Story Imaging

The books about Ximene offer a multitude of locations and situations which would be most suitable for presentation on the screen.

Ximene as a Teenager –

The Blue Pyrenees-  not blue at all except in the distance;  every shade of green and grey, dotted with patches of white from limestone abutments and snow-covered peaks.

Château de Foix-perched on its rocky outcrop,

Her grandmother’s accomodation- Ornate fittings and improbable architecture. Palatial but private rooms scattered around the lower rock at Foix.

The cavern deep underneath the chateau – an inexhaustible supply of warm spring water,  supplied by a natural waterfall, where Ximene and her friends bathed and played naked.

Ximene in her role as Diana –

The English court – Rich formal costumes for men and women, ornate furniture, polished woodwork,  small orchestras, a profusion of freshly cut flowers and servants running around seeking to attend to the whims of every individual guest.

Ximene in her role as the Eagle –

Recruitment centres –Dingy warehouses in London, Bordeaux and Palermo where she welcomes new recruits to The Shadow. Her appearance is however accompanied by special effects and is carefully choreographed. She retains an allure of mystery by only appearing on a balcony, isolated from the recruits. On these occasions she wears an eagle mask,  black military uniform, a black cape lined with golden feathers and gloves with a golden talon on every finger.

At sea – Silhouetted at the bow of one of  the Xbec sailing ships specially  designed for her fleet, travelling at breathtaking speed through the turbulent seas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ashore in the Levant- Riding one of her two magnificent horses at breakneck speed with the army of the Emir of Karaman, in a desperate defence against Turkic invaders who threaten her trading routes.

In Venice- Comfortably settled in the Emir’s harem of his European heaquarters, surrounded  by oriental architecture  in the company of  giggling groups of scantily dressed concubines.

John as a teenager-

The Wirral peninsula – Attacked by wolves whilst guarding sheep. Walks at low tide to Hilbre Island surrounded by every sea bird imaginable.

John as a squire –

Shipwreck at Arcachon – Turquoise waves thundering onto the beach and how, when his ship foundered, the waves nearly ended his life.

Clermont- The Cathar ritual  on the hill above the Château, with the silvery snake of the Garrone river in the background. There he witnessed the ultimate erotic performance performed by Joan of Kent and the Earl of Salisbury.

As the favorite of Joan of Kent-

Various grand Châteaux- Endless provocative teasing, by the granddaughter of a king of England. She is usually clothed in dresses which conceal absolutely nothing.

John as captain of the Prince’s personal bodyguard-

The court of Aquitaine – State receptions and dinners at the Prince’s court on the waterfront in Bordeaux. Similar to the English court but with architecture inspired by the Alcazar in Seville.   Marble pools,  fountains and  elaborate uniforms.

John as tournament champion of Europe –

The promotional spectacle – heralds, trumpets, drums and parading knights.

One specific tournament – At one endof the arena,  a sea of red and white. Flags and pennants of Aquitaine! Both sides  solid red with a large number of flags carrying the unusual twelve-pointed cross of Occitan. At the other end another blaze of colour. This time yellow and white stripes with each of the yellow stripes carrying small five-pointed stars. The colours of the Trencavels! Ximene had gone to a lot of trouble to let him know that he was fighting for his Prince, his adopted nation and Ximene herself!

John as a Military Strategist-

Non-stop war – The invasion of Armagnac, the battles of Poitiers, Auray, and Najera. John’s strategies developed  the massed use of the longbow by English and Welsh archers, backed up by disciplined troops of armed knights and the use of fiery projectiles from the dreaded Trebuchets.

John and Ximene Together-

Château Mazerou – The arched cellars, the tower room and the surrounding magnificent countryside. It was here that Ximene taught him to be her lover. It was here that Ximene started the  regime which would turn her into a formidable female warrior.  They trained together and as Ximene’s skills developed they fought against each other.  It was the vast plains of the countryside in which they trained,  which in itself gave the clues as to the location of Ximene’s family treasure.

The treasure –  located in an underground cavern.  The crossing of the lake within the cavern during which the flares on the boat seemed to be reflected from every ripple, causing the illusion that the lake was on fire.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.