Christopher Paolini

American author Christopher James Paolini was born November 17, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in the area of Paradise Valley, Montana. His family members include his parents, Kenneth Paolini and Talita Paolini, and his younger sister, Angela Paolini. Homeschooled for the duration of his education, Paolini graduated from high school at the age of 15 through a set of accredited correspondence courses from the American School of Correspondence in Lansing, Illinois. He currently lives in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he wrote his first book.

Following his high school graduation, he started his work on what would become the novel Eragon, the first of the Inheritance four book series set in the mythical land of Alagaesia. Followed by, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance. In 2002, Eragon was published for the first time by Paolini International LLC, Paolini’s parents’ publishing company. To promote the book, Paolini toured over 135 schools and libraries, discussing reading and writing, all the while dressed in “a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap.” He drew the cover art for the first edition of Eragon, which featured Saphira’s eye, along with the maps on the inside covers of his books. In 2002, the stepson of author Carl Hiaasen found Eragon in a bookstore and loved it; this led to Hiaasen bringing it to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Who subsequently made an offer to publish Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance cycle. The second edition of Eragon was published by Knopf in August 2003. At the age of nineteen, Paolini became a New York Times bestselling author.

The Inheritance Cycle is Set in the fictional world of Alagaësia the novels focus on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon who finds himself thrust into an adventure after discovering what he thinks is a blue rock but which turns out to be a dragon egg. He discovers that an ancient order of Dragon Riders was originally created by elves and dragons millennia earlier, in order to bring peace to the world. However the dragon of One Dragon Rider named Galbatorix was killed by a group of Urgals, this pushed him to insanity, and denied another Dragon by the Council of Elder Riders, Galbatorix blamed the Council for the death of his dragon and sought to destroy the order. He made an alliance with an ambitious young rider, Morzan, and with his help slew another rider and took his next dragon captive, Shruikan. Using magic, he broke Shruikan’s will and forced the dragon to serve him. Gathering more Riders to his cause, he created the Thirteen Forsworn and with their help took over Ilirea, the capital of the Broddring Kingdom, and destroyed Vroengard, the center of the Dragon Riders. Galbatorix slew the Elders, their leader Vrael and took his sword, and most of the Dragon Riders. Elder Rider Oromis and his Dragon Glaedr fled to Ellesmera, the capital of the elves’ kingdom, while Morzan confronted his old friend Brom, slaying his Dragon luckily Brom,escaped. After the fall of the Riders, Galbatorix declared himself King over all of Alagaesia and is trying to destroy all the dragon egg aided by his followers The Forsworn.

Meanwhile Brom created the Varden to oppose the Empire. He is aided by An Elf named Arya who is unfortunately captured by an evil servant of Galbatorix named Durza while delivering a dragon’s egg to Brom. Eragon learns of his own parentage and Brom teaches him Magic and Sword fighting. Then Eragon touches the blue rock which hatches a dragon which he names Saphira and he becomes a dragon rider. Eragon’s cousin, Roran, leaves for a job to earn money so he can start a family with his beloved, Katrina. His uncle, Garrow, is killed by King Galbatorix’s servants, the Ra’zac, and Eragon flees Carvahall with Brom to hunt down the Ra’zac, unaware that Brom is his father. Brom gives Morzan’s sword, Zar’roc, to Eragon. Eragon attempts to rescue Arya and they flee to the Vardan Stronghold of Tronjheim to join Varden’s leader, Ajihad, his daughter Nasuada, the dwarf King Hrothgar, and his foster son Orik, Eragon and Saphira are also tutored by Oromis and Glaedr in Ellesmera and During an elvish Blood-Oath Celebration, Eragon is changed by a symbolic dragon, giving him elf-like abilities to aid his quest to help defeat Galbatorix, Durza and his agents of evil.

