By Jenni Boyd

cover image of Natalia

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This is a story of secrets and deception. A girl's journey to find the truth about who she really is.
Natalia's head is swathed in a bloody cloth and she struggles to keep her hands on the pommel of the saddle, as she was no longer able to hold the reins. All her faith lies with Jasper the black stallion, her only true friend; she knew he would take her where she needed to go.
In the early hours of the morning a young gypsy boy discovers a beautiful black stallion standing guard over what appears to be a pile of clothing, but soon discovers it is a girl near death. Despite his fear of the horse, he manages to take her to Luludja, the wisest and oldest woman he knows.
With the aid of the woman's healing powers, Natalia slowly recovers, but soon learns that the people of the forest hold a great hatred towards her, something that had not gone unnoticed by Luludja.
With a heavy heart Luludja realises that she must reveal to Natalia a dark secret she has kept to herself for many years, but also, it is no longer safe for the girl to stay amongst the gypsies. Under the cover of darkness, Natalia leaves the gypsy compound with the aid of the young boy who had found her.
Despite their best efforts to remain obscure as they travel to their destination, unbeknownst to either of them, another is travelling the same journey, and he sees Natalia as she washes at a rivers edge. The search the man had been tasked for so many years, to the point he believed he was only on a fool's errand....until he saw her face. He was tired, but now knew he could not rest, as his search had finally come to fruition.
Little does Natalia know that her final destination holds a danger and secrets that she could never imagine.
Will history repeat itself, or can pride and prejudice be put aside, as there is only one person who can save her?