Once said to be ‘the language of heaven’, Welsh takes on a sinister dimension in Llwyd Owen’s gripping new thriller. In this dystopian fantasy of the near future, ten years on from a disastrous referendum the country is bankrupt, the Welsh language has been forced underground, and suspected Welsh speakers struggle to survive, terrorised by the militaristic authorities and violent vigilantes. Young novelist T Lloyd Lewis is offered a lifeline by his publisher, Joe Hayes, who is busily preparing a subterranean bunker, ready for the expected nuclear war. Forty years later, Joe is dead and Lewis has become ‘The Father’, the autocratic ruler of a religious cult of Welsh speakers surviving in the bunker. Mair and her brother Jacob begin quietly to resent and question the Father’s authority, which can end only in an enforced, Waco-style mass suicide.
Llwyd Owen’s disconcertingly plausible vision of a dark, post-Brexit Britain grabs the reader from the first page, as he dissects the corrosive triumph of a majority over a cowed minority. With his trademark hard-hitting style and typical panache, he presents an unforgettable, terrifying tale of the abuse of power, leavened with faith in the power of ordinary individuals.
'A brand new classic. Each chapter is like a fist.'
Manon Steffan Ros, award-winning author of Llyfr Glas Nebo
'Congratulations to the author for... venturing to the future, and providing us with, it seems, one of the most significant novels of the 21st century so far.'
Dafydd Morgan Lewis, O'r Pedwar Gwynt
'This is perhaps [Owen's] most interesting novel yet for two reasons. The first is that it is clearly a political novel, set in a quasi-dystopian world where the Welsh language has been criminalised following a referendum and the poeple of Wales are taken in by a dangerous cult and its leader 'The Father'. The second is that it's a multi-medium work created alongside an album by Yr Ods and artwork by Tom Winfield. Put it all together and Llwyd and his collaborators have once again turned what the Welsh novel is capable of on its head.'
Ifan Morgan Jones, Nation.cymru