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All that I can remember is a prison who's entrance was a huge, gaping (fanged?) mouth.

The hero (who was incognito, and really .. not sure, maybe the heir to the throne?) was thrown down a hole into a large cavern with other prisoners. There was a (supposedly) bottomless pit in the centre, and one of the prisoners had fashioned a lasso from the skin/entrails of dead prisoners.

Eventually, the hero manages to get hold of it & use it climb down the pit to escape.

Not much to go on, sorry. It sci-fi, or at least not an elves & pixies story. Any idea?

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    This sounds vaguely familiar... but my old brain isn't making the connection. Perhaps one of Philip José Farmer's Tarzan novels? I don't think it was one of Burroughs' Barsoom books: they tended to be a lot more lighthearted. – Ghotir Sep 1 '17 at 13:55
  • Definitely either of those, alas. – Sam Fox Sep 1 '17 at 14:26
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    Ah... maybe the third book of Harry Harrison's Deathworld trilogy? Didn't Jason get thrown in a pit, and use it to get from the culture at the higher part of the world to the culture at the lower part? (If I were home, I'd quickly flip through some books, look for quotes, and seek a real answer.) – Ghotir Sep 1 '17 at 14:45
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    Not what you are looking for but in the Hannibal Lecter series (Silence of the Lambs, etc) Lecter kills a guard, skins his face, puts it on as a mask, and is taken out by an ambulance crew... So in the same vein (heh!) but not the same as a lasso.... – ivanivan Sep 1 '17 at 15:34
  • Alas, not Harry either (but time for a re-read :-) – Sam Fox Sep 2 '17 at 8:04
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In Shadow's Edge, the second book of the Night Angel trilogy, part of the book is dedicated to the story of Logan Gyre "the King in the Hole" and how he survives in the hole with the other prisoners. Logan is not the main character but he is important to the plot, since he is the prophesied king.

At the end of book 1 he is forced to hide inside of the hole from the prison guards. During book 2 there are several chapters of how he survives in the hole, which is a round pit with only 2 exits. A hole in the ceiling where the guards are. This entrance is not a huge, gaping (fanged?) mouth but just an iron grate. The other exit is a hole in the middle of the floor which is said to be bottomless.

There is also a prisoner with a rope made from entrails present. Though he is eventually killed by Logan and the rope is used to escape through the bottomless pit in the floor.

  • That's it! I have been (w)racking my brains fro weeks over this. time for a re-read – Sam Fox Sep 8 '17 at 22:28

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