Lazlo Ferran

The Devil's Own Dice

Trapped in time, in a dungeon with no way out!

His crippled wife is kidnapped by the witch Georgiana, now allied with the assassin sect Concilium Putus Visum, and transported back to feudal 13th Century France.

He is only one man against the vicious and murderous forces of Hell unleashed once again in the form of the shape-shifting Biblical Serpents.

Suddenly trapped in an escape-proof dungeon he must somehow escape, and train to be a knight so he can enlist the help of a corrupt count. Along the way he must overcome his sense of revulsion about his own supernatural power.

But what will he find in the mysterious Maze Tower?

If you love Dan Brown, Anne Rice or Hilary Mantel you will adore this rich, twisting, writhing erotic masterpiece.

A year before I started this work, I read both The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me, and Dan Brown's masterful handling of the subject matter was an inspiration. Like him I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like him and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

Around the same time I was starting this work, my interest in the paranormal was focused around reincarnation and lycanthropy (werewolves and vampires). I have always loved old Hammer Horror films and particularly the work of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. I have also always been interested in luck, and the constant battle between good and evil, light and dark, and yin and yang; who isn't? My own luck seems to run in phases of waves; periods of days or even weeks of good luck, followed by periods of very bad luck. I mused that some people have luck so bad that it kills them, whereas others seem to lead a charmed life. I decided that my main character, as well as being physically imperfect, must have some kind of rare interaction with luck and the forces of good and evil. From there, I developed the idea that luck might have something to do with the effect of the battle between good and evil: that in fact both Satan and God might both have one hand on the tiller of luck.

Imagining that The Serpents and the Concilium Putus Visum might not take too kindly to the events in Book I was not difficult and since my interest in High Medieval history (11th to 13th Century) had deepened, I felt comfortable describing where the tapestry might take someone if they managed to decipher it. I had also stumbled across fascinating descriptions of Oubliettes. I couldn't resist thinking about what it might take to escape from one. Could it be done? What if it couldn't be done? In fact there is no recorded case in history of anyone ever escaping from an oubliette. I had to have the main character try. I actually spent nearly six months thinking about this before feeling able to put finger to keyboard. However, from here, the story had considerable momentum. At last I could see how the Biblical references in Book I could turn into a form of time-travel for some of the characters, especially those initiated into Ordo Lupus.

During the two years since publishing Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate, I had read much about 10th and 11th century monastic life — particularly a book by Constance Brittain Bouchard calledHoly Entrepreneurs, and an academic tome on the Cathars called Heresy in Medieval France, 1000–1249 by Claire Taylor. I wanted to include this wonderfully complex and rich history in the new novel and there is also an encounter with William the Conqeror's mother. The biggest battle of the 13th Century the Battle of Bouvines also features as one of the highlights and took much work to research for accuracy. So does he escape from an oubliette? You will have to read the novel.
469 printed pages

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