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Endling #1: The Last Summary & Study Guide Description
Endling #1: The Last Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
This version of the novel is used to create this study guide: Applegate, Katherine. Endling: The Last: Book One. Harper. 2018. Paperback.
At the opening of the novel, the narrator, Byx, talks about her family of dairnes, a race of dog-like creatures that have almost been wiped out by humans and other predators. She and her family are on the move, staying in a different spot every night. Byx herself is referred to as the runt of the family and worries about becoming an endling; the last of her kind.
One day, her mother tells her they are going to search for the first colony. Byx decides to explore the forest and reaches the sea. There, she rescues a wobbyk named Tobble as both run from poachers. When they run into the humans again, Byx realizes that their tracker, a young boy, saw them, but sent the poachers the other way. She and Tobble head toward her home where Byx discovers that Murdano’s soldiers have slaughtered her family. Then she is knocked unconscious by an unknown source.
Byx wakes up bound on the back of a horse being led by the poacher’s guide. The boy removes the arrowhead from her side and apologizes, saying he was aiming for her leg. Byx wishes she had died as she is unable to escape the image of her dead family. When she hears someone call her name, Byx remembers how she overheard her parents worrying about her. Both had a dream of her either dying first or becoming an endling by surviving when no one else did. The guide leads them to a cave where he reveals that he is actually a girl named Khara who hides her identity because women are not allowed to hunt. Even though Khara wants Byx to trust her, Byx feels she never will. That night, Tobble rescues her, and the two head to the Marshes to escape. After a long walk, they decide to rest as neither can stay awake long.
When Byx wakes up, she realized she is wrapped up by a snake. Khara offers her help, but only if Byx promises to never run away again. Khara’s dull sword is suddenly covered in gems and glowing as she kills the snakes. She takes Tobble and Byx back to the cave and they talk about Tobble’s rescue and their ages. Khara tells them that she is a poacher because she has to survive, but refuses to talk about the sword. She then tells them they are going to an island city named Cora di Schola. There, she will give Byx over to a great scholar named Ferrucci who protects rare animals and plants. She says she needs the money for her family and wishes she could do something else for Byx.
That night, Tobble tells Byx about a wobbyk ceremony where they get their three tails tied into one once they perform a heroic enough deed. Byx shows him a map of the first colony she drew in her childhood, but still wishes she had died with her family.
The next day, Byx, Khara, and Tobble head to the stream where they meet Renzo and his dog, Dog. He tries to steal Vallino, but gives the horse back and says he thought the owner died. Khara refuses to sell her sword to Byx and leaves after warning them about Murdano’s men to the north. The group continues for two more days and Byx pretends to be a dog. Tobble tells Byx about the natites and Khara explains how the ancients decided who the six governing species would be. Dairnes used to be honored because they could sense lies.
Two days later, they reach the ferry, and Khara is forced to give her blood to a natite in order to cross. She explains that natites are able to share the blood sample with every other natite instantly. Now, they can track her whenever she gets on the water. They reach Costa di Schola and learn from one of Khara’s contacts that the island is preparing a eumony, a type of celebration for the end of the dairne species. Byx is heartbroken and Khara wonders why the Murdano would have killed an entire pack knowing they were almost extinct.
The next day they go to the Pillar of Truth where they meet Ferrucci. However, it is discovered that he would rather kill Byx than protect her in order to maintain the lie that dairnes no longer exist. While in the dungeon, Byx meets a felivet named Gambler who swears his life to her in exchange for escape. Ferrucci’s helper Luca arrives and frees the two as they flee into the city. The eumony starts and the group is caught at the top of a building under construction. Byx is forced to glide down and almost hits the Murdano’s Seer, Araktik. They all escape on a smuggled boat. Khara reveals that her real name is Kharassande Donati, part of a clan that rose up against the Murdano but was betrayed by the Corplis and lost. Khara lies about her sword to Luca. Byx then shows her map and they realize that it is talking about a mythical living island believed to have creatures that trees and seeds clung to as they moved. They all decide to head that way.
The group travels by night and Khara tries to teach Byx and Luca some swordplay. Eventually, they arrive at a large plain called the Infinia and Khara sees migrating beasts named garilans. Byx smells humans and horses and goes with Khara to talk to the raptidons. A leader, Rorid Headcrusher, tells them that humans are destructive and risking the end of their own species. He then informs them they are being chased by a Knight of the Fire and the group runs. However, their perusers catch them and the Knight uses theurgy to move fire in whatever direction he wants. Gambler and the others are cut off as Khara forces Byx to run away on Vallino. Byx then escapes on the back of a garilan and is later thrilled to learn that her friends were saved by crows likely sent by Rorid.
The group then head to the capital city Sangria where they are betrayed by Luca and captured by the Pale Guard. When they are brought before the Murdano, Byx is forced to tell him about her ability to discern the truth. He later brings her before his Seer and it is revealed that Araktik believes there are still dairnes in the world, but calls it a rumor. Furious that she would lie to him, the Murdano has her executed. Khara then tells the Murdano about her heritage and says she is the one who brought Byx to him out of loyalty. Byx lies saying all of it is true and falsely proclaims that she will have to be loyal to the Murdano. He sends the group away to find the rest of the dainres, intending to kill all but a few that he can use as servants.
While the group is happy to be back on the road, they wonder what to do about the Pale Guard following them. One night, they find Renzo being tortured by the Knight of Fire. Byx and Gambler save him and return to the group. Byx pretends they are being attacked to try and get the Pale Guards to attack the Knight of the Fire. Eventually, it works, and the group flees across the river and into an abandoned village. There, it is revealed that Renzo can perform basic theurgy and uses it to find valuables.
Renzo continues on with them to the coast where they eventually find the town of Zebara. Here, Luca talks to the criminals and pirates and they learn that a living island has been spotted. However, the group is also aware that the Knight survived and devises a plan to defeat him. Near the peninsula, Byx sees a dairne on a moving island but instead decides to help her friends. They bait the Knight into a pit filled with spikes and he dies instantly. Renzo pledges himself to Khara, revealing that he always knew about her and the sword. They all decide to perform Tobble’s stibillary and tie his tails together, signifying his acts of courage. Then, together, the group heads up into the mountains bordering Dreyland, and Byx calls them all her family.
This section contains 1,419 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)