William de Montacute

William is descended from the Scandinavian kings of the isles. Because of this heritage, he is not only the Earl of Salisbury but also King of Mann.

Every story has its heroes.  Few stories have a genuine saint.

William has lived his whole life in the service of the Black Prince. By being so steadfast in his regard for the Prince’s welfare, he has reached a position of prominence. He is commander of the Prince’s rearguard and that does not mean trailing along at the back of the army. It means being responsible for everything concerned with the Prince’s safety.

He needs to make close contacts with the Prince’s potential enemies as well as his friends which leaves him vulnerable to accusations of treachery and treason.

He is one of those rare people who genuinely puts the interest of his friends and lovers above any consideration of self-preservation.

He articulates the creed held dear by everyone concerned in intelligence gathering and surveillance. “If you don’t need to know then  I am not going to tell you.”

He advances his position by advocating the creation of a physical bodyguard for the prince and becoming its first commander.

William risks undermining his own position, status and emotional stability to help the woman he loves, Joan of Kent, achieve her ambition of marrying the Black Prince.

His position is increasingly compromised by his love for Joan.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents


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.’