I finally finished the Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-Thorton. You can probably guess by the title what the trilogy did not have.
To be fair, the books had plenty of foreshadowing, warning me that the ending might be less than rosy. There's a prophecy at the beginning of the book that I conveniently forgot about, which comes up at the end as a thumbed up nose to the poor main character. There's more than that to clue the reader in throughout all three books. Each book is full of folk tales from the land and very few of them end happily. At best, the protagonists of these tales end up in a zero sum ending. And, just like in many of these tales, our hero has her prospects stolen away by a nearly random accident. It was a bit like watching Wash die. Strike that -- it was exactly like watching Wash die! Except that Wash wasn't the main character of Serenity. Harumph.
I suppose I require happier endings from the stories I read. Especially when they are so long, and believe me, the Bitterbynde books are long. I can put up with a fatalistic or depressing ending for a very good short story, but if I invest the time it takes to read hundreds of thousands of words following a single character through her romance, then, yes, I want a happy ending.
So, on that note, I've started reading Outlander for the first time. I'm already loving it, and between that and the Bitterbynde Trilogy, by the end I'll be able to write a novel full of characters that say things like "ye ken". Maybe I can top it off by watching Brave when it comes out? It's the year of the Scotts for me!