The absent emotional component also means that the motives of Alex, the best known of the secondary “bad” guys, are never really understood by the reader.
The reader is concerned about Alex at the end of the first book. In the second book, Alex does some bad things, but there is the impression that those actions were done under magical influence, not malice. He is then conspicuously absent when Alanna kills his former master. That means that when he is back in the fourth book, his motives for being a bad guy and turning on his friends are completely unclear.