The final chapter, “The Scribe,” opens with comments about the end of the Red-Ship war that trail off, revealing themselves to be in Fitz’s retrospective hand. His “current” circumstances are noted; he and Nighteyes have been joined by a foundling, Mishap, brought to them by Starling on one of her irregular visits to where man and wolf have made a quiet, lonely life for themselves, and taught by Fitz as best as he is able.
How others in the narrative fare also receives attention. Patience has taken over Tradeford, which has become an agricultural hub. Burrich and Molly live well, having had more children together and started breeding horses. Kettricken was delivered of a prince, Dutiful, who seems to be growing well if solemnly. Chade has emerged into the public eye and seems to be enjoying it greatly.; he is the subject of Starling’s major work, with which she is pleased.
The Fool was delivered to Buckkeep by Girl-on-a-Dragon, who joined the work of the other roused dragons against the Red Ships. He did not remain long, but fled.
As for Fitz, he and Nighteyes spent years wandering before returning to Buck Duchy and taking up residence near Forge. Fitz cannot help but reach out with the Skill, despondently, and he continues to take drugs to number himself to that pain. And, as the text ends, he and Nighteyes dream of carving dragons.
I wish I could take credit for having had the foresight to plan things such that the end of the book–the end of the Farseer trilogy–and the first hundred entries of this rereading series coincide as they do. It was pure chance, however; I am not prudent enough to undertake such planning, as my efforts at fiction attest. That is not to say I am not pleased by the coincidence, but it is only that.
As I read the chapter again, I find myself once again feeling contented. The ending reads as satisfying, even as it does set up more material for more work to come; Dutiful’s reign and the Fool’s flight both foretell works following them, the which Hobb delivers and to which I will turn soon enough. (I am going to take the holiday weekend off, however.) But the sense that the world continues after the events of the novel adds to the verisimilitude that marks so much of Hobb’s work; even in apocalyptic situations, things continue afterward, and the apocalypse seems to have been averted for the Six Duchies. Nor is it the case that things are always happy and pleasant for those who work toward such ends, as my day-job shows me all too clearly, and the fact that Fitz endures, largely alone, wracked by his competing addictions, while not necessarily comfortable, seems more true than would be the case if he returned so quickly to glory and honor as other novels might have had him do.
The project is not the “Farseer Reread,” though, but the “Robin Hobb Rereading,” and there are more works, not only in the Elderlings corpus, but outside it. Next, I’ll start in on the Liveship Traders novels–after Memorial Day, which I plan to spend with family. But it’ll only be a short break, after all…