‘Geography’ thus refers to the world as it has stood throughout the centuries, not only through the telling of academic geography – for a mixed land, The Continent is actually comprised of mostly flats, from being in the midst of an entire tectonic plate – but through the curios one might unearth through simply walking the shopping distance to the lower of the central plaza, for instance.
Very much like the socioeconomics my characters are strained through, the geography of The Continent is constantly in flux. As proven by Zara and Zoey’s characters, anybody who has a mind to create and experiment with their surroundings can change the known world into an alien.
In addition, geography is much shaped by the natural elements of harsh and soft; who might work in a sun-baked plane, and which line is most at home – at home? One can ramble on about opinion and social etiquette for an entire work, but the changing immutable provides the greatest hold over even the minds of the strongest warrior.
This is not magic. Dr. Costello never found a cure for his myopia as long as he lived. He fell to the one thing he could never control – his natural sightlessness. Just as Peter cannot change his locks and make himself something other than a Costello, neither can any character really judge by genetics, for those are, for the most part, out of human control.
Of course, control is exactly what the upper class wish to exhibit. They see an uneven nose as a sign of mixed blood. Thus, they focus judgement on those who do not fit a scheme, though records have always been unclear (and the Pages cannot be counted as unbiased fact) as to what specification under which the upper-class ladies judged each other.
And marriage selection is one way of retaining such prestige and, to a small extent, colour (see ‘Good Blood’ under ‘The Class Divide’). Villante and Costello may well be dark-haired and war-driven identically purely from their ancients’ lust of each other!