Study Guide

Blood Red Road What's Up With the Ending?

By Moira Young

What's Up With the Ending?

Ding, dong—the King is dead. After a failed ambush, the King is launched off a cliff while dueling with Saba and ends up impaled on a conveniently pointy rock formation. Ouchies.

Now that their mission is complete, our heroes go their separate ways. The Free Hawks return to their home base in Darktrees to enjoy some much needed R&R. Jack is going his own way, too, presumably to notify Ike's ladyfriend of his tragic death. He promises Saba that they'll reunite soon, and she gives him her heartstone to seal the deal. We're melting.

That leaves Saba to spend some quality time with her family for the first time in a long while. It's heart-warming to see the three siblings back together again, with Tommo rounding out the group to become a fearsome foursome. It's great.

Here's what's not great, however: Saba immediately slips back into her old ways and becomes subordinate to Lugh, letting him lead the way. Luckily, Lugh has the perfect response: "Hey, he says, what're you doin back there? I ain't got a clue where we're goin. Git on up here an lead the way" (9.1123).

In case you don't remember, this is a reversal of the novel's opening, when Saba claimed that Lugh going first was the proper order of things. Not anymore. In this closing scene, both Saba and Lugh acknowledge our heroine's immense growth over the course of the novel and recognize that she has become the leader. That's huge. And we bet it'll be an important theme in later entries of the Dustlands trilogy.