Some of which probably won’t make sense if you haven’t read the books in question, sorry.
There really is no succinct way (possibly no way at all?) to describe the Burke series without making it sound completely unbelievably ridiculous. And yet while I was reading them they seemed 100% serious and true and important.
When I read the Dragonlance books I thought Raistlin was way more interesting than Caramon, but thinking back I am really happy that Caramon exists and is as well-developed a character as he is. The authors clearly took him seriously even though I didn’t when I read the books. And I identify with him, at least at this point in my life. If I were the type of person to think of myself as split into separate people (for whatever reason, I seem to very much not be that type of person) one of them would be Caramon and one of them would be Raistlin.
I remember a few years ago– before I read The Thirteenth Child— trying to come up with characters I identify with for some quiz, and the only one that came to mind was St. Vier from Ellen Kushner’s Riverside books. And that’s not the aspect of his character that I was thinking of at the time, but still. There are some patterns here.
One of the cool things about Code Name Verity is that it doesn’t fall into that pattern– the main characters are both super shiny admiring of each other, and they both have very different talents and faults, but the book is overall pretty neutral on comparing them to each other. There isn’t a leader and a follower, or an Actually Cool One and a Less Cool One.