Meanwhile Nasuada moves the Varden to Surda which is ruled by King Orrin, and Roran moves the villagers of Carvahall to Surda, after their village is attacked by the Ra’zac, who also capture Katrina. Roran is promoted to Captain while Nasuada allows the Urgals to join the ranks of the Varden. Eragon and Saphira confront Murtagh and Thorn, Murtagh takes Eragon’s sword Zar’roc. Eragon, Saphira, and Roran rescue Katrina. Eragon and Roran destroy much of Helgrind, slaying the Raz’ac while Saphira kills the Lethrblaka, the Raz’ac’s adult form. They then travel to the Beor mountains. Eragon goes back to Du Weldenvarden (the homeland of the elves)and creates his own sword Brisingr, which bursts into flames each time Eragon speaks its name, and learns from Oromis and Glaedr that Brom is his real father and also discovers the source of Galbatorix’s power. Elsewhere The Varden liberate several cities from the Empire, sadly Oromis and Glaedr are killed by Murtagh and Thorn. Eragon then travels to the Vault of Souls on the ruined Vroengard, Where he discovers a massive amount of secret Eldunarí and Dragon eggs hidden from Galbatorix. Unfortunately though Galbatorix also finds them…


Planet Stories

Planet Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House between 1939 and 1955. It featured interplanetary adventures, both in space and on other planets, and was initially focused on a young readership. Malcolm Reiss was editor or editor-in-chief for all of its 71 issues. Planet Stories was launched at the same time as Planet Comics. Planet Stories also included stories from many well-known authors including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K.Dick and Clifford Simak.

Planet Stories two main writers are Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury, both of whom set many of their stories on a romanticized version of Mars that owed much to the depiction of Barsoom in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Bradbury’s work for Planet included an early story in his Martian Chronicles sequence. Brackett’s best-known work for the magazine was a series of adventures featuring Eric John Stark, which began in the summer of 1949. Brackett and Bradbury collaborated on one story, “Lorelei of the Red Mist”, which appeared in 1946; it was generally well-received, although one letter to the magazine complained that the story’s treatment of sex, though mild by modern standards, was too explicit. The artwork also emphasized attractive women, with scantily clad damsels in distress or alien princesses on almost every cover.

Although science fiction (sf) had been published before the 1920s, it did not begin to coalesce into a separately marketed genre until the appearance in 1926 of Amazing Stories, a pulp magazine published by Hugo Gernsback. By the end of the 1930s the field was undergoing its first boom Fiction House, a major pulp publisher, had run into difficulties during the Depression, but after a relaunch in 1934 found success with detective and romance pulp titles. Fiction House’s first title with sf interest was Jungle Stories, which was launched in early 1939; it was not primarily a science fiction magazine, but often featured storylines with marginally science fictional themes, such as survivors from Atlantis. At the end of 1939 Fiction House decided to add an sf magazine to its lineup; it was titled Planet Stories, and was published by Love Romances, a subsidiary company that had been created to publish Fiction House’s romance titles. The first issue was dated Winter 1939. Two comics were launched at the same time: Jungle Comics and Planet Comics; both were published monthly, whereas Planet Stories was quarterly.

Malcolm Reiss edited Planet Stories from the beginning, and retained editorial oversight and control throughout its run, though he was not always the named editor on the masthead; when other editors were involved, his title was “managing editor” The first of these sub-editors was Wilbur S. Peacock, who worked from 1942 until 1945, after which he was replaced by Chester Whitehorn for three issues, and then by Paul L. Payne, from 1946 to Spring 1950. Published science-fiction writer Jerome Bixby, edited the next issue together with Jungle Stories and did much to improve the magazine, persuading the established writers to find unusual variations on the interplanetary adventure theme such as Poul Anderson’s “Duel on Syrtis” which is about an Earthman tracking an alien on Mars, and Theodore Sturgeon’s “The Incubi on Planet X”, which is about aliens who kidnap Earth women. Bixby was replaced by Malcolm Reiss in 1951. Following Bixby’s departure Planet’s major contributor was Philip K. Dick, who wrote five stories including “Beyond Lies the Wub” and “James P. Crow”, in which a human suffers discrimination in a world of robots. Jack O’Sullivan took over in 1952.

The letter column in Planet was titled “The Vizigraph”; it was also very active, with long letters from an engaged readership. It often printed letters from established writers, and from fans who would go on to become well known professionally. Most editions of Planet Stories initially focused on interplanetary adventures,often taking place in primitive societies that would now be regarded as “sword and sorcery” settings, and were a mixture space opera, planetary romances and tales of action and adventure on alien planets and in interplanetary space. Brackett and Bradbury set many of their stories on a romanticized version of Mars that owed much to the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Leigh Brackett wrote a series of stories featuring adventurer Eric John Stark, which began with “Queen of the Martian Catacombs”. Ray Bradbury also wrote “The Million Year Picnic” which was included into The Martian Chronicles and also co-wrote “Lorelei of the Red Mist” with Leigh Brackett. Ray Bradbury often demonstrated his reservations about the advance of technology, particularly in “The Golden Apples of the Sun”. Several other well-known writers appeared in Planet Stories, including Clifford Simak, James Blish, Fredric Brown, Damon Knight and Isaac Asimov whose story, originally titled “Pilgrimage”, appeared in 1942 as “Black Friar of the Flame”.

