|Species:||Dinaelurus illumina sapiens (song-hearer)|
|Current:||"Singer" (leader of the Tribe)|
|one deceased, Tooth-broke-on-a-bone |
New Singer, others
|Book Appearances:||Ratha's Challenge, Ratha's Courage|
True-of-voice is a major character in the series. He is the current leader of the nomadic Face-tail Hunter Tribe who function entirely on a mysterious phenomenon called "the song" sung by him. Despite this ability gives him an absolute power over the tribe, has been made clear in the novels that he's not a tyrant (at least not as could be perceived by the Named), he's open to have dialogues and meeting to understand and find a way of co-existence with the Named, despite the difficulties of communication.
True-of-voice is a huge male with a gray coat that shines a sliver highlights, white underbelly and large fangs.
True-of-voice appears in Ratha's Challenge as leader of the Hunters Tribe: however he doesn't meet the main characters at first and when the contacts with Thistle-chaser cause the tribe to attempt a new hunting technique, True-of-voice fall down a cliff. His disappearance suddenly shock the whole tribe. It's revealed how the mysterious song "heard" by them, was originated from True-of-voice's mind (even if actually more correct to say that he wasn't the true origin of the song, being probably formed by the preserved memories of the tribe ancestors inside him). Previous leaders left as inheritance this gift to their children, but True-of-voice lost his mate and had no actual offspring at the time. His disappearance would have quickly driven to despair and death his people but the Named ones ultimately discovered he was still alive and trapped into a ledge of the cliff. He was saved and the song restored, before this could be achieved he briefly managed to lease a partial ability to sing the song to Thistle-chaser (that used it to prevent the murdering of Quiet Hunter).
It's revealed that True-of-voice sired a litter from Tooth-broke-on-a-bone, including a male cub (New Singer). It's also revealed that once his heir will take his place, his son will take after his own name and True-of-voice will be renamed "Once-Sung".
The two leaders tries to coexist with one another but because True-of-voice can only communicate through 'the song', described as "words, mixed with a soft singsong that was somewhere between a murmur and a purr", Thistle-chaser and Quiet Hunter act as his translators. After Night-who-eats-stars steals the Red Tongue and sets the forest canyon on fire, killing a handful of female hunters, he has no choice but to exile young males from the tribe, who in turn, wrecks havoc on the Named. He often times, sees no reason what he has done wrong since he has only done what the song commands, and the song is never wrong. Later in the book he understands however that by doing so, he has disrupted "the song of the Named".
"It sings through him. Those of his line, long dead, sing though him. It isn't just hearing. Not just ear-hearing. Or nose-smelling or tongue-tasting, or whisker-touching. It is all those, but it is more. It is with me behind the eys. I am no longer one behind the eyes."
~Thistle-chaser explaining to Ratha True-of-voice's song and what it holds in Ratha's Courage, page 73
"True-of-voice however, was no Shongshar. She had never seen him strike or even threaten any of his people. He was extraordinarily gentle with them, even more so than she was with the Named. His gentleness seemed strangely at odds with his absolute power."
~Ratha's observation of True-of-voice in Ratha's Courage, in page 94
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