The Riders

Mats Wahl

Original Title
Ryttarna
Published
Natur & Kultur, Stockholm 2014
Genre
Young adult
Pages
300
Rights Sold
Germany
Denmark
Tags
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The Riders

Mats Wahl

When Elin lets the arrow go, Bjorn is right in front of her. His mouth is open, he roars wordlessly and wields the cudgel. She looks into his wide-open eyes and knows it’s a dying man’s gaze.

Sixteen-year-old Elin kills Bjorn in self-defense, but fails in rescuing her brother Wagon from being captured. Elin leaves home to negotiate for Wagon’s life, well aware that her actions may sentence them both to death. When Elin arrives at Bjorn’s farm it seems abandoned, and she is unexpectedly caught in a rain storm, colored red with sand from Sahara – blood rain. She seeks protection in her enemies’ house, but soon finds out that she is not alone. Someone is hiding in the basement.

 

The Riders is the first part in the Blood Rain series, a family tale inspired by Old Norse tradition. With a distinctive laconic language that brings to mind the Icelandic sagas, Mats Wahl weaves a powerful story of the fight for survival of two families, in a not entirely unrealistic future. The ongoing environmental disaster gives rise to climate changes that cause great problems. Blood rain, hurricanes and tornadoes are part of the weather landscape. A large part of Sweden is uninhabitable.

The government rules with an iron hand from the power capital Grovel Lake. Police and military do what they can to “encourage” people to move to the cities, where it’s easier to control them. However, a resistance movement is secretly forming in the country, where families live isolated on farms, as they have done for a long time, managing without the help of police or other authority. Justice takes place outside the realms of official law.

 

 

The Blood Rain series

000
Press voices

”The atmosphere, family feuds and language in Mats Wahl’s frightening and tremendously skillfully composed book, the first part of the series Bloodrain, is really like an Icelandic saga […] This could be Mats Wahl’s strongest writing yet” Västerbottens-kuriren