The Official Website of The Tellings of Xunar-kun Series!

YA / Adult Science Fantasy Series by Tina Field Howe

~ Book One: Alysa of the Fields
~ Book Two:
The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun

~ Book Three, in development: The Monx of the Roaming Star

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Reviews of Book Two, The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun


 

This is book two in this series. I really liked how Ms. Howe used the storyteller in the prologue to catch up those of us who had not read the first book. This is a wonderful sci-fi story. I liked the touches of how this could be on our planet, but probably not! The characters are interesting and develop nicely. Good conflict that makes you want to turn the page. I liked the addition of the glossary so you could look up the people and other new words. I liked it...


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I want to read the first one and look forward to the third! I never felt lost because I had not read the first.

Judge #3, Writer's Digest 17th Annual Self-Published Book Awards (2009)

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This is a very strong book, with a lot to recommend it. The story world is well-developed and fully realized. The characters are believable and fully dimensional. The characters' manner of speaking is consistent with the story world and one another, and the author does a terrific job of conveying a mental image of the people, environments and actions in the book. The plotting is tight and involving right from the start, and while there are valuable life lessons to be learned here, the book relates them with finesse and subtlety.

 

Judge #61, Writer's Digest 17th Annual Self-Published Book Awards (2009)


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The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun is one of three finalists in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category in RebeccasReads.com's The Fall 2009 Written Art Awards, a biannual literary awards program that takes place in the spring and fall of every year.  

 

Review: The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun: Book Two in the Tellings of Xunar-kun will have you hooked. This book will teach you lessons while you are being entertained. I have passed it on to our teen daughter and she is totally engrossed in the story.

 

Going back to the land of Xunar-kun many, many years after Cat’clysm destroyed most of the population we join the seekers. The two tribes, the Field Folk and the Trailmen, have realized there is more to life than themselves and begin to work together. They seek to find the true parents of the orphans. Moving at a good pace you have been given a seat on the outside to look at the lives and see the likeness to our lives here on earth.

 

I feel this is a great lesson for readers. Given to young children, the realization could be made that things sometimes have to change and battles have to be fought. I was drawn into the story and can’t wait for The Monx of the Roaming Star: Book Three in the Tellings of Xunar-kun. “Together we will build a better world”. says Tina Field Howe, and I do say, I agree.

 

by Danelle Drake for RebeccasReads.com

 

I feel this is a great lesson for readers. Given to young children,
the realization could be made that things sometimes
have to change and battles have to be fought.


A well-written, gentle fantasy best suited to young adults, TrailFolk of Xunar-kun, by Tina Howe, is the second installment in the tales of Xunar-Kun. It concerns the lives, relationships, and trials of the agrarian ‘field-folk’ and the hunting/gathering ‘trailmen’ of the post-apocalyptic world of Xunar-kun. ‘TrailFolk’ explores the developing relationships between these very different clans, who have discovered that they are not as different as first believed.

 

A look at the book’s cover will give a fair idea as to its nature. The author’s charming and intricate artwork reflect her writing style: articulate, but not overdone; detailed, but with a simple theme that does not become lost in the details. This is not a high-action book until the last few chapters, but it is an interesting and enjoyable read. The heroine, Alysa, is particularly likeable and believable. She displays traits that we should all strive to cultivate; quiet courage, common sense, and an open mind. She is joined by several other loveable characters, as well as the few requisite slimy ones that make for a good story.

The outcome of this tale is not particularly surprising, but I didn’t mind.

 

The exploration of this well-conceived world is reason enough to immerse oneself in the story, and the author does a worthy job of placing the reader in the scene. Her descriptions are just right—rich, without being overdone. This is suitable for nearly any age reader who wishes to spend pleasant hours interacting with the characters; the length and scope is not too challenging for young readers. I’ll look forward to finding out what happens to the ‘TrailFolk’ in future installments. I’ve also decided that I want a pet saroo!
 

by C.S. Marks, Author of The Elfhunter Trilogy
(Elfhunter, Fire-heart, Ravenshade)


Once in a while you come upon a book the literally knocks 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.

 

Somewhere in the universe is the planet Xunar-kun which has social groups who work for the good of each individual community. There is little contact with other groups so socialism is prevalent and successful. Alysa lives her life as expected until she is challenged and makes some untraditional decisions for herself. Change is not socially acceptable. These people have lived the same way successfully for generations and one teen-aged girl is not going to change their traditions. This is the story of Alysa of the Fields.

 

The time of these novels is supposedly around 3000 AC in which the AC stands for After Cataclysm. Apparently there was a major event 3000 years ago which shattered much of the progress on the planet. Since then, this particular group, the Field Folk have developed their own farming culture and the Trailmen have a hunting culture. There is seasonal trading with the other groups, but basically the two groups stay within themselves entirely.

 

Alysa in book one shows more about life with the Field Folk and book two is more about the Trailmen.

 

In teen literature, it is reassuring to discover a well-developed plot with believable characters without violence, explicit sexual events, and constant use of profanity.

