I remember quite clearly that I was quite shocked while reading «The Pillars of the Earth» for the first time. The beginning is told through Tom Builder's POV and then suddenly he is killed. Leaving the reader a bit disorientated for a moment, and then shifting to someone else's POV (Aliena's?).
This and the fact that my Intensive Course German teacher had said something of the effect of "Kill the good guy! Let him die while the others still like him!" (He also said "There always has to be a river" - but that's another matter *g*) has lead to the fact that for some time the idea of killing off Ella has brooded in my mind.
I don't know how this story will end so I cannot say if Ella may play a crucial part. And at the moment I'm writing solely from her POV (not that I cannot change the POV to a different character for some scenes), and I'm having problems of hearing any of the others clearly. So this might be a sign, that I should keep Ella in the story - or not.
So, what do you think? Keep her and see what she does or go for the big wham?