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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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jseversky: Was amazing loved every second of it I really want to read more, and definitely would. Hope the author makes a 2nd book. Kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, loved it. The author describes everything in in new and innovative ways, and love the 2 separate view points.

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.

Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...

RodRaglin: Your writing is very good, Rachel, but remember you also have to entertain the reader and in that regard it's a bit sparse in action and dialogue.Consider when revising...When starting a new story always consider your protagonist's Goal - what they want; Motivation - why they want it; and, Confli...

Kaitlyn Bier: The way you build the world around the characters is amazing, and the way you get into the character's mind and make us feel for the characters through the entire story. There isn't much more I can say about this other than amazing! Are there going to be anymore updates any time soon?I also Vote...

OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...

Sandra Leigh: Sadly, the book left me wanting more. There are only 5 chapters and I want more! It is easily as good as The White Queen and The Other Boleyn Girl. I cannot wait for this one to be finished.

AnnaLucia: This fanfiction has an amazing plot. It's very different from the books, yet the author still managed to keep the personalities the characters had in the books. Your Alec and Magnus still are themselves, even though you created a different plot where Bane had to seduce Lightwood to get informati...

Jessica: I loved the title of this story, and that is what got me hooked. But reading this from beginning to end, it was amazing. How the character changed from someone on two legs to an animal on four was great. The emotions on this story is one to be remembered. There are a few grammar things that need ...

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