called it. And if the People were actually related to humans, as another theory
had it, odds are that the Emerald Isle was where it started. (4.48)
"Craic" is a real Irish word that means
something like news, gossip, or fun, so essentially the People like the Irish
because they can party. Which is both a generalization about Irish people and
odd since we don't see much fairy fun in this book.
There was a human before her, casually spouting sacred
secrets. This was disastrous. Catastrophic. [...] If the humans were aware of a
fairy subculture, it was only a matter of time before the two species went to
The People existed
before human societies, so suggesting that fairy culture is a derivative of
some other culture—which the word <em>subculture</em>
implies—is inaccurate and offensive.
The elf/goblin combo watched as Root disappeared in a cloud of
cigar smoke. (5.161)
If you blink, you'll
miss it, but this is the only time we get proof that the fairy folk can and do
mate across racial lines. And calling it an "elf/goblin combo" is not
exactly a great way of embracing this fact.
The goblin/dwarf turf war was flaring up at the moment and
some bright spark LEP elf had seen fit to put him in a cell with a gang of
psyched-up goblins. (7.6)
The term "turf war"
suggests that there is a long history of racialized gang violence between
goblins and dwarfs, and that the LEP elves are so out of it that they don't
care whether they're contributing to the problem.
He'd seen it too many times in the back alleys. A group of
goblins would corner a stray brother dwarf, pin him down, and then the leader
would give him the double barrels straight to the face. (7.39)
The implication here is
that gangs of goblins find dwarfs alone and fry them. Ugh.
"You opted to send in a lapsed creature. So now I'm going
Magic is evidently
another dimension that adds to the division between races—Mulch is referred to
as a "lapsed creature" in the same breath as a troll, which isn't
capable of speech or higher thought, simply because he no longer has magical abilities
like the LEP elves do.
"A casualty of war? How can you say that? A life is a
Unlike pretty much
everyone else, Holly points out that race doesn't matter when you're talking
about murder. Somewhere along the line she must have grown out of her
disinterest in saving humans, perhaps because she spent real time with a range
"You know the stories—elves that made shoes during the
night, sprites that cleaned houses. Back when we coexisted to a certain extent.
Magical favors in exchange for their fairy forts. (9.356)
This sounds more like
an oppressive relationship than an exchange of favors, so it wouldn't be hard
to imagine that when the People separated from humans they turned around and
oppressed certain types of fairies, bringing about the divisions in the races.