Book One of The Wode. The Hooded One. The one to breathe the dark and light and dusk between…. When an old druid foresees this harbinger of chaos, he also sees whom it will claim: young Rob of Loxley. Rob's mother and father, a yeoman forester and a wisewoman, have raised Rob and his sister, Marion, under a solemn duty: to take their parents' places in the Old Religion as the manifestations of the Horned Lord and the Lady Huntress. But when Gamelyn Boundys, son of a powerful nobleman, is injured in the forest, he and Rob begin a friendship that challenges both duty and ideology: Gamelyn is a devout follower of the Catholic Church. Rob understands the divide between peasant and noble all too well. And the old druid has foreseen that Gamelyn is destined to be Rob's sworn enemy—to fight in a blood sacrifice for the greenwode's Maiden. In a risky bid for happiness, Rob dares the Horned Lord to reinterpret the ancient rites—to allow Rob to take Gamelyn as a lover instead of a rival. But in the eyes of Gamelyn's church, lust is a sin—and sodomy is unthinkable.
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Years ago, a pagan commoner named Rob of Loxley befriended Gamelyn Boundys, a nobleman's son, against seemingly insurmountable odds-and with horrific consequences. His home razed by order of the Church, Rob was left for dead, believing his sister, Marion, and his lover, Gamelyn, had perished. But Gamelyn yet lives. Guilt-ridden by his unwitting betrayal of Loxley, one of the last bastions of the Old Religion, Gamelyn rides off to seek absolution in the Holy Land.