Ratha's Creature: The First Book of the Named
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Ratha is a young herder of the Named, a clan of intelligent prehistoric wild cats who keep deer and horses. The Named fight for survival against Un-Named cats, enemies who raid clan herds. Meoran, leader of the Named, claims that the Un-Named are no more intelligent than herd animals, and Ratha believes him, until a clash with an Un-Named raider who taunts her in Named speech forces her to question everything. Then Ratha tames a power that could upset everything. Threatened by her discovery, the tyrannical clan leader banishes her from the clan. Can a young clan herder who doesn't know hunting, use her new "creature" to survive in exile?
Know. Turn that one away and you may come and eat.” “The one behind me, clan herder, is one you know and know well,” Fessran said. Her voice was strained and Ratha knew she was trying not to anger Meoran. “The smell that is mingled with mine is of the herder Ratha, the she-cub that Thakur and I taught.” “She-cub? We smell no she-cub,” Srass howled, and Ratha could imagine that Meoran stood next to Srass muttering the words into the old herder’s tattered ear. “We smell no she-cub. We smell only.
Foreleg. Each hair was gleaming and haloed; so perfectly placed in the pattern that flowed down his leg until it ended in a whorl on the back of his foot. His smell hypnotized her; drew her closer. A wild dark scent, tinged with bitterness. A scent powerful enough to send shivers down her spine to the tip of her tail. Bonechewer stirred as the sun warmed him. Ratha retreated, frightened by the motion and astonished at her feelings. He settled and his scent drew her back. One paw flexed, showing.
And the astonishment all blended together. She rubbed her head against the ground, calling until her voice was raw. His weight bore her down and she felt his paws press into her back, alternating in a deliberate rhythm. He loosened his grip on her ruff and seized her further back, between the shoulders. His tail swept hers aside. Ratha arched her back to meet him, and a new note came into her call. His voice joined hers and they were together, stiff and trembling. With a violent motion, he.
Thakur and climbed a tree when the raider came? Ratha felt something wedged in her teeth, behind one upper fang. With her tongue, she worked it loose and felt it. A scrap of skin with slimy fur on one side and bitter-tasting wax on the other. A piece of the raider’s ear. She grimaced, spat the ear-scrap out and pawed it aside, feeling a certain grim pleasure. She tried a few more limping steps, clamping her jaws together to keep her head from ringing. As she walked, the burning knot in her.
Pile beside her. It was a good one, she thought, smelling the sharp tang of pitch. She thrust one end into the flame, pulled it out and watched the Red Tongue blossom around the end. “Fessran,” she said between her teeth. Fessran limped to her and took the torch. “May the Red Tongue be strong tonight,” she said before her jaws closed on the shaft. “Guard the animals well, herder,” Ratha answered when her jaws were free. “If my creature holds the Un-Named from our throats tonight, then you.