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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

fellipxx: I loved this novel, it was very sweet and big on the emotions I really enjoyed it and could not stop reading not even for a second, I even cried a little bit at a few touching moments too. And overall I found this book sweet, realistic and cheesy (I like the cheesy stuff).

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...

littlebite22: This made me think. About the world around me, about what I think of others. We rarely get to see or hear what others think, and this is such a great example of not judging a book by its cover. Also very well written.

fabihafatimaagha: OH MY GOD! I'M CRYING. 😭😭 This story was really good

William Elliott Kern: Whew. one telling his story, in the Bar, to his friend, who questions some circumstances that need clarity, The Confusion comes from a man, carrying his dead friend Chappies, while conversing with himself, and Chappies, and his alter ego......a broken mind, not yet forgotten..........The Author ...

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!!

Hayley: Beautiful story that has been well written. Something I will definitely read again. I loved how you could feel the tension between them and I loved the ending because It left it open to our imagination. I look forward to seeing to reading further stories by the same author.

ngonisiga: I am at loss for words in my attempt to descibe the sublimeness of this story. Kudos to you! I am so impressed at the way the story weaves itself from Navarre to England and back and finally to Sicily. You left me wanting more for this is the stuff dreams are made of in book lovers.

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

More Recommendations

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...

Tina Hacker: Lindsey Martin=Bowen blends humor with satiric takes on modern life. Her characters are introduced seamlessly and tell the reader their stories--if we can read them between laughs! I hesitate to write exactly what she parodies but anyone reading her book will know in a minute. Just think large-...

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