I loved Two. Having read all of Ron Glick’s fantasy novels in his multiple series, I can safely say that his writing and complex story telling abilities keep getting better and stronger. And they already started off strong.
Two is (obviously) the second book in Glick’s The Godslayer Cycle series. While I did enjoy the first book, One, much of the book was spent setting up the story for the whole series. But in Two, the backstories are laid out, the main premise is clear, and Glick had plenty of space to delve deeper into subplots and motivations of other, more minor characters.
Reading Two, I was reminded a little of the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. It probably helps that both are fantasy series, but they are also both incredibly layered stories, and it’s clear Glick has really thought out and planned his Godslayer world of Na’Ril. And to make it easier on his readers, Glick has included a map of Na’Ril, as well as a list of all the characters and locations, and how they are all connected. He even includes a short synopsis of One, in case readers have forgotten some of the important details.
I remember when I read One that I really wanted to see more of the immortal known as The Witness. In Two, The Witness plays a much bigger role, and I was delighted to find out more about his powers, as well as how the immortals (not gods) interact with one another.
There are also a few new characters, and though each has a unique background and motivation, they are all drawn to the same powerful swords created by the old gods. And that makes things interesting, knowing that eventually they will all converge.
Glick does a great job of showing the good and bad sides of his characters. Certain characters, such as Avery, the pretend god, seemed so misguided and verging on evil in the last book, but in Two he grows and becomes much more sympathetic.
As the story continues, it becomes less clear who the “hero” will be. Sure, Nathaniel still plays an important role, but other forces are convinced he is not the avatar meant to take control of all the swords. Beings with more power are helping out other people in their quest to find the swords.
It’s also interesting to learn the limitations of the various gods, even when they claim to be all powerful. And, I think Two had a stronger ending than One. Both ended on cliffhangers, but the last chapter of Two felt a lot more natural.
I’m looking forward to Glick’s next installment of the Godslayer Cycle. He has created an intriguing world and his characters are so vivid and compelling. I know he’s currently hard at work on his other series, so it will probably be a while. To be honest though, I’m such a fan of his work I don’t care which book comes next. But I do want to read more!