In the time before recorded history, Jatara is a faithful priestess of the Mother Creator, Bellin. Like all Therian women, she is empowered to absorb the animal nature of the male who defines her. But her father has ordered her to mate with a rival clan's leader, which will destroy her connection to Bellin. Angry and frightened, she rebels, determined to live on her own terms.
Jatara's bravery impresses Bellin, who promises her a new destiny. She will become the Omni Prime, a specially gifted Therian who will work to free all her kind's women from oppression. To claim her power, she must surrender herself to the mighty god Khonish. Jatara yearns for the joining with the sexy and intriguing god. Until she meets another whose touch inflames her senses...
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
July 17, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Therian Priestess by Cyndi Friberg
Jatara tried not to feel sorry for the warrior, but pity gripped her all the same. What he'd attempted to do was unforgivable. Yet she'd known him her entire life, even considered him a close friend. Besides, his behavior was in no way unusual. Men forced their will on women every day.
Bellin slowly faced Jatara, the golden glow from her eyes making it impossible to read her expression. "You said you had chosen him. Was I wrong to intervene? Did you secretly want that man inside you?"
"No, Mistress. I wanted his blood. Nothing more."
Bellin's brows arched then her gaze narrowed. "You meant to trigger your definition? Yet you obviously did not want him as mate. Did your father know what you intended?" All Jatara could manage was a quick headshake. "Not only is he your father, he is your king. Why would you risk his wrath?"
"Because he bartered me to the highest bidder!" Frustration and pain propelled the words from her lips. She had never felt so helpless or betrayed as she had when her father told her what he intended. "Father expects me to leave your service and mate with the tiger prince."
"And this was arranged without your knowledge or consent?"
"Consent?" Jatara laughed, but she found the concept anything but funny. "He does not need my consent. He is male, my father and ruler of my tribe. Asking my opinion never occurred to him."
Bellin shook her head, clearly upset by the information. "That is not the way it is supposed to work. Therian females are empowered with an undefined nature so they can control their life path. Each female should have options and alternatives, not be bound by the situation into which they are born."
"Unfortunately, most Therian males do not see it that way." Jatara sighed, feeling sad and drained. "They use our undefined nature to their advantage. We are traded like possessions and forced to obey."
"I should have realized." Bellin held out her hand. "I cannot undo what has already been set in motion, but perhaps I can balance the equation."
Jatara had no idea what that meant, but it didn't matter. This was Bellin. No one questioned the Mother Creator. With trembling fingers, she took Bellin's hand and struggled to her feet.
"I offered to punish the man who had nearly ravished you and your first thought was of the welfare of your tribe."
Uncomfortable with the praise, Jatara brushed the leaves from her knees and tightened the ends of her seroje. "My father is king. It is right that I think first of our people."
"It was not a criticism. I am pleased by your selflessness. But this world does not need martyrs, it needs champions."
Jatara took a deep breath and looked into Bellin's eyes. "I would fight to the death for my people, but that will not right this wrong."
"I agree. This requires a different strategy."
The balmy night breeze wafted across Jatara's face, playing through her long hair and making her shiver. She wasn't really cold, just unnerved. Tonight was supposed to have been a triumph, a bold maneuver allowing her to regain control of her life forever. Instead her failure and fear had summoned the goddess she served and shamed her and her people.
"What would you have me do?" Afraid she would shed the tears burning her eyes, she averted her face and gazed out into the darkened forest.
"You were willing to put the needs of your tribe above your personal safety. Are you willing to go even further? Will you fight for the freedom of your sisters everywhere?"
"My sisters?" She knew Bellin meant all the other Therian females who were being degraded and abused, but she had no idea how such a battle would be fought. "What can I do? I am just one woman."
Bellin gently touched Jatara's chin and turned her head until their gazes met again. "You must be willing and brave. What I have in mind will not be easy."
Hope gradually eroded her uncertainty. If even one woman could be spared a life of degradation and sorrow, was it not worth any risk? "I am, as always, your servant. Tell me what to do and I will do it."
Bellin smiled and her golden light expanded, surrounding Jatara in tingling warmth. "You came here to define your animal nature. I say we see it done."
"You are meant for greater things than a trembling coward. I have something far more daring in mind." The goddess glanced into the distance, her exquisite features blurring for a moment. "Do you trust me, Jatara?"
"Of course, Mother Creator." She started to kneel again, but Bellin caught her elbows and shook her head. "I wait only for your command."
Bellin inclined her head and released Jatara's arms. Then she spoke in a low, urgent tone. "I shall create in you a power that has no rival, but it will require a great sacrifice."
Fear resurged with a vengeance. Jatara shoved it back through sheer force of will. "What do you require of me?"
"It is best if you do not fully understand. As soon as he touches you, he will have access to your thoughts."
"Who is he and why will he need to touch me?" Trepidation pushed back against her composure, threatening to shatter her hard-won calm.
"Therian power is transmitted through blood, and it is blood he will demand. But know this. I will not let him harm you and the sacrifice will seem insignificant compared to the reward."
"Will he demand my life or just...my virginity?" Had she only postponed the inevitable, traded one ravishment for another?
"You must trust me. I will explain everything once this obstacle is removed, but there is no way to avoid what comes next." Before Jatara could bombard her with questions, Bellin held out her hands. Jatara placed her hands on Bellin's and the goddess pulled her close. "Close your eyes, child. And try not to panic."