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Ximene – The Most Dangerous Woman in the World

Ximene Trencavel is heiress to Occitan, a land immediately to the north of the Pyrenees. She has been brought up in the Cathar faith, a religion which sees nothing sinful in the giving or receiving of sexual pleasure. In the Cathar culture, sexual pleasure is simply God’s way of giving a sample of what union with him, or her, might be.

The Church of Rome considers the the Cathar faith to be a heresy and for over a hundred years has conducted a programme of intimidation and oppression.

Aside from this threat, the middle of the 14th century is a world rich in contrasts, an amalgam of romance, danger and adventure. It is a world of great opportunity for those with courage and vision but a world in which the cost of failure is often a brutally violent death.

This is the world in which Ximene must live. She has no choice. She must learn the skills needed to survive, surrounded by violence and treachery.

She determines to fight against oppression and searches for alliances with those who might help her achieve her ends. Ximene sets out to seduce John Stanley a member of the royal guard, to win his support, but runs into a problem. John comes from a fundamentalist christian family and has never so much as laid a hand on a woman. He has no idea how to respond to her advances.

Version 4

The feudal system was originally designed to provide a measure of stability, in an uncertain world. However it tolerates, perhaps even encourages, changes in allegiances. This leads to shifting boundaries and constant warfare.

Now, in the middle of the fourteenth century, the concept of nation states slowly emerges from feudal chaos, resulting in larger wars being fought more frequently.

It is a world rich in contrasts, an amalgam of adventure, romance and danger. It is a world of great opportunity for those with courage and vision, but a world in which the cost of failure is often a brutally violent death.

One candidate for nationhood is a grouping of territories just north of the Pyrenees. The people living in these territories speak Occitan, not French, and are  united by a common culture and a common faith, the Cathar religion.

The King of the Franks is determined to retain the lands of Occitan within his own realm and the Church of Rome is determined to eradicate the Cathar Religion.

The heiress to these lands is a sixteen year old girl. She must decide . Will she abandon her people to their fate, or will she protect them,  even at great personal risk?

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.