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The Speaker

By Sandra Leigh All Rights Reserved ©

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Blurb

Nea possesses the ability to speak to animals, a rare skill even by the magical standards of her tribe, the Mainganoden. Her ability allows her to converse freely with animals across all families and species. Her dream; to become a veterinarian. Braving the world of the white man, Nea takes her spirit companion, a great cat named Gaganan, off the reservation. Across her adventure into this brave new world she encounters unmagical men and foes who will stop at nothing to possess her. But all is not as it once was; as with Nea lie powers far greater than anything known to anyone else before her.

Prologue

THE LEGEND OF UKTENA

The Cherokee have a tale they tell of a monster they call Uktena. This creature is not exclusive to them, but it is their story you find most common. What follows on this page is my compilation of those tales, my version as it features into my story. It will help you to understand the undercurrent of the tale.

There are tales of a serpent-like being, horned like a deer, with seven bands of colour around its neck or seven spots depending on the storyteller, great moon-like eyes and a single, scintillating jewel in the middle of its forehead. This creature lives in deep, still waters, sometimes in rivers, or deep caverns. Where it lives no wildlife thrives. For kilometres from its resting place you hear no sound, not bird, animal or insect. To stray within its reach is to risk hearing its call. Animals will raise their heads suddenly and just walk off, hunters set down their bows and walk away, never to be seen again. To come upon it waking is death. To come upon it sleeping… is death. Something about it draws the viewer towards rather than away. But some… some can break that spell, some are overcome by the fear of it and flee. For them something far worse than death awaits. When they return home it will be to find their loved ones dead in their stead.

But Uktena can be killed. Its heart lies beneath the seventh band. Should an arrow find its way there it too can die, and the hunter’s loved ones will be safe. The jewel in its forehead is powerful magic. It can give one insight to the future, heal, bring good hunting and great luck for the tribe of the one who keeps it. But it is a dangerous thing to keep and few wish that responsibility. It binds itself to its keeper, demands things of him, marks him for all to see.

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Bella_Lee_Taylor: the plot of the story is good and I can't wait to read the second book, but you need to check your grammar because as I was reading there were were important parts of the story some of the spelling and grammar were out of place and the way you you worded things can be better but I can see that th...

Deidre L. Swain: I understood where the story was going but the writing skills were lacking a lot. There are some places that had no flow. The plot was good which is what kept me reading the whole story. I think the author shows promise. They just need to tighten up on their skills to really get it going

MissMadokaKaname: I was impressed and moved by this work. The characterization and dialog were strong, and really brought everyone in the story to life. Also, the setting was handled in a believable and compelling way. The story captured the complexities and pain of love, and also the harshness of living in such b...

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msccripps8458: The story is excellent,(some grammatical errors) the wit is razor sharp and the observation of human behaviour is right on point. Take a break from your day and start reading this from the very beginning and you won't be sorry.

alsarahiddana: I've been hooked since chapter one! I love the characters they make me laugh and they seem very real. This story flows so nicely and the plot so far screams potential. I can't wait to read more.

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