The Books of the Wode
This historical reimagining of Robin Hood sets Robyn the outlaw archer as a queer, chaotic-neutral Druid, Marion as Pagan queen who is sister but not wife, and their consort a Christian – and thusly conflicted – nobleman.
Book One — the Prequel
Daring the old gods. Defying the new.
The making of a legend.
When Rob of Loxley finds an injured nobleman’s son in the forest, neither he nor his sister Marion understand what befriending young Gamelyn could mean for the future of their beliefs. Already the ancient spirits of the Old Religion are fading beneath the iron of nobleman’s politics and the stones of church subjugation. More, the druid elders warn that Rob and Gamelyn are cast as sworn adversaries, locked in timeless and symbolic struggle for the greenwood’s Maiden.
Instead, in a theological twist only a stroppy dissident could envision, Rob swears he’ll defend the sacred woodland of the Horned God and Lady Huntress to his last breath if his god will let him be lover, not rival, to the one fated as his enemy. But in the eyes of Gamelyn’s Church, sodomy is evil… and the old pagan beliefs must be subjugated–or vanquished.
Legends chronicle Robin Hood and
Guy de Gisbourne as the deadliest of enemies.
The reality is… complicated.
Home & family struck down by Church edict, Rob is left for dead. Taken by the old druid master into the deeps, he emerges with a new name & purpose: leader of a band of tight-knit outcasts, claiming the ancient forest and wielding the Horned God’s vengeance with deadly arrows. Also escaping Loxley’s destruction, nobleborn Gamelyn has returned from Crusade with his own new identity and purpose—but no absolution.
When the two boyhood lovers next cross paths, a brutal game of foxes and hounds ensues, pitting Templar assassin against Heathen outlaw. And as Robyn discovers his sister Marion is still alive, the game turns.
Thwarted kings of a breaking realm, Robyn Hode and Guy de Gisbourne must restore the Maiden to her rightful place– and manage to not destroy each other in the process.
For Queen and country.
Robyn Hood and his band of outlaws seek to raise the magical trine of the Old Religion against the tyranny of Church and Crown. Yet their forest kingdom roils with conflict, much of it from within.
Marion has fled the Church to join her brother’s band, but old shackles and new fears hamper her ability to take up her birthright as Maiden to the Wode.
The outlaws hold to an uneasy truce with Gamelyn, also known as the defrocked Templar Guy of Gisbourne, once Robyn’s fiercest enemy and now lover.
A lone traveller is waylaid, and common occurrence quickly proves uncommon. Knight and Maiden, Archer and Men, all are conscripted to aid a Queen’s—and ultimately a King’s—ransom.
For England lies divided, and beneath winter’s chill lies struggle: for crown, for country, and for the Shire Wode’s deepest magics…
It’s 1194, and the devil is indeed loose–
In Sherwood Forest.
Ransomed from captivity, a Christian king rides through royal forest, intent upon reclaiming his realm. Yet the Shire Wode already has a king—the Pagan outlaw known as Robyn Hood.
The Old Religion is regaining its strength through the emergence of the Ceugant—the mystical trine of Winterking, Summerlord, and Maiden. But amongst those who think to win the Maiden’s notice, there will be treachery of both heart and hand.
A Queen once gave a promise: that the honour of Tickhill should be restored to its lord, and the outlaws all given pardon. Yet the price of such grace might well be more than any can afford.
The Templars have sent one of their own into the Shire Wode, to untangle the enigma that bides in the ancient forest ways. Yet that emissary is one with the enigma, in ways they—and he—cannot begin to fathom.
And still, it is the deepest and darkest of magics that could well rive apart the Ceugant.
The Green Man is lost to Sherwood Forest…
Yet the Horned Lord roams there still, and the legend grows
Robyn Hood has vanished, and the mystic trine of the Old Religion—Archer, Maiden & Knight—has been broken. Or has it?
Rumours abound as to a hooded man wandering the Shire Wode. Marion holds both the Wode’s magical influence and the castle of Tickhill with shield, sword, and wit—not only for love of her covenant and her children, but as a weapon to bring her brother Robyn back. And Robyn’s lover, Gamelyn, plays a dangerous game with his Templar masters. They believe he has delivered the Wode’s Pagan rites to their use, all the while unaware that Gamelyn has sworn an even deeper oath: he will realise his own power and find Robyn, whatever the sacrifice.
For it is Robyn’s to wield the deepest magic of all—he is the Sacrifice, and Undying King of the Wylding Wode.