When all is done in that place, and when Merlin has walked his Pattern and gone to claim his worlds, there is a journey that I must make. I must ride to the place where I planted the limb of old Ygg, visit the tree it has grown to. I must see what has become of the Pattern I drew to the sound of pigeons on the Champs-Elysees. If it leads me to another universe, as I now believe it will, I must go there, to see how I have wrought.
The roadway drifts before us, rising to the Courts in the distance. The time has come. We mount and move forward.
We are riding now across the blackness on a road that looks like cheesecloth. Enemy citadel, conquered nation, trap, ancestral home . . . We shall see. There is a faint flickering from battlement and balcony. We may even be in time for a funeral. I straighten my back and I loosen my blade. We will be there before much longer.
Good-bye and hello, as always.
The Context: The final lines in the Corwin Chronicles, in the Courts of Chaos.
Why I like it: Endings are always harder than beginnings. As we read stories, we insert them into our framework of understanding. We project, consciously or otherwise, how we think the story should end. The longer a series continues, the more invested we become in the story that exists in our mind, which may have become increasingly removed from the story the author actually wrote, and we becoming increasingly attached to the ending we expect. The author has many chances to disappoint such a reader, and only one chance to please him. The ambiguity, and the final line, are, I think the perfect way to end the Chronicles of Amber. (Apparently, there were shadows where Zelazny went on to write other Amber books, but I'm glad I don't live there.)