Ximene (Shemaine)Trencavel has noble blood in her veins.However her family has lost everything by refusing to give up their Cathar faith, a very different version of Christianity. They have been deposed and their lands have been stolen. They made several attempts to regain their inheritance but ultimately ran out of money and had to give up the fight.

Now there are plots and counter plots to put Ximene back in a position of power.

Gaston, Compte de Foix offers her hand in marriage to the royal houses of Europe hoping to gain political and territorial advantages from any marriage which might result.

Edward Of Woodstock, heir to the english throne, the Black Prince becomes the favoured candidate but he involved in a most noble “menage a trios” with Joan “Fair Maid” of Kent and his best friend William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury. Nevertheless he agrees to meet Ximene who is is determined to establish control of the negotiations which will determine the terms of her her marriage contract

She is determined to stay true to the old religion and to put the interests of her people ahead of any other consideration. The Inquisition, ruthlessly determined to root out and destroy any remaining Cathar sympathies is therefore an ever present threat.

John Stanley, at the age of seventeen, just a little older than Ximene, has been given the opportunity to prove himself. The chance has come due family connections but he advances himself rapidly in the service of the Black Prince through hard work, a strong sense of loyalty and his courage.

Bertrand du Guesclin is evil. He boasts that he uses terror as his secret weapon. He is given the task of eliminating Ximene, as her inheritance covers a third of the frankish realm and with

Joan of Kent decides she no longer wants to be the Prince’s mistress but to marry him herself. She does everything she can to distract both the Prince and Ximene from the intended marriage. Her attention is drawn to John Stanley when he wins an archery contest and she plots to ensure that John meets Ximene. They are but pawns in her greater game.

Ximene sees in John the potential to be her champion, a perfect knight. She believes he has the potential to protect her and those who have faith in her, against those such as Du Guesclin and the inquisition who threaten her.

John sees Ximene as the most outrageously desirable woman he could possibly imagine. He is aware that her interest in him is, in turn, providing improved opportunities for him. If handled well these opportunities can only lead to his attaining the first step towards nobility-a knighthood. If handled badly he could be declared a traitor and face a grisly death.

Together they face adventure and danger.

As their relationship develops they ask themselves if they can learn to love? A love which must survive the most traumatic circumstances?

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.