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The Speaker

By Sandra Leigh All Rights Reserved ©



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.



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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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 ...

Christopher Calvo: Truly a wonderful read and very well written! Love the characters and character development, and can smell the frybread as I read it! Can't wait for more as we delve into the Buffalo Summer.

Katy Blair: This is definitely a must read!!! I am not saying anymore, because I do not want to give away anything related to the story. Just read and find out how truly amazing this story is!!!

May May: Honestly, this is a very interesting story.I enjoyed every chapter, hats off to the writer!

David Ramati: I can easily identify with the characters as having gone through those terrible times myself. The writer has skillfully brought yet another side of those days to life. A good read which I recommend to everyone.

William Elliott Kern: Hey Lauren, enjoyed reading your book. Your story content and plot blend beautifully, with a few exceptions. think about describing your Characters, their surroundings, the location surroundings and such. But don't fret.........your work is really great and a few changes are normal. Keep writ...

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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.

Xavier Fair: If ever you wondered what REAL people with REAL desires would do if given powers, the constant battles they would face, or the possible self loathing that comes with being different, this is the story for you. Well structured, relatable and best of all you come out caring for the characters. I wi...

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...

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