The brief epilogue, “Metamorphosis,” focuses on the serpent, Shreever, finding rest after the struggles to return to the ancient cocooning grounds. Relatively few of the serpents survived, a small population from which to rebuild a species, but hope persists as the return of dragons is promised.
I appreciate that the novel ends on a note of hope–not untrammeled hope, as there are losses acknowledged, but hope, nonetheless. Although the new normal that promises to emerge in the Realm of the Elderlings is a different one, entirely, it seems it may be a good and useful thing, one more attentive to many. And I can hope that the readers’ world will follow suit, somehow, sometime.
The series will continue with a return to the Six Duchies in Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Errand.