This is the story of an ordinary girl who is
called away from her life and made to do
extraordinary things. The action is fast-paced,
and it all takes place in a world that comes
alive before our eyes. From beginning to end, I
was thoroughly engrossed in this story.
Alysa is an
excellent character, and I think what makes her
so believable is her total relatability - here
is a girl just like you and me, put into
extraordinary circumstances, and reacting to
them in a believable way.
thing about this book is that, while it is
firmly a fantasy story, it's also so much more.
It's a cautionary tale about our own world. It's
a scientific exploration. It's a character
study, and a survival manual.
I think girls and
boys alike will find themselves engrossed in
this book; the plot, the world itself, and the
people who inhabit it are all intriguing and
Writer's Digest 15th Annual Self-Published
Howe writes so exquisitely...
“Alysa of the
Fields” will enrapture you and you will be
unable to put it down. Readers who enjoy
post-apocalyptic events, cultural exchanges
and unlikely heroes, will almost certainly
enjoy this book. Be sure to read Book
Two in the “Tellings of Xunar-kun.”
Ian McCurley for Reader Views Kids Reviews, by
kids, for kids
If you've read AOTF and
would like to post a comment on the Reader Views Kids blog,
please click either link above.
Once in a
while you come upon a book the literally
your socks off.”
I did not expect that in reading Alysa of
the Fields and the second book, The
TrailFolk of Xunar-kun.
The two books are needed to
be marketed together. Yes, these books must
be read in order. More importantly, is the
utter delight you gain from reading these
two wonderful novels.
novel is a very quick read that I would
recommend to any lovers of fantasy.
It features a very unique setting and
plotline and captivates the reader with
strong character development, a fascinating
culture, and, of course, romance. I'd really
like to see this author, Tina Field Howe,
receive wider recognition for her work, and
now that her book is published, it is
important that young adults, especially
those that appreciate and understand
literature, buy her book. So, please set
aside some money and purchase the book, see
if you like it, and if you do, tell someone
Where films roll online
and legends roll in their graves.
e-mail message dated April 30, 2007
I loved your
book. It was the first fantasy I've ever
read and I am so
glad your book was the first. Even if
readers don't like fantasies, they'll find
the story engrossing and the characters so
test of a book for youngsters is that it
will hold the interest of older readers,
you have surely passed that
test. You created a fascinating world of
Xunar-kun. Alysa's adventures take place in
a physical, social and political environment
that raises many points for discussion.
Published in the Wellsboro Gazette, January
I believe strongly
in promoting local authors, and Tina Field
Howe makes this easy.
located in Corning, NY, and has a beautiful
website showcasing her many talents as
artist, illustrator, graphic designer,
writer, and editor. She works with media as
diverse as stained glass to screenplays.
Most recently, I have had the pleasure of
becoming absorbed in Tina's novel, "Alysa of
the Fields". The first in a series, Alysa's
story tells of life on Xunar-kun, a planet
with many similarities to Earth, with a
history that is a cautionary "what-if"
parallel to our own.
Howe smoothly combines
elements of science fiction, fantasy,
anthropology, survival stories,
spirituality, nature studies, and young
adult fiction. I found "Alysa of the Fields"
to be a compelling, though not heavy-handed
read, one that should be engaging for teens
and adults alike.
I like some science fiction and fantasy, but
I tend to be picky. When I started out with
"Alysa of the Fields", I was a little leery,
afraid that it would be one more science
fiction story where the author indulges in
creating a different planet with beings that
have exotic fur or colors or brow ridges,
but are otherwise humanoid. That's one thing
I personally don't like about many sci-fi
series on TV: I get bored with the "planet-
and new-alien-culture-of-the-week" approach.
This, however, is exactly where
triumphs. Her background in anthropology and
her creative interest in people shine
through in her descriptions of life among
the Field-Folk and the Trailmen. Tina
includes explanations of how people in these
two separate tribes have adapted to daily
life these 3,000 years "A.C." (After
Cataclysm). Included are details about how
they cook their food, what they eat, their
style of dress, their matrimonial
ceremonies, their division of labor, their
pets, and so much more. None of this is
boring, since it is well incorporated into
the storyline. I never felt I was reading
description for descriptions' sake.
Like any society, stories and skills,
beliefs and traditions are taught,
practiced, and passed on to insure the
survival of Alysa's people, the Field-Folk.
Besides twice-yearly meetings for trade,
during which a form of sign language is
used, the "Folk" do not interact with the
Trailmen, whom they believe to be a fierce,
aggressive, dangerous people. But the Folk
and the Trailmen are on the cusp of
tremendous, far-reaching changes. Alysa,
quite unintentionally at first, is the
Alysa is a likeable character, perhaps made
all the more so by the fact that she is a
somewhat unlikely heroine. She displays no
unusual talents, has felt no calling to
special work in her young life. She has been
content to work in the fields, and keep
house with her family. Alysa is genuine,
caring, and loyal; she is firmly dedicated
to those she loves. Following her strength
of heart has never caused her problems,
until the sudden death of her father changes
the plans made for her adult life. Having no
knowledge of the events she will set in
motion, or of the consequences for all the
inhabitants of the planet, she begins to
question the traditions of her people, their
beliefs about the strange Trailmen, the
history they have always taught. With these
events, and with Alysa's actions, we the
readers find many ways to connect with and
learn from this book.
Tina Howe has created
a story that celebrates following your
convictions and that encourages us to look
at people who are different from us with
respectful curiosity, openness, tolerance,
and a desire to learn.