Two old heroes, two new novels
You may have heard rumours that I’ve written two new Outlaw Chronicles novels this year, starring Robin Hood and Alan Dale. You may also find this a bit perplexing, or even totally absurd, since I bumped off England’s most famous fictional outlaw a few years ago in The Death of Robin Hood – so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain just what the Hell is going on . . .
When I wrote The Death in 2015, I had written one book in the Outlaw series every year for eight years, as well as three eBook-only short stories. Outlaw, which kicked off the series, had been my first attempt at a novel. I thought it was pretty good, and it sold well, but as the years went by and I wrote story after story I found I wanted to try writing something else.
Then the sales started to slip after six or seven Outlaw books, and with the agreement of my publisher, I killed off my hero in an epic finale and we all thought that was that. Then I set about writing a 17th-century series about a slightly autistic artillery officer, the son of a swashbuckling thief, and believed I would never write about Robin Hood and Alan Dale ever again.
The Holcroft Blood books did OK, some people really loved them, some didn’t, the first one, Blood’s Game (below), was shortlisted for a prestigious literary award but the trilogy, which I thought was not that bad actually, never really took off with the general public.
And I started to get emails from fans of the Outlaw Chronicles – why didn’t I write a sequel to the Outlaw series? Why not the adventures of the Son of Robin Hood? Or a grandson of Alan Dale fighting in the Hundred Years War as an archer? I was intrigued: I did a mini poll of about five hundred of my readers. What would you like me to write next, I asked? More Outlaw Chronicles? A bloody Viking adventure? Or a new Victorian crime series?
The answer was unequivocal: more adventures of Robin and Alan, said two thirds of the people I asked. The people had spoken. Luckily, I found that there were some chronological gaps in the Outlaw Chronicles. A full year went by on the journey home from the Holy Land after the Third Crusade (told in Book 2, Holy Warrior). And into this gap, I inserted Robin Hood and the Caliph’s Gold.
This novel, which you can buy here, as an eBook or paperback, tells the story of Robin and Alan’s adventures in the Mediterranean in 1191. There’s a robbery, as you’d expect in a Robin Hood novel, and a lot of fighting, which is kinda my trademark, and Alan gets the wrong end of the stick, as usual. And it did well. People seemed to like it. So I wrote another one, which follows straight on from Caliph’s Gold. This one is called . . .
Castle of Bones (you can buy that here) takes place a few months after Caliph’s Gold. Our heroes still haven’t got home to England (but they will after this novel, I promise!) and find themselves embroiled in the bloody politics of Burgundy in the summer of 1192. This is the tenth novel in the Outlaw Chronicles, and that is a nice round number, so I feel I may have finished with Robin Hood. But I will leave that up to you, the reader.
If you have had enough of Alan Dale acting like an idiot, and Robin being bloody and ruthless, then let me know. If you still want more, I do have an idea for another couple of Outlaw books set during the Albigensian Crusade, ie after Grail Knight and before The Iron Castle. Let the people speak again.
If you want more of these Outlaw books, then buy them, leave a nice review on Amazon, and tell all your friends. But if you would like something different from me – I have a new Viking series beginning in mid-February with a novel called The Last Berserker, which you can pre-order here.
For a full list of the Outlaw Chronicles in the correct order, go here: http://angusdonaldbooks.com/uncategorized/the-outlaw-chronicles-in-chronological-order/