The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun: Book Two in the Tellings of Xunar-kun
Tina Field Howe
TrialFolk Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Ian McCurley (age 14) for Reader Views (10/08)
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. Sometimes the creative alternate names, such as nightchirper for cricket, are distracting. 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.