Almost every story that appeared in Planet could be described as space opera, basic themes included Earth being threatened by aliens or Earthmen being drawn into conflicts on alien worlds, such as Carl Selwyn’s “Venus Has Green Eyes”, which features a Venusian princess who hates humans. Many of Leigh Brackett’s female heroines were also head strong, hot tempered but brave and intelligent and would fight alongside the hero. Stories like “Lorelei of the Red Mist”, also depicted sexuality which caused controversy among readers. As did what the characters were wearing with functional spacesuits worn by the men, while the women wore transparent suits through which bikinis could be seen, this was sarcastically referred to as “sexual dimorphism in space” by many, with many of the covers also emphasizing sex. Hannes Bok contributed much of the interior artwork, and the covers were often by Allen Anderson during the early years. Later, Kelly Freas became a frequent cover artist. One of the best artists to work on Planet was Alexander Leydenfrost, whose work, epitomized much of what Planet Stories represented in the 1940s”. Sadly though despite it’s popularity the Summer 1955 issue was the final edition of Planet Stories.

Lord of the Rings

Amazon recently acquired the television rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy Lord of the Rings and have announced plans to make a television series based on events inMiddle Earth, with a multiple season commitment. The events featured in The television series will take place before the events featured in the 2001 feature film “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which kicked off the trilogy The Two Towers and Return of the King, all three directed by Peter Jackson. This could also include potential for a spin-off series as well. Amazon Studios will be collaborating on the series with the Tolkien Estate, Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Amazon also produces “The Man in the High Castle,” an alternative history drama based on the Philip K. Dick novel. A cast for the Lord of the Rings TV series has not yet been announced.


Susanna Clarke

Best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the Hugo Award-winning English author Susanna Mary Clarke was born 1 November 1959 in Nottingham, England, the eldest daughter of a Methodist minister and his wife Due to her father’s posts, she spent her childhood in various towns across Northern England and Scotland,and enjoyed reading the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from St Hilda’s College, Oxford in 1981. For eight years, she worked in publishing at Quarto and Gordon Fraser. She also spent two years teaching English as a foreign language in Turin, Italy and Bilbao, Spain. She returned to County Durham in 1992 in a house that looked out over the North Sea and began working on her first novel, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. In 1993, she was hired by Simon & Schuster in Cambridge to edit cookbooks.

Clarke first developed the idea for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell while she was teaching in Bilbao: “I had a kind of waking dream … about a man in 18th-century clothes in a place rather like Venice, talking to some English tourists. And I felt strongly that he had some sort of magical background – he’d been dabbling in magic, and something had gone badly wrong.” She had also recently reread J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and afterward was inspired to try writing a novel of magic and fantasy. Clarke began Jonathan Strange in 1993 and worked on it during her spare time. For the next decade, she published short stories from the Strange universe, but it was not until 2003 that Bloomsbury bought her manuscript and began work on its publication. The novel became a best-seller. Two years later, she published a collection of her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (2006). Both Clarke’s novel and her short stories are set in a magical England and written in a pastiche of the styles of 19th-century writers such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set in 19th-century England during the Napoleonic Wars. It is based on the premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centering on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness”and the boundary between reason and madness. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and an historical novel and draws on various Romantic literary traditions, such as the comedy of manners, the Gothic tale, and the Byronic hero. Clarke’s style has frequently been described as a pastiche, particularly of 19th-century British writers such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and George Meredith. The supernatural is contrasted with and highlighted by mundane details and Clarke’s tone combines arch wit with antiquarian quaintness. The text is supplemented with almost 200 footnotes, outlining the backstory and an entire fictional corpus of magical scholarship. The novel was well received by critics and reached number three on the New York Times best-seller list,remaining on the list for eleven weeks A seven-part adaptation of the book by was broadcast on BBC One in 2015.

