I’m on the final stretch of finishing the first draft of Kingless Country. (Three or four chapters left) For anyone that’s written, that’s barely a halfway point. I’ve written Kingless Country in tandem with revisions of Two Destroyers and it’s interesting to see the character growth between books.
Here’s a spoiler free overview.
Derrek – In 2D, his chapters focus on understanding his memories of death. More specifically her how it can help him contribute in the adventure. He takes things in stride and puts a lot of faith in his new friends. In KC, he’s come to understand their meaning and application, but the implications of his choices are much steeper.
Naida – In 2D, she is looking for purpose— She’s a driven person confronting the stages of grief. As such, it clouds her judgement and causes discord with her companions. In KC, her greatest foe is herself. A betrayal from someone very close to her forces her to question who’s friend and who’s foe.
Zammela – In 2D, her primary motivations come from personal pride, she’s a stranger to loss but her idealism keeps her focused. Her greatest power isn’t her magic, but her ability to laugh in the face of adversity. In KC, the peril of their adventures brings a greater appreciation for comradery. To her surprise, it helps her on all levels, bringing her critical breakthroughs in regards to her power.
Hush – In 2D, his primary struggle comes from his desire to find his own legacy, as he’s not content to live under his father’s shadow. He’s the best of the group to identify threats and his wisdom serves his friends well. In KC, Hush is no longer a POV character but remains a trusted companion throughout.
Genis – A mysterious bard debuting in KC, but bards (musicians) play an important part in 2D. He stays a mysterious figure through most of the story, so he keeps the reader guessing. The only consistent element is his desire to save the world from the Betrayal of the Sons.
Kristoph – Debuts in KC and is the first representation of the Erdaki people (they’re conspicuously absent in 2D. Similar to Hush in 2D, he’s more travelled to the others and has had his fill of tragedy. He doesn’t let it drag him down.
In terms of tone, Kingless Country backs away from the impending Apocalypse and focuses on the political state of Geldbane (If you can’t figure it out Geldbane currently doesn’t have a King. Their last king, Darius Solace, was assassinated under dubious circumstances). This isn’t to say the “Betrayal of the Sons” (The impending threat of two suns running into each other.) is a non-issue in this story, but it gives Naida plenty of opportunity to get the bottom of her swordmaster’s murder.
My opinion on the quality of KC is jaded, but I feel it’s a stronger story than Two Destroyers thanks to its twist. I’ve had a few alpha readers agree, it’s a pretty good one.
No hints, though. That would be bad form.