This is a story about the political difficulties created by atheism. The Olympian gods are rejected by men because their demands are too harsh & they offer too little in return to mankind. This turns out to offer no advantage to human beings who must face necessity. As it seems, the Olympian gods in some way protected men from a harsh world.
Strangely, the gods degenerate. They begin to fight among themselves even as they are losing their powers. The ugly god of war & the ugly god ruling the dead conspire to destroy the beautiful Olympian gods. Their design is to take power from these newer gods & return it to the older gods. From the point of view of the humans, it is almost impossible to distinguish this father of the new gods from a volcano erupting. It seems atheism is the opportunity the conniving gods use to usurp power & restore it a previous, inhuman, uninhabitable world.
Perseus is again called on to save mankind; again, he must reconcile himself to the gods & defend that for which they stand, the city. He is more easily persuaded now, for he has a son to defend. But it is not easy to see how that son would see Perseus as he truly is without such horror, for the hero would have nothing to do. Indeed, the Olympian gods themselves rejoice when they can join this fight, for they are otherwise mere statues. Those who overcome fear of death stand out among the many who are terrified. Their great powers & their dedication to a cause that transcends their self-interest seem to go together.
The key to all this is the forgotten god of craftsmanship. The sons of gods know him, but mere mortals do not. He is a contradiction in terms: he is the maker of the gods’ weapons, & half-brother to Perseus, both sired by the ruler of gods. But he is also supposed to have crafted the prison holding his father’s father. From the point of view of atheism, gods are not beings, but merely powers. The gods, like the heroes, insist they have powers without those weapons, but we could not tell. That is why the people do not know the god of crafts is a god: they are craftsmen themselves, they all exercise those powers, & there is nothing divine about it.
The gods warn Perseus that the future is a world without gods; he insists that is not a world without heroes: At the end, he gives his sword to his son. The boy says it is heavy, but not too heavy for him. However, this boy also wants to know good gods.
A better, more action-packed sequel. Recommended for the guys