In 2006, Clarke published a collection of eight fairy tales presented as the work of several different writers, seven of which had been previously anthologized. The volume’s focus on “female mastery of the dark arts” is reflected in the ladies of Grace Adieu’s magical abilities and the prominent role needlework plays in saving the Duke of Wellington and Mary, Queen of Scots. The title story, “The Ladies of Grace Adieu”, is set in early 19th century Gloucestershire and concerns the friendship of three young women, Cassandra Parbringer, Miss Tobias, and Mrs. Fields.

Though the events of the story do not actually appear in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, they are referenced in a footnote in Chapter 43. Clarke wrote the women and the servants, in the style of a 19th-century novel. Reviewers highlighted this tale, one calling it “the most striking story” of the collection and “a staunchly feminist take on power relations. While Strange focuses on the relationship of two men, Jonathan Strange and Gilbert Norrell Grace Adieu is a “sly, frequently comical, feminist revision” of Jonathan Strange which focuses on the power women gain through magic. Clarke currently resides in Cambridge with her partner, the science fiction novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland. As of 2004, she was working on a follow-up to Jonathan Strange which begins a few years after Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ends and which will centre around characters who, as Clarke says, are “a bit lower down the social scale”. However ill health has slowed progress on the novel.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The novel Gulliver’s Travels by Irish Writer and Clergyman Jonathan Swift was published 28 October 1726. Gulliver’s Travels, is a satire whose full title is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships. It is Swift’s best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. Gulliver’s Travels has been described a Menippean, a children’s story, proto-science fiction and a forerunner of the modern novel. It was Published seven years after Daniel Defoe’s wildly successful Robinson Crusoe The novel begins with a short preamble in which Lemuel Gulliver gives a brief outline of his life and history before his voyages.

Part I: A voyage to Lilliput

During Gulliver’s first voyage he is washed ashore after being shipwrecked and finds himself a prisoner of a race of tiny people, less than 6 inches (0.50 ft) tall, who are inhabitants of the island country of Lilliput. After giving assurances of his good behaviour, he is given a residence in Lilliput and becomes a favourite of the Lilliput Royal Court. He is also given permission by the King of Lilliput to go around the city on condition that he must not harm their subjects.

At first, the Lilliputians are hospitable to Gulliver, but they are also wary of the threat that his size poses to them. The Lilliputians reveal themselves to be a people who put great emphasis on trivial matters. For example, which end of an egg a person cracks becomes the basis of a deep political rift within that nation. They are a people who revel in displays of authority and performances of power. Gulliver assists the Lilliputians to subdue their neighbors the Blefuscudians by stealing their fleet. However, he refuses to reduce the island nation of Blefuscu to a province of Lilliput, displeasing the King and the royal court. Gulliver is charged with treason for, among other crimes, “making water” in the capital though he was putting out a fire and saving countless lives. He is convicted and sentenced to be blinded. With the assistance of a kind friend, “a considerable person at court”, he escapes to Blefuscu. Here, he spots and retrieves an abandoned boat and sails out to be rescued by a passing ship, which safely takes him back home.

Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag

Gulliver soon sets out again. When the sailing ship Adventure is blown off course by storms and forced to sail for land in search of fresh water, Gulliver is abandoned by his companions and is left on a peninsula on the western coast of the North American continent. The grass of that land is as tall as a tree. He is then found by a farmer who was about 72 ft. tall. He brings Gulliver home and the farmer’s daughter Glumdalclitch cares for Gulliver.

The giant-sized farmer treats him as a curiosity and exhibits him for money. After a while the constant shows make Gulliver sick, and the farmer sells him to the queen of the realm. Glumdalclitch (who accompanied her father while exhibiting Gulliver) is taken into the Queen of Brobdingnag’s service to take care of the tiny man. Since Gulliver is too small to use their huge chairs, beds, knives and forks, the Queen of Brobdingnag commissions a small house to be built for him so that he can be carried around in it; this is referred to as his “travelling box”. However because of his diminutive size Gulliver becomes a target for various forms of wildlife including giant wasps, giant monkeys and a giant Eagle…

