At the end of last week I finished reading Shalador's Lady (Anne Bishop), and it was lovely! One of the things I enjoyed about both The Shadow Queen and Shalador's Lady was the rebuilding aspect. A quick recap (and spoilers ahoy for those of you who have not read the Black Jewels series). At the end of Queen of Darkness (the third book in the Black Jewels trilogy) the war among the Blood was decisively ended. But...did the story end there? The author chose not too (end it there), and has instead written a number of follow-up books, including The Shadow Queen and Shalador's Lady, both of which deal with the rebuilding of Blood society.
Maybe it's just me, but I find that the majority of fantasy novels deal only with destruction. What I mean is - enter the villain stage left, who decides to rule the worldTM and in doing so destroys society. Enter the hero and his/her various sidekicks stage right, who fight the villain (and...come to think of it...the villain is usually male...the only exception I can think of ATM are the uber villains in the Black Jewel trilogy). By the end of the book the hero wins, the villain loses. The end. Except...it isn't. What's left is a power vacuum. And who steps in to fill that vacuum? What happens to the broken society? And that's what I find interesting, and what I love about the direction Anne Bishop has taken with the Black Jewel series. The books after Queen of Darkness are in a way epilogues, but...they have a purpose... Because it's easy to destroy something, but harder to rebuild it.
And, yes, in fantasy novels such epilogues make more sense...but to relate it back to romance, it's the work involved in a relationship, keeping it strong and fluid, that's just as interesting to me and how the couple got to that point. One may be able to fall in love, but can one stay in love?
I know, lots of rambling *grin* But, what's your opinion on epilogues? Do they work for one genre but not another? And would you rather see the building but not the maintenance?