Cover image for Riders in the sky
Riders in the sky
Grant, Charles L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, [1999]

Physical Description:
304 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Conclusion of the 'Millennium Quartet' war."
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It is the time of the Millennium, of great battles between good and evil. The hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse herald the last days of Mankind. Riders in the Sky The Conclusion of the Millennium Quartet "War" The four novels of the Millennium Quartet reveal the cataclysms that await mankind at the turn of the century and vividly tell of the effects of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as they wreak havoc on the world. Death spread a wide swath of violence over the planet. Famine devastated crops, fish, and domesticated animals. Plague returned as a mutated version of smallpox and decimated the remaining human population. Still, mankind has struggled on, most people completely unaware that they have experienced the effects of the Horsemen and not merely a combination of bad weather and freak genetics. Most people, but not all. These are the survivors, no longer completely human and the only people who can stand against the Horsemen: A preacher given the power to stop Death. Two teenagers who can see the truth in anyone's heart. A mother and her two daughters, who saw the man they all loved sacrifice himself to save them from Plague. A waitress who has decided she can't wait any longer. A would-be writer whose young son has become Famine. The young widow of a British nobleman--the only person who knows the earthly identities of all four Horsemen--has brought them all together. Now they prepare to do battle. With War as their leader, the Horsemen are preparing to lay waste to the world. They have gathered for a final strategy session on an isolated island in the Atlantic. But their coming is no longer secret, and they are no longer unopposed. The defenders of mankind are coming. They may well fail to defeat the Apocalypse. But if so, they will die trying.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Grant concludes a tetralogy about the millennial coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the opposition to them mounted by humans who gained formidable powers to survive a previous encounter with them. Wandering feet lead one of those humans, amnesiac Reverend Casey Chisholm, to a small town on a Georgia coastal island. The town's corrupt mayor is in cahoots with a real-estate developer to achieve total control of the place for their own profit and as agents of the Horsemen. As the tension mounts, Chisholm recalls who he is and finds allies among the locals as well as his former companions, who find their ways to his side for the final confrontation. The Horsemen ride in on a vividly described storm surge, only to meet their match. Grant brings in too many subplots and characters for this book to stand on its own apart from its predecessors, but his usual telling choice of details and mastery of tone and suspense compensate to a degree that many other dark fantasy scribes should envy. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

This tepid conclusion to Grant's Millennium Quarter shows the problems of a subtle approach to horrors with earthshaking potential. In the series's previous novels--Symphony, In the Mood and Chariot--Grant, a master of implied terror, used ominous portents and dread-thickened atmosphere to give vigorous momentum to his unfolding epic of impending armageddon. That drive dissipates in a finale whose vaguely defined menace, kept out of sight for most of the story, hardly does justice to its buildup. War is breaking out around the world at century's end. On Camoret Island, a tourist spot off the Georgia coast, it manifests anemically as a fight by islanders to prevent acquisition of land by unscrupulous real estate developer Norville Cutler. Plot twists and turns reveal that Cutler is the puppet of a gang of evildoers, human incarnations of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are trying to draw out Casey Chisholm, a righteous ex-minister with a miraculous healing touch who awaits his destiny working as a handyman on the island. Grant has a knack for finding profound spiritual meaning in the struggles of ordinary people, but he never makes it clear why Casey and the survivors from earlier novels who flock to his side are of such concern to the biblical bogeys, or how their stand will ensure the world's salvation. The tale climaxes in a fierce symbolic storm that proves in more ways than one to be only so much hot air. So an ambitious dark fantasy saga ends not with a bang, but a whimper. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved