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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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Further Recommendations

Avell Kro: I've only just started reading this, but I can see that this writer really knows her stuff. Her theme is painful and traumatic, and her sense of place is deep and strong. Being originally from Yorkshire myself the story resonates with me personally, but this is good writing. I look forward to com...

Lyndsey Slays: OMG this book was very interesting and had A LOT of details TBH this is my favorite book ever💖💖🔥🔥🤘🏽🤘🏽😍😍

WildFlower Fire: I have only read the first chapter and I LOVE the writing style. I am excited to meet the characters and want to find out more. Looking forward to the rest.

Hadley Swiss: I loved the way you wrote this story. It was easy to recognise the characters, and it was a new plot I hadn't read ever (as in, it was different to any other, without any cliches as far as I'd read.) The dialogue was good; your characters seemed realistic. I also enjoyed the action and the settin...

Deleted User: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

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Ariel: First book from the Author I've read, and am extremely impressed and very much satisfied that this story was a short-story, yet, filled with great writing, fantastic characters, and all I'd like is more, please. Malice, she is my favorite!!

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

PersephanieBoyce: I was intrigued with the subject of this book from the snip it I read, and as I continued to read I felt like I was inside the characters brain. His thought processes, his memories, everything was so beautifully and forcefully made aware.The descriptions were vivid and detailed. At times, I did t...

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

Patrick Johns: The Prince was an exciting read. I enjoyed the spoiled bratty protagonist and his drastic change through out the story. The world building was well though out and clear. The author did a great job painting a picture for the reader without having a map. I liked the connection to real life leaders....

Silver: Its a very good story you have here. Felicity´s ability is interesting and original, I love it. The setting of a hostpital was a good choice, especially since we get the scene with the other interns, gives it a very real feel. There wasnt much plot for me to rate, so I´ll update as the story prog...

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