Part III: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib and Japan

After escaping Brobdingnag Gulliver’s ship is attacked by pirates and he is marooned close to a desolate rocky island near India. However He is rescued by the flying island of Laputa, a kingdom devoted to the arts of music, mathematics, and astronomy. Gulliver then tours Balnibarbi, the kingdom ruled from Laputa, and also learns of the rebellion which the kingdom of Lindalino led against the flying island of Laputa. Gulliver sees the ruin brought about by the blind pursuit of science without practical results, in a satire on bureaucracy and on the Royal Society and its experiments. At the Grand Academy of Lagado in Balnibarbi, great resources and manpower are employed on researching completely preposterous schemes such as extracting sunbeams from cucumbers, softening marble for use in pillows, learning how to mix paint by smell, and uncovering political conspiracies by examining the excrement of suspicious persons (muckraking).

Gulliver is then taken to Maldonada, the main port of Balnibarbi, to await a trader who can take him on to Japan.While waiting for a passage, Gulliver visits the island of Glubbdubdrib which is southwest of Balnibarbi. On Glubbdubdrib, he visits a magician’s dwelling and discusses history with the ghosts of historical figures, including Julius Caesar, Brutus, Homer, Aristotle, René Descartes, and Pierre Gassendi. On the island of Luggnagg, he encounters the struldbrugs, people who are immortal. They do not have the gift of eternal youth, but suffer the infirmities of old age and are considered legally dead at the age of eighty.

Part IV: A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms

Gulliver returns to sea as the captain of a merchantman, but becomes bored with his employment as a surgeon. Unfortunately His crew turn against him and abandon him in a landing boat. Upon reaching land Gulliver encounters a race of hideous, deformed and savage humanoid creatures to which he conceives a violent antipathy. Shortly afterwards, he meets the Houyhnhnms, a race of talking horses. They are the rulers while the deformed creatures called Yahoos are human beings in their base form.

Gulliver becomes a member of a horse’s household and comes to both admire and emulate the Houyhnhnms and their way of life, rejecting his fellow humans as merely Yahoos endowed with some semblance of reason which they only use to exacerbate and add to the vices Nature gave them. Unfortunately an Assembly of the Houyhnhnms rules that Gulliver, is himself a Yahoo with some semblance of reason, and is therefore a danger to their civilization…

Cadicle Omnibus by Amy DuBoff

I would like to read the Cadicle Omnibus. Cadlicle is an epic science-fantasy space opera spanning three generations across sixty years and the omnibus contains the first three volumes.It is set in the The galaxy-spanning Taran Empire which is in the throes of a secret interdimensional war. It features a character named Cris Sietinen who leaves his home on Tararia as a teenager to learn more about his prohibited telekinetic abilities, he thinks he’s started a new life. Years later, he learns that freedom was always an illusion–he and his family are at the center of an elaborate galactic conspiracy orchestrated by the governing Priesthood. Cadicle features Genetic engineering, political manipulation, and preordained destinies which all converge when Cris and his son Wil learn of a secret interdimensional war against the mysterious Bakzen. Cris discoverd that the real enemy may be far closer to home. With knowledge of the Priesthood’s hidden agenda and its disastrous political ramifications for the Taran empire, Cris and Wil embark on a mission to save their civilization from certain destruction.


Architects of Destiny is the first installment in the Cadicle series. This short prequel novel is a prelude to the defining events in Tararia’s history in the ensuing years. It features a chap named Cris Sietinen who was born with rare telekinetic gifts, however using these telekinetic abilities is outlawed by the governing Priesthood. But, a new future awaits when Cris unexpectedly receives an invitation to join the Tararian Selective Service (TSS) and begin their sanctioned telekinesis training program. Except, following that path puts him at the center of a generations-old galactic conspiracy.


Veil of Reality is the second installment in the Cadicle series. This novel begins to untie the knot of secrets binding the TSS, High Dynasties and the Priesthood. Again featuring Cris Sietinen who After twenty years with the TSS, is in the unprecedented position of being both Lead Agent and heir to a High Dynasty. However When his son is captured by the mysterious alien Bakzen, Cris uncovers a hidden truth that forces him to question all that he once took for granted.


