Why does everyone have to die?

Spoilers here for Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series.  If you don’t want to know how it ends, don’t read on.  Well, not so much how it ends, but who survives.

Jim Butcher’s first book in the Codex Alera was on sale for US99c (about A$1.50). I bought it, and even though my TBR pile is enormous, I started to read it.

At 11:00pm that night, I bought the second book.

Oh, it’s a slippery slope when you start on a series you enjoy.

I was part way through the second book when I told Sherylyn, “All I can say is, they’d better not kill Frederic.”

They didn’t kill Frederic, much to my relief. And, in fact, most of those who survived the first book also survived the second.

I haven’t read any further. Two books in two days. I’m stiff, I haven’t moved.  I need to walk around a bit.  But, I did jump onto Goodreads and read the synopses of the next four books.  And, let’s be honest, I read a few reviews, too.

Spoiler coming … be warned, stop here if you don’t want to know.

I don’t know if Frederic survives to the end of the last book. I hope he does.  He’s only a secondary character (minor secondary, at that).  But everyone else survived. All the main characters lived.

I read a few reviews where readers were critical of this. They felt that some of the main characters should have died.  That it was unrealistic. 

Of course it was unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Why can’t the story follow only the survivors? Why is a book only realistic if people die?

Other reviewers were happy the characters survived, and I confess, even though I haven’t read the other books yet, so am I. I was dreading learning that one of my favourite characters being killed.

I’m a lot more inclined to read the other four books now.

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8 comments

  1. Betty Hafner - Reply

    I’m with you. I have been known to drop books and/or TV series when characters I liked were killed off just for the sake of having someone die. It’s fiction and it’s for entertainment or education. If it makes the reader happy, then that’s a good thing. If people want realism, then watch the news, you’ll get more than your share of “realistic” moments.

    • Karen - Reply

      Yes, on the news. Real life can be rather horrible at time.

      Like you, I drop books/TV series if my favorite character(s) dies.

  2. snapdragon - Reply

    The Codex Alera books are my favorite series of Jim’s. That could change if the 2nd Cinder Spires ever arrives but I much prefer it than Harry Dresden — not that Harry is bad but it start to stall for me after about book 14.

  3. Wanda - Reply

    Many years ago I was raging when a main character in three different series was killed off – all in the same reading month! I admit to ranting about that for a while!

  4. Skip - Reply

    There is a sad death. First Lord of Alera, Gaius, sacrifices himself. Also, one of the “good” high lords is killed by the Queen. See books 5 and 6.
    I wish for Cinder Spires book 2.
    I’m ready for Linesman book 4. I haven’t been able to get into SK’s body modder series. I’ve tried several times.

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