Zandar Kai

Who is Zandar Kai and what is the purpose of this blog?

I was born in Bulgaria, in the city of Pleven, in the not so distant year of 1988. I’ve graduated from Mathematical High School and after that got my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”. You won’t believe what they are, but I can assure you, that they have little to do with literature.

My life, until this moment has been quite versatile and filled with both good and bad. I can’t say that I want to change something in my life, because each of my choice has led me to this moment, where I’ve published my first book (Riders in the Dark) and now this website as well. These two things define me as a writer and I’m very proud of them.

In general, the idea of Riders in the Dark came up in 2012. At that time I wrote several chapters, which I couldn’t combine into a book. But, several years later, with the assistance of a very close friend of mine, Riders in the Dark was reborn. He was the first person to encourage me to continue writing, but since my first chapters were completely different from my new style, I had to rewrite them. I am very thankful to him for that encouragement to continue writing. He still does that with the upcoming book two, which is in progress.

The idea for the world of Riders in the Dark is a mix of different mythologies and stories, that left a mark in my mind. My inspiration, comes from many places, including movies, tv shows, anime, manga, comics and other. I’m a big fan of the Roman/Greek, Norse, Balkan and even Asian mythology. I’m still looking for a way to include all of them in my story, without it being too pushy. I might do it with some of them. You, my readers will be able to recognize them and if you’re fans of my work to say “I know this character and he’s quite cool or quite dumb!”, which I will take as a positive criticism.

For the people, which read Riders in the Dark, it is probably obvious, which are the sources of my inspiration. Those who haven’t will yet have to enjoy that. I’ve never stated that all of it is an original idea, but I’ve tried to keep the story as fresh and unique as possible, keeping in mind, that the media is full of iterations of vampire and werewolf lore. Although, in the beginning my book looks like the next generic take on the lore, I can assure you that the origin and abilities of the supernatural forces, are quite different. 

Now I will speak about my other passion. If you’ve noticed, on several occasions I’ve mentioned that I’ve gathered inspiration from different sources, mainly movies and tv shows. The first series that formed my interests in the supernatural was, as a surprise, Supernatural. Since season 1, I’m a great fan of Sam and Dean, and even though they’ve been stretching it for 14 years now, I still follow it with great anticipation:

However, that is not the source of my interest towards mythology. On my mother’s side I’m half greek and I grew up with the stories about the greek gods and their adventures. From there I’ve picked up the Roman mythology and later on I got fascinated with the Norse one, as well. I presume, that there isn’t a single boy, which while attending class, haven’t imagined saving everybody with its superpowers. Also I can’t hide the fact that I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter, since my 11’th birthday, when I bought the first book. “One ticket to Hogwarts, please!”. Awaiting with anticipation every next book, the world of the young wizard made me fall in love with Hogwarts and now it made me thinking how I can implement the magic, in a unique way, thus was born the idea of the 4 elements and their masters.

The idea itself is not original, as element benders are as common as vampires and werewolves. In one of my favourite animations, they are the main characters. The animation of course is Avatar: The Last Airbender:

Unlike Avatar, in my story, the “bending” is not in the form of martial arts, but more like magic, spells and incantations. Hunters, as I call them, can summon the element that they have mastered in different forms and use it in both close and distant combat. They can even insert their magic in weapons to enhance them. For example, on of the hunters, Zoyer, used fire magic to enhance it’s double-edged axe, making it as lethal as possible.

Another source, which inspires me is anime/manga. In my freshman year as a student I’ve discovered the genre, which for many people is misunderstood and even annoying. However, I urge you to remember Pokemon, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh, which aired every Sunday morning on the public and cable TV. I remember how I was getting up early just to catch the next episode. In later years, when the Internet was working separately from the landline phone, this genre was transferred on my PC. As mentioned before, in my freshman year I’ve discovered the anime and met for the first time its origin, the manga. These are Japanese “comics” that are issued on a global scale and are extremely popular. Amongst my favourites are Code Geass, Yu-Gi-Oh, Elfen Lied, Naruto, Berserk, One-Punch Man, FMA: Brotherhood, Mirrai Nikki and above all of them, Bleach. Its manga and later anime, follows the story of the high-school student, Ichigo Kurosaki. Visited one night by a Shinigami (Death god) he is forced to take its powers, finding out that he has great potential to become the strongest Shinigami out there. All of this unfolds one amazing world, filled with diverse characters and in my opinion the most charismatic villain out there, Aizen and later on chair-sama. Introduced as almost invincible, he is the main antagonist in almost all arcs, which developed its character and the motivations of Ichigo to beat him. I can say, that the genre, inspired me to create some of the characters in my book. And now that the latest chapter has been announced for being finally animated, I am as hyped as ever:

There are many other things, that I can say about my interests, but it will take forever to do it. In conclusion I want to say, that the most important things for me, are for YOU, the readers to enjoy my book and also the articles in this blog. If you want to know more about the world of Riders in the Dark, contact me and I will evaluate whether or not I can create an article on the matter, without spoiling the next book. If I can complete, some elements of the first book, I will gladly do it. 

You can also see here the first chapters of Riders in the Dark in Bulgarian and English.


Chapter I – BG 

Chapters II and III – BG

Chapter IV – BG

Chapter I – EN


Meanwhile, I will post regular review articles of movies, books, tv shows, etc., which I hope that you will enjoy. I won’t limit myself to only one genre. Also, if there is a movie or tv show that peaked or sank your expectations, contact me and I can make a review about it.

I won’t post news, but I will post articles, in which I will share my thoughts about news. For exmple, the rumors that Ben Aflek will leave WB and the DCEU. But that will be a different topic.

I want to thank, You, the readers one more time for the chance that you gave me, by reading my book – Riders in the dark. I hope that the second book, will exceed your expectations for that universe. Meanwhile, let us review the popular movies and tv shows of this year and find out which of them must be watched and which can be skipped. Stay with me!