Bonds of Resolve is the third installment in the Cadicle series. This novel follows Wil as he completes his training to become the youngest and most powerful Agent the TSS has ever known. It begins a year after his encounter with the Bakzen, and sees Wil still grappling with his upcoming role in the war. Weighed down by his sense of duty and a grim vision of his fate, he has withdrawn from friends and family–focusing only on his official assignments. However, Wil finds unexpected support when he befriends a new TSS trainee from Earth, Saera. Through their budding relationship, Wil comes to terms with the purpose he was born to fulfill and gains comfort in the knowledge that he won’t have to face the future alone.
Additional books to complete the Cadicle series:
Volume 4: Web of Truth
Volume 5: Crossroads of Fate
Volume 6: Path of Justice
Volume 7: Scions of Change

More exciting Fantasy and Science Fiction novels

A Sellsword’s Compassion By Jacob Peppers

A Sellsword’s Compassion is Book One of The Seven Virtues by Jacob Peppers. It takes place in a War torn land as the sons and daughters of the late King Marcus battle over who will claim their father’s throne and able-bodied men and women flock to one cause or the other in the hopes of a better tomorrow. At least, most of them. If life has taught the jaded sellsword, Aaron Envelar, anything, it’s that hope is for fools and causes are a sure remedy for breathing.

However his latest job leads him to the corpse of a prince and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire realm, Aaron is forced to choose sides in a war he doesn’t want, between forces he doesn’t understand. Thrust into a world of mythical assassins, a madman with a superhuman strength, and a nagging ball of light with a superiority complex who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, Aaron takes on his hardest job yet—staying alive.

Benjamin Ashwood by AC Cobble

Set Against the backdrop of warring political, economic, and military factions, Benjamin Ashwood is book one in an engaging fantasy adventure, series by A.C.Cobble which is Packed full of action and adventure. It features Young Benjamin who starts off as your typical orphan in a small farming town. Life is simple in Ben’s village until an unexpected attack brings the arrival of exciting strangers.

Before Ben understands what is happening, they’ve recruited his sister to go with them on an adventure to the big city where his sister enrols as a pupil at the all-female magic school. To ensure her safety, Ben accompanies her among company of mysterious swordsmen and magic-users. At the city Benjamin starts brewing beer for a living,

This goes well until he gets involved in politics of the dangerous kind and discovers that the city is ruled by unscrupulous leaders and he finds himself in a more dangerous world than he ever imagined. Mages, demons, thieves, and assassins are just a few of the perils he faces on an epic journey to a city shrouded in myth and legend. Ben and his friends end up battling a threat to all of mankind and Benjamin must decide whether to flee or stand up to them…

Trilisk Ruins Michael McCloskey

The Trilisk Ruins is the first book in the PIT series by Michael McCloskey. They feature a character named Telisa Relachik who studied to be a xenoarchaeologist in a future where humans have found alien artifacts but haven’t ever encountered live aliens. Then she discovers an Ancient race of cephalopod like aliens called Trilisk. Of all the aliens whose extinct civilizations are investigated, the Trilisks are the most advanced and the most mysterious.

Telisa refuses to join the government because of her opposition to its hard-handed policies restricting civilian investigation and trade of alien artifacts, despite the fact that her estranged father is a captain in the United Nations Space Force. However When a group of artifact smugglers recruits her, she can’t pass up the chance at getting her hands on objects that could advance her life’s work. But she soon learns her expectations of excitement and riches come with serious drawbacks as she ends up fighting for her life on a mysterious alien planet.

Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1) by Steven Kelliher

Valley of Embers is book one of five in the epic fast-paced Landkist fantasy series by Steven Keliher. It is set in the mythical realm of Landkist where For hundreds of years, the flame-wielding Embers have been the last line of defense against the nightmare creatures from the World Apart, but the attacks are getting worse. Kole Reyna and his guards Protect Last Lake from the terrors of the night. They are the Last Line of defence, and he fears for his people’s future.

Then Kole is wounded by a demon unlike any they have seen before, and the Emberfolk believe it is a sign of an ancient enemy returned, a powerful Sage known as the Eastern Dark. Soon the besieged inhabitants of the Valley of Embers are one of only a handful of walled towns remaining as the last bastions against the night, and the dwindling population of Emberfolk struggle to defend their secluded homes from the Dark Kind. Kole has never trusted in prophecy, but with his people hanging on the precipice, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Valley’s greatest warriors in a last desperate bid for survival. They must risk everything in search of a former ally long-thought dead, to help them, and whether Kole