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 One, Alysa of the Fields


Fantastic! 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.


The supporting cast of characters are also quite strong; in particular, their backstories that are gradually revealed add a lot to the book.


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The amazing 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 well developed.

Judge, Writer's Digest 15th Annual
Self-Published Book Awards

Readers Favorite Gold & 5 Star Award Recipient

This [audio] book begins with a description of the Cataclysm. Planet Xunar-kun was hit by meteor. The planet was devastated by the catastrophe. The next scene shifts to the death of Father Gordon the leader of the tribe. Father Gordon’s last words were instructions to teach the generations the things he had written. Three thousand cycles later the tribe is still living by his words.

We shift to the next scene where a slender girl, Alysa sits next to a stream crying. The girl has a new baby sister. She is angry that she will have to share with her new sister. Her clan was called the Field Folk. A young man from a tribe called the Trailman approached her. She knew she was not supposed to speak to a Trailman. Her tribe considered them savages.

The next scene returns us to the stream. Once again Alysa is crying. Her father has died of a mishap. Alysa had planned to join Orion and his tribe but now felt she needed to stay and help her mother.

Alysa’s father was a trader. Her clan needed another to take his place. A female had never served as a trader but Alysa volunteered. The matter was taken before the council and it was agreed she could serve as a trader to the Trailmen.

Alysa is a strong, brave character. She was willing to step out of the role tradition was forcing her into. There is a strong message in this tale for everyone including children. We should never force a stereotype on a person. Sometimes rules are to be broken. Tradition can be restricting. I quickly became caught up in Alysa’s tale. I found myself cheering her on. The different voices added much to the story. The narrator was very good. This story is strong in family and friends. It encourages adolescents to dream big, to take chances.

Anne Boiling 
Readers’ Favorite

There is a lot of literature supposedly geared towards adolescents that should – and hopefully will – find its way to the bookshelves of adults as well, and I believe Tina Field Howe will join the ranks of J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Cornelia Funke and the likes shortly.

Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson
Reader Views


Tina Field 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

Reader Views Kids

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.

Teri Davis

The 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 about it.


ScientiFish Pictures

From an e-mail message:


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 memorable.

Francine Silverman

Author of Book Marketing from A-Z

From a letter:


If the 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.

Bill Jaker
Off the Page, WSKG Public Radio

In an e-mail message:


Tina has hit a home-run with her new book. It is engaging and well-paced. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to sit down and have a good read. Can't wait for the next one!

Anne Mage

StoryLines Bookstore & Cafe

Watkins Glen, NY

As Published in the Wellsboro Gazette:


I believe strongly in promoting local authors, and Tina Field Howe makes this easy. Tina is 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 Tina Howe 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 catalyst.

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.

Kasey Cox
from my shelf books

Wellsboro, PA


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