Toby Venables is a novelist, screenwriter and journalist who also lectures in Cambridge, England. He inhabits various time periods and occasionally writes about zombies. A descendant of the Counts of Blois and Champagne, he numbers the slayer of the Moston dragon among his ancestors, but despite being given a longbow at the age of twelve has so far managed not to kill anyone. In 2001 he won the Keats-Shelley Memorial Prize, and squandered the proceeds.
Guy of Gisburne: The Omnibus
Released 12 February 2016
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England, 1191. Richard Lionheart has left the realm bankrupt and leaderless in his quest for glory. Only Prince John seems willing to fight back the tide of chaos threatening England – embodied by the traitorous ‘Hood.’
But John has a secret weapon: Guy of Gisburne, outcast, mercenary, and now knight. From intercepting the jewel-encrusted skull of John the Baptist to investigating a string of grisly deaths linked to the Prince's own past, Guy is John’s hound, combating chaos and fighting the enemies of England wherever they may be found.
From Ireland to Marseilles and as far as the Levant, aided by his faithful squire Galfrid and the beautiful and secretive Mélisande, Gisburne battles his way with sword, lance and bow in England’s name, drawing ever nearer the day he will have to confront his oldest and greatest foe...
Hunter of Sherwood: Knight of Shadows
Released 23 September 2013
Robin Hood is a cold blooded killer and Richard the Lionheart is a ruthless butcher who cares nothing for England – Toby Venables is taking one of the most beloved English folk legends turning it on its head.
This is the story of Guy of Gisburne. Portrayed in legend as a lackey to the Sheriff of Nottingham, Knight of Shadows reveals Guy as an outcast, a mercenary, and now newly knighted, an honourable servant of King John in his intrigues against the vicious and bloodthirsty Lionheart.
Tears up the clichés of the Robin Hood myth to reveal the deeper issues between this chaotic period of English history, Knight of Shadows will delight readers of Bernard Cornwell and the Flashman series, as it deftly weaves history and legend into a brand new pattern, with Gisburne firmly at the heart of events.
Guy’s mission is to intercept the jewel-encrusted skull of John the Baptist from the clutches of the Knights Templar before it can reach Philip, King of France. Gisburne’s quest takes him and his world-weary squire Galfrid into increasingly bloody encounters with ‘The White Devil’: the fanatical Templar de Mercheval.
“Venables wields his pen all sword-like and delivers quirky flashes of fearless text”
UK: 9781781081617 | 29th September 2013
US: 9781781081624 | 10th October 2013
Hunter of Sherwood: The Red Hand
Released 30 December 2014
Robin Hood: champion of the poor and needy, or history's most infamous sociopath? Toby Venables returns with his original re-working of the legend of Sherwood, which recasts history's most infamous heroes and villians...
England, 1193. Guy of Gisburne, knight and agent to Prince John, is all that stands between England and anarchy, fighting a shadow battle to protect the kingdom from those who would destroy it.
Returning to England after foiling a plot to destroy Jerusalem, Guy of Gisburne is arrested and hauled to the Tower of London; John, England’s regent in the absence of its monstrous King, needs his knight once more. A killer has broken into the Prince’s most secure castle in the north and left a message, drawn on the skin of one of his victims: dies irae venit – ‘Judgement Day is coming’ – signed with a bloody handprint. Is the threat genuine?
Who, or what, is the Red Hand? Someone is killing John’s most loyal supporters, and the obvious culprit – the most dangerous man in the Kingdom, Hood himself – has an alibi even Guy can’t deny.
Deftly plotted and with a fantastic cast of characters The Red Hand is must-read for fans of the original tales of Robin Hood and all alt-history readers.
UK: 9781781082898 | 15th January 2015
US: 9781781082904 | 30th December 2014