What a topic for a first post!
Moving on to book two. Husband finally remembers Seri. Unforntunately, due to the circumstances under which he remembers her, he goes completely nutty and offs himself. Poor Seri gets to watch this episode through a window. Futhermore, her son was actually swapped at birth with her brother's son, so the kid she thought was her nephew is actually her son and he's been kidnapped by the evil exterior forces. (And, yes, we did have a "Luke, I am your father." moment of sorts.) Seri hasn't had a mental break yet, but my god!
So can an author simply be too sadistic to their characters?
Berg's case is different from the average sadist author. For one thing, she's a good writer. Sure there are cliches, and she does use her own set of stock characters. But she writes well, and she writes convincely. I care about her characters, and futhermore, they are real, flawed people. Not all of Seri's problems are based in the fact that the fates of the world hate her. She frequently makes things worse on herself through pride or through anger. Her characters also grow and are changed by the shit that they live through, rather than simply enduring it to show how strong they are or how evil the bad guys really are (*cough* Terry Goodkind *cough*). But, occasionally, it would be nice to have something good happen to the characters I like.
On one hand, no story can be entirely positive. I love the definition of plot as get your character up a tree, throw things at her, and then get her back down. Something has to go wrong. Characters need to make mistakes, and they need to suffer the consequences of making a mistake. Characters should lose some of the time -- especially in a genre like fantasy, where things tend ot magically work out for the protagonist.
On the other, writing is for an audience. And when the audience is rather attached to a character (through good writing) throwing things at the protagonist relentlessly can become painful for the audience, particularly when there doesn't seem to be a reason -- plotwise -- for the pain.
Oh well, I'm not done with the book, so perhaps there is a good reason for the further beating of poor Seri. I hope.