The final chapter, “The Aftermath,” opens with a description of a tapestry in Jhaampe that serves as a sort of call-ahead to later novels. It then moves to a gloss of the fallout from the previous chapter’s events, focusing on the beginnings of Fitz’s recovery and Burrich’s. What happened to August receives note, as does Regal’s behavior that glossed over all his misdeeds.
Fitz recovers but slowly, and with difficulty, and Burrich accompanies him as he returns at length to Buckkeep. Matters seem to be improving there, with Galen dead and Kettricken’s presence enlivening things. And Fitz notes that it was Nosy who saved him from the pools, dying from the effort of it. He was a good dog.
In the following epilogue, Fitz returns to his narrative present–the novel has been recounted in an informed retrospective–to consider his lingering pains and condition. A boy in his keeping is noted, as is a friend with a quiet voice, whose “No” is the last word in the novel.
Most of the chapter is denouement and setup for the next volume; the epilogue is more or less all setup for later work. There’s not necessarily much to comment upon in either–but it is a good time to reflect on the experience of re-reading.
I welcome comments from my own readers, of course; I benefit from the work of others, and I try to acknowledge all of it I receive. (Check the embedded links and other citations in my work, please!) I know that the rereading has been a different thing for me; I’ve not usually read things in the way I’ve read the novel and plan to read the rest of them for this project. Reading for pleasure, I plow through novels, often chewing though hundreds of pages in a few hours before I recall that I am me and that I have a body that has needs that must be answered. Reading for scholarly work, I thumb through pages at high speed, seeking out tag phrases I recall or notes I’ve made in margins–when I’ve made them, which I’ve not always done–to develop the arguments I mean to make. Both are, if not rushed, intense and speedy things.
By contrast, the rereading has been a slower thing. I’ve proceeded a chapter at a time, pausing between each to write the gloss and to offer the reflections I have about what I’ve read. Sometimes, I begin to move to more scholarly activity, although generally informally; I’m not bound to any one style guide here, but have tended to embed links and move on. I have been trying to restrict myself to materials readily available; as I write this, I do still have some institutional access, but I know well that many of my readers will not, and I have no desire to exclude them. (Academic publishing is also a racket, but that’s a set of comments for another time and place entirely.) I’m sure it’s come across as vain or cute at times, but this is also ultimately a vanity project, not in support of a scholarly career as the project that inspired this is. So there’s that.
It’s been enjoyable for me so far, though, and I hope it’s been a pleasure for others, as well. I’ll be moving on to the next book in the sequence, Royal Assassin, soon; I hope you’ll come along with me!