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Animism And The Orang Asli

Updated on May 31, 2015

A War Romance During The Malayan Emergency

This is a book review of a story that takes us on a journey into the rain forests of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency . The conflict took place over a twelve year period following the end of the second world war starting around 1948 and ending around 1960. The main character is a New Zealand soldier called Vince Tanner, seconded to Malaya for the emergency when he enlists in the New Zealand army seeking action, adventure and romance.

Before too long Vince finds himself in trouble after contracting a tropical disease and ends up in a military hospital. There he meets and falls in love with a beautiful nurse charged with taking care of him. It is love at first site, a war romance as unexpected as it was illicit. Vince was a lance corporal and his new love was a commissioned officer, any relationship between them was strictly forbidden by the military rules of the army.

Unable to prevent themselves the couple embark on an intense affair that, sadly, is destined to go very badly wrong. Fate intervenes and Audrey is attacked then slumps into a deep coma which the doctors are helpless to bring her out of. Vince discovers that his new love has a dark and secret past. Vince becomes distraught and turns to alcohol for comfort. His life turns into one of drunkenness and depravity which is constantly troubled by strange dreams that he cannot explain but at the same time seem strangely familiar.

Recovered from his illness Vince has to return to his platoon to carry on with his military duties while Audrey lays in a coma in a hospital bed. Becoming more and more disillusioned with the military life he has chosen, one event leads to another and Vince finds himself separated from his patrol and lost in the Malayan rain forest.

Here he finds the solitude and majesty of the jungle, experiences the wonder of nature and ultimately discovers the indigenous peoples of the forest. A symbiotic relationship between Vince and the Orang Asli tribe is established, but Vince begins to suspect that everything that has happened to him was pre-ordained and possibly influenced by Abu the spiritual leader (Halak) of the Orang Asli tribe.

Vince begins to discover and understand the cultural differences between his own society and those of the Orang Asli, things that would be strictly taboo in New Zealand are accepted and approved of in the culture of the Aboriginals of Malaya. He feels comfortable in their presence and, for a short time, lives as they live, accepts their rules and embraces their culture.

Eventually he knows he will have to leave, but fate will dictate when and under what circumstances, because these are the ways of the Orang Asli. By embracing animism and communicating with the spirits Abu can predict what is meant to be and if the gods have been appeased, but can he influence that fate and bring about change that will save not just Vince and Audrey but also the peoples of the Orang Asli tribe. The gods need to be satisfied before the fate of humans can be determined.

This is a wonderful book that uses the medium of fiction to describe a time and place in a troubled region of the far east, a time when men from all around the world were engaged in war, often found romance and, for the fictional Vince Tanner at least, also found and understood a completely different culture and set of beliefs.

If you believe in fate and a pre-ordained existence then you will surely emphasise with this soldier's story. And if you don't then you may just find your mind being changed, even if only a little.

The Voice of the Tiger - A War Romance and Forbidden Love in the Military

Vince Tanner is a New Zealand squaddie who falls in love with a beautiful nursing officer during the Malayan Emergency. Fate will determine if they can ever be together.

Vince Tanner is a soldier who believes he has lost everything, can the Orang Asli change his fate?

Where Else Can You Purchase The Voice of the Tiger? - Alternative Book Distributors to Amazon

The Voice of the Tiger is available in multiple formats. See the link list below to discover your favorite reading medium.

Because Markham is a New Zealand author, I have also included a handy link to Amazon Australia.

The Malayan Emergency - A brief history of the emergency

See this video book review of the Voice of the Tiger

A War Romance in a Far Away Country

Should young men and women be sent to foreign countries to fight in other people's conflicts?

Extracts from the Book

"Two pounds of steel and explosives had dropped him as though he were a pole-axed steer. Vince lay on the ground, hands over his ears, as the explosion shook the flimsy building apart."

"He too grinned; next to finding Amang alive, it was the best news he had received all day. He had got there after all in time to prevent her from further abuse."

Romantic Novelist
Romantic Novelist

Meet the Author

Romance Novelist - Markham Turner

Markham lives and works in New Zealand, he is a third generation New Zealander with a military background. His father served in the military during World War 1, sustaining injuries at Gallipoli, and he himself served in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency at the end of the fifties.

As a civilian he trained as a woodwork teacher and eventually set up a business making hand made furniture. Now retired he draws on his past experiences and his travels to exotic places of interest to fuel his writing. Between writing assignments he looks after his pet poodle, makes his own beer and wine and still turns out the odd wood carving or two.

Possibly considered a little eccentric, his abstract views on life are well illustrated in his writing and although you may not always agree with his narrative, he will certainly evoke a few emotions and ensure you pause for thought. Nothing more could be asked of a fiction writer, as that is precisely the objective.

Action, Adventure and Romance Books - A selection of books for recommended reading.

A little bit of history, romance and action from this selection of Kindle books.

What is Animism? - One god or many, does anyone really know?

Animism would suggest that there are many gods that interact with our world and they must be appeased. They interact with the world through nature and are a part of nature in many forms. They can interact through heavenly bodies, inanimate objects, through animals or through the spirits of humans that have passed on. The symbiotic relationship that must exist in animism requires that for the gods to take care of humans then humans must take care of the gods.

Are you ready to appease the animistic gods

See results

The Mobius Twist - by Markham Turner

Threatened by a tsunami off the coast of New Zealand a group of young people on a kayaking holiday enter a system of tunnels. Controlled by alien lifeforms, this group of young misfits find themselves at the centre of an experiment that will determine the fate of the human race.

The Voice of the Tiger is a war romance that gives you a tangential view on love, romance, destiny and different cultures. Please leave your comments and let people know what you think.

A War Romance Worth Reading - Do you like the sound of the voice of the tiger?

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    • blogvicar lm profile image

      blogvicar lm 

      6 years ago

      Very good review of what looks like an interesting and thought provoking read. Nice lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I really like the sound of this book, it seems a bit different from the normal and I always love war stories. My parents were involved in the second world war and had a really tough time.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      This sounds like a powerful and interesting novel. Great review.


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