Well, I just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
last night. Was a really nice read, pulled me in and interested me like all the other Potter books have. I was not the least bit surprised in who Rowlings killed off; didn't surprise me a bit she didn't have the guts to kill off a more prominent character.
The George RR Marting series "A Song of Fire and Ice" gives you an idea of an author that is definitely not afraid to kill off his characters.
Still I really enjoyed the book. Of course now I am back to rereading the Dragonlance series for the umpteenth time.