This story is the prequel to Theo and the Forbidden Language, the first book in the Book of Theo series.
In the land of Mankahar, the animals can talk. But the king of the animals who call themselves Men has used the written word to discover how to Pacify the other animals and rob them of speech so that his kind might control and rule over them. So the animals banned writing and termed those who knew how to read and write “omatjes” or sorcerers who should be put to death.
But language, unlike other living things, does not always die so easily.
Ansley, Melanie. The Queen and the Dagger: A Book of Theo novella (Kindle Location 34). . Kindle Edition.
Crown Princess Indigo of the Alvareth clan of rabbits lost her mother and older sister to one of these “omatjes” – a muskrat who carried a knife with writing on it – seasons ago. Now she is ready to come of age and be crowned Queen of her clan. When she has, she would like nothing better than to join the Order – a group of animals dedicated to fighting the Men trying to enslave them – and lead her people in the fight to avenge her mother and sister. Unfortunately, the wolves against whom the young rabbits must test their abilities before being initiated into adulthood have unexpectedly been Pacified, and Indigo’s aunt, who has served as regent for the past ten seasons, does not intend to give up power easily.
Cover image from Goodreads
Title: The Queen and the Dagger
A Book of Theo novella
Author: Melanie Ansley
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Children’s e-books/Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories/Fantasy & Magic/Coming of Age