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Hunter of Sherwood: Knight of Shadows (Hunter of Sherwood: Guy of Gisburne) Mass Market Paperback – September 24, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
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Historical Fantasy has never been such fun! This novel, [is] set during the Robin Hood era of Prince John’s rule, Guy of Gisbourne is a knight enlisted to capture the skull of John the Baptist from the French King Philip.
Magnificent, action-packed fantasy. This is a fast-paced book that never lets up from its opening pages.
The Historical world is rich and chaos-filled, and the brutal sword-fighting and action are an integral part of the story as Guy struggles across to Marseilles and back.
Exceptional story, great characters, rich and varied settings, and simply irresistible writing.
What more can you ask for from a historical fantasy. (Morpheus Tales)
About the Author
Toby Venables is a novelist, screenwriter and lecturer in Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. He grew up watching old Universal horror movies when his parents thought he was asleep, reading 2000A D and obsessing about Beowulf. There was probably a bit more to it, but he can't quite remember what it was. • He has since worked as a journalist and magazine editor – and once orchestrated an elaborate Halloween hoax for which he built and photographed a werewolf. He still works as a freelance copywriter, and in 2001 won the Keats-Shelley Memorial Prize. • His first novel (for Abaddon) was The Viking Dead – a historical-zombie-SF mashup which has been described as "A fantastic mix of history, violence and horror" and "ludicrous fun". • www.infinitemonkey.co.uk
Top customer reviews
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I just wish this wasn't part of the Robin Hood legend. These characters deserved their own right of origin with the power and detail the author put into them. It's almost a role reversal of the Robin Hood/Gisbourne we know (hence the "two sides to one story" catch).
Gisbourne is a pained anti-hero inspired by the faithless Prince John ("knowledge is more valuable than gold. And personally id rather rely on knowledge than faith"), his past mentor de Gaillon ("God is not so simple - and He certainly doesn't waste His energies on the likes of you") and geared by a thoughtful enginer Llewellyn ("They are great survivors - armoures by the Almighty since creation").
With a little too much warning from Prince John to 'be wary of those clad in white coming to save you, where the worst offenses lie', I hope future endeavors show a little more faith in the main characters and a little less 'Hood' mentality.
It was a great story none the less, my personal grievances/pleasure aside.
In this one Guy of Gisborne is a flawed but believable hero instead of the villian, and Prince John is a king who is trying to pick up the pieces after "Good King Richard" totally bankrupted the country and left without concern to go to the Holy Land on the Crusades.
I really hope there are more adventures of Guy of Gisborne to come.
After reading it, however, we could not help but notice that this is listed as fantasy. But there was not anything of fantasy tropes within it. No wizards, elves, demons, ogres, etc...
It is simply magnificent historical fiction. In fact, one of the very best we've read - ever!
But we can see how this talented writer 'could' pen fantasy. This would, and could, have been an entirely different book. But, as is, it was a hard book to put down. Great prose. Wonderful and masterful storytelling.
This is one of those rare jewels out there that we were fortunate to find. Although it is brand new, we have never read this author before, although we do recognize his first book: The Viking Dead cover. Why we didn't try that, we can't say. But after reading this fantastic seemingly 1st book in his new series, we just purchased The Viking Dead.(If its anywhere near as awesome as this book was, we are in for another treat.)
We have read our fair share of Best-Selling novels, be they science fiction or fantasy or just plain fiction. Decades of reading all types of books...and reviewing them here. Simply put, Toby Venables' Knight of Shadows is so well written, so well balanced in all categories: solid characterization, blazing action and adventure, romance, mystery and suspence, and just a plain 'ol historical epic that would make a surefire hit if it were to be adapted into an HBO type of series, or silver screen big-budget movie. (But Venables would have to be the screenwriter.)
We don't try to give spoilers in our reviews, so no worries on that account. We can only say that this Knight of Shadows is kinda like the beginnings of a medieval Batman, Dark Knight series. It is one of those great concept, excellent execution. Never dull or boring, despite its hefty 544 pages, it just gave us more pages for our buck.
If you like mythos covering everything from the Crusades to Robin Hood, then you are in for a real treat here. And author Venables does it all with aplomb!
Guy Gisburne is a wonderful and deep character, along with numerous others in this book.
We don't type this lightly: Trust us, purchase this book and get ready to enter an exciting adventure that rides long with the best of them. If Bernard Cornwell had an author for a son, it would be Toby Venables.
But in our humble opinion, Venables is more of our style of writer. A true master wordsmith!
Most recent customer reviews
Venables has turned the legend upside down and given Guy of Gisburne a...Read more