 

The values of the characters instill morality and doing the right thing for yourself in difficult situations. Also, important in both novels is the underlying theme of there are different correct decisions for different people.

 

The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun focuses on life with the Trail Folk and their customs and traditions. Scouting groups are sent out to find the parents of the orphaned-children and to discover the location of various other isolated groups and perhaps to trade with them. They finally find the parents but have suspicions about things not being exactly right with the parents who seemed disinterested in the children. Another annoying concern is about the machines discovered that were used before the Cataclysm and what their purposes were.

 

These two novels are wonderful. The pacing is perfect and constantly keeps the reader wondering and thinking. Tina Field Howe is a fairly new author living in New York. I definitely plan on reading her third book in the series when it is published.

 

“Once in a while you come upon a book that literally ‘knocks your socks off.’”

Teri Davis

BookSellerWorld.com

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Tina Field Howe’s The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun is the second in the Tellings of Xunar-kun series and a worthy sequel to the wonderful Alysa of the Fields. Just like the first book in the series, it is set on a planet Xunar-kun, some 3000 years after a catastrophic event, referred to as the Cat’clysm, which wiped out most of the planet’s population.

 

Alysa, a young girl belonging to the Field Folk, met Szaren, who belongs to the Trailmen, in Book One. In Book Two, the two of them have been “paired” for a while, which is the Xunar-kun’s folks equivalent of being married; and searching for the Parents of Orphans, a bunch of children rescued in Book One. Their quest brings them further and further from their dwellings, deep in the so-far-unexplored lands.

 

Fraught with peril and unforeseen complications, the quest for Parents is suddenly stopped, when the Seekers encounter Trakip-sèn and his people. They lead the Seekers to believe that they are the Parents everybody has been searching for, and enthusiastically head back to meet the Orphans. Once there, they show little interest in the children, and gradually the truth emerges. Who are they really and what brought them to the village?

 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the story of the quest and even more so the developments between the two clans, the Field Folk and the Trailmen. As the story progressed, we learned more about how the two clans started to get closer to each other, both by learning about each other’s customs and history as well as by more of the clan members falling in love with the members of the other clan. Tina Field Howe teaches crucial lessons in tolerance and understanding, as well as importance of being brave and open to change. Her characters are very believable and overall very likeable, with the exception of a couple of nearly perfect villains. The story moves swiftly and draws one in from the first page.

 

As much as I liked the characters in the story, I liked the locale even more. The world of Xunar-kun is exceptionally well drawn and in a way one of the central “characters.” It should remind the readers a lot of our world; but it also points out some things that could bring destruction to what we cherish and love, if the fundamentals of our beliefs were to be forgotten or ignored. I would like to point the readers’ attention to the story of “Orryn’s Lantern” and its significance. I do not want to give too much away here, but paying particular attention to that part of the story would be a great idea.

 

Tina Field Howe’s The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun by Tina Field Howe was another delightful and worthwhile read from a very talented and unique author. Although geared to young adults, those of us who remain curious and willing to learn should enjoy it greatly as well. A perfect read for a cold winter afternoon, the kindness of this story should warm you up nicely.
 

Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson

for Reader Views, October 2008
 

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Read Book Ones Reviews & Reader Comments


Once again, Tina Howe has done a great job with her book, The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun, the second in The Tellings of Xunar-kun Series. Tina writes with imagination, and I was quickly transported into the life of the people who live on Xunar-kun. It was a delight to read about the further adventures of Alysa and her husband as they explore unknown lands. As with Alysa of the Fields, I can't wait for book Three!

Anne Mage, Owner
StoryLines Bookstore & Café

Watkins Glen, NY


Taking place several cycles (years) after the first book, The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun begins with the Seekers, including Alysa and Szaren, arriving back at the Homesteads. Having found many Artifacts, but not having found the parents of the orphans, the Seekers agree to set out next summer with an extra band to continue the search. The orphans were recovered after a battle with the M’raudas, and they are the only proof of a tribe other than the Trailmen and the Field Folk. Alysa, the wife of Szaren, spends her first winter with the Trailmen in preparation for her next journey south with the rest of the Seekers. During this journey, they face many hardships and discover many things about their world, which was nearly destroyed 3,000 years before. After discovering the parents, the Soaring Folk, they return to the Homesteads where they begin to gather the orphans to be sent home with the parents. Unfortunately, it is discovered that the parents may have ulterior motives. It is up to Alysa and her former enemy, Haraht, to uncover and stop the plot. Will they succeed? Or will the malicious Trakip-sen and his underlings complete their plan?

Tina Field Howe’s writing style would best be described as fanciful. Her creative style of science fiction combining elements of the post-apocalyptic, foreign planets and fantasy is refreshing. The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun, and Book One: Alysa of the Fields, are both more than worthy reads. They are for ages 10 and up, and would be enjoyed as a light read even by some adults, especially those who enjoy light-hearted, post-apocalyptic fiction with elements of romance and fantasy. I personally hope to see a third book in the series.

by Ian McCurley (age 14)

for Reader Views Kids October 2008

 


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