After the events of Pattern, Poldarn has gone away from his homeland and gets intertwined (yet again) in the politics that encompassed the first novel of The Scavanger Trilogy, "Shadow". The opening pages has one character going on a soliloquy of all the worst men in the world. As it happens, Poldarn happens to have met all of them, and is about to meet them yet again. All the different mysteries, characters, and plot threads come together in this spectacular conclusion to a very good trilogy.
Out of the six novels I have read by K.J. Parker, Memory is by far the best. All the answers you can imagine come forth in earnest, and they aren't all crowded in the final pages like many authors like to do (one of my pet peeves). There's a lot that happens, but none of it ever feels rushed. The ending is nothing like I ever anticipated, and the final pages left me chills that were even more powerful than the final twist from The Engineer Trilogy. The "big question" -- whether or not Poldarn is actually a god -- is resolved in perfect fashion.
What makes Memory so much better than any other K.J. Parker novel is the limited use of anything to do with forging steel, building a house, etc. There are still pages devoted to the craft, but they go buy quicker than ever before and take a backseat to the story of Poldarn. My biggest complaint with Parker was how the author sometimes got carried away with these "work day" bits and not much seemed to be added. Here, much of the novel is instead taken up by flashbacks as we finally get to see the major scenes of what made Poldarn how he is. Another surprise that I wasn't expecting was an actual battle scene (something Parker loves to avoid as it is stereotypical fantasy), which turned out to be very exciting and well done. The only complaint I have about the novel is the disappearance of one minor character that is never explained. I'm sure it never really mattered, and it wasn't enough to detract my enjoyment from the story, but I would have liked to see some resolution there. Besides that, everything was well done and the ending especially was just spot on perfect.
I have now read two trilogies by Parker. I felt Devices and Desires (Book 1 of The Engineer Trilogy) was by far the weakest of the bunch, but everything else is wonderfully written. As a whole, I feel this trilogy is much better written, more exciting, and has a much better story. Anyone looking for dark fantasy (that is completely void of any magic, which is quite refreshing) will love this entire trilogy. It has a bit of a weak middle (Pattern), but this finale more than made up for it. I would give the trilogy as a whole a 4/5. I'm extremely excited to see what other stories K.J. Parker has up his/her sleeve.