These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Special mention also has to go out to the minor villain Hadanelith, the serial rapist/Mind Rapist from the Mage Wars trilogy.
In Foundation, the first book of the latest trilogy, we have Master Pieters, a man who puts children as young as four and five to work in a mine, makes them sleep in a basement, feeds them so little that they supplemented their diet by stealing the pig slop whenever they could and beat a child to a bloody pulp with a mallet in front of the rest of the child workers.
Fridge Brilliance: Why does Firesong become obsessed with a lifebond when the Mage Storms and their effect on the land are driving him insane? One of the other books reveal that lifebonds usually/often form when someone extremely powerful is in danger of going insane: the lifebond anchors them. As a Healing-Adept, it's probable that he subconsciously knew what was happening to him and what he needed - it's not made clear whether lifebonds are divine intervention, something the more powerful person does subconsciously, or both.
Ho Yay: Both in-universe and among fans, naturally. In universe, certain areas are quite prejudiced against homosexuality and the suggestion of it must be avoided by those wishing to remain un-lynched.
It's clear that Firesong is deliberately trying to invoke this trope: one example is that he has a firebird because he bred/created it himself in order to show off. He also takes to the role of a showman very happily, and it's when his loved one starts to ignore him that he starts showing cracks. There are implications that he feels that he has to be special because he's descended from Vanyel and has to live up to that legacy & that his mother was very strict and demanding. It's need to be loved or for the mental stabilizing effect of a lifebond that nearly sends him over the Moral Event Horizon.
Talia, besides being (as noted below) The Woobie, is an arguable Sympathetic Sue: she's a misfit in her community, an abused child about to be forced at thirteen into an arranged marriage with a man old enough to be her grandfather; and when she runs away, she's rescued not only be a Companion, but by the Monarch's Own Herald's Companion.
The Woobie: A lot of the major characters, especially early on, start out this way. Vanyel and Talia are the most Anvilicious of the lot. (Vanyel never stops being one.)