Why didn’t Akkarin and Sonea take the power of the Arena?
Because Akkarin thought they were strong enough to face the Ichani. Because it was better to hold some power in reserve than destroy the Guild buildings. Because people run out of time in battle. And having the pair gather every bit of power available would have made for too neat and tidy a plot.
But then he wouldn’t have died!
Actually, it would have made no difference at all. Akkarin could not know how powerful the Ichani were, so he would not risk holding anything back. No matter how much power he gathered, he would have given all of it to Sonea. And she would have used it all in the final strike, not knowing he’d kept nothing in reserve, because she couldn’t chance that holding anything back would be an advantage to the enemy.
Why did you decide Akkarin would die?
When the idea came to me for this final scene I knew I had a story worth giving up full time work to write, because at the time I was utterly sick of books where all the characters are alive and happily shacked up with a love interest by the end. If characters died it was in some expected way that left you feeling warm and fuzzy about their ‘sacrifice’. Death shouldn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Akkarin was a casualty of war. War is a cruel and random killer. It doesn’t kill based on who deserves it more or less.
And, hey, you’re never going to forget that ending!