Rose, Laterose, Rose of Noonvale, Daughter of Urran Voh. Potential love interest of Martin the Warrior.

And this is why her death wasn't worth it.

Firstly, the book gives about a million hints that Martin and Rose are... well, let's just say they're attracted to each other. (Not considering Rose's obvious age difference compared to Martin.) And let's just say that Jacques has never, NEVER been known to kill off a romance.

I mean, look at all the romances that Jacques puts in... Matthias/Cornflower (though I must admit Cornflower is a very flat character), Gonff/Columbine, Tarquin/Hon Rosie, Broggle/Fwirl, Tam/Armel (my personal favorite). The romances he puts in are always light and just-for-fun, and they always end up nicely. Everyone gets married and has Dibbuns and they all live happily ever after.

Not so for Martin and Rose, though. While I've heard that BJ needs something to really "shock" Martin into going to Mossflower, Rose's death is just a bit too drastic. Here's why:

Reason two is that Rose is a very well-developed main character, and since when does BJ kill off main characters? Imagine if Dandin got killed when he, Mariel, Durry, and Tarquin went questing. How does that fit? What if Gonff got killed (we thought he was dead, but no)?

There are those dear Brag/Saro fanatics who can't bear to see them killed, and neither can I. But if you really look at it, Brag and Saro weren't even that well developed. Loamhedge itself wasn't that well developed either, but that's another story. My point is that we know next to nothing about Brag and Saro - their past, their lives, who they are, even. They just appeared out of the mist seemingly, "just in time to save the ol' Abbey."

But Rose, ah, dear Rose! We know about her peaceful life at Noonvale, her parents Urran and Aryah Voh, her brother Brome the Healer. We know how Martin loves her and how Grumm adores her; we know how lovely her voice is and how beautiful her visage. It's not classic BJ style to kill off someone so valuable to the plot. And it certainly made some readers cry, ahem.

My third reason is certainly somewhat minor compared to the above two, but Rose dies from hitting a wall? Really? She buys Martin a little time with her petty sling and three-stone shot, but after that she's flung onto a wall and dies. Contrast this to our beloved Felldoh the Wrestler, who whipped Badrang of Marshank half to death and took out entire vermin formations with him.

As a result, BJ has no good reason (in the plot, let's say) to kill off Rose. Yes, there may be a higher-level reason (to lead up to Mossflower), but the plot to kill Rose wasn't very well-written, I think. If Rose didn't come up to Badrang to sling some pebbles at him and instead, say, Grumm whacked him in the snout with a well-aimed stone, buying Martin time, Martin could have slew Badrang without any harm being done to Rose.

So still let's suppose that we need something to shock Martin into becoming a roving warrior. How about Martin and his newfound friends - Felldoh, Brome, Rose, Grumm, etc. - are all going back to live at Noonvale peacefully (happily ever after, sorry I had to put that in) and suddenly a wildfire comes along and when it clears, Martin can't find anyone and has to trek to Mossflower. Still doesn't fix that romance issue, but I think that's something BJ shouldn't introduce in the first place if Martin's not going to be with Rose in the end.

In short, this was not insulting or vulgar contempt, but simply an attempt to save our Laterose of Noonvale, lover of Martin, daughter of Urran Voh.

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