As an epilogue, “The Memory of Wings” begins with the serpents that follow Maulkin conferring about their urgent haste. They are weary with the speed Maulkin urges from them. Maulkin bids them rest, and they reflect on what they have learned. It reminds them that matters have changed substantially, and they puzzle out that an environmental cataclysm has confused them–and the depredations of the liveship builders have robbed them of guides who should have awaited them. The serpent Tellur proposes hunting liveships; Mauklin restrains him and offers to take such liveships as they find but notes that hunting them is not ideal. They have to migrate or die.
The serpent Wintrow freed from Others Island rehearses circumstances as she moves to follow the Vivacia towards the mainland and her intended purpose. She Who Remembers must return her memories to her kin, sharing what she knows with them.
The epilogue makes a neat bookend with the prologue, the titles of the two selections mirroring one another no less than the brevity and non-human focus of the materials. Once again, the novel is re-grounded in the narrative milieu, the chapter serving as a reminder that there is a non-human intelligence very much at work in the story and reminding readers that that intelligence is increasingly concerned with the tiny hairless things that cluster about the cast-off casings of its dead.
Whether the opening of the next book in the series offers as smooth a transition as the prologue of the present novel does, I do not recall at present. Fortunately, I will have opportunity to remind myself as the rereading series continues; thank you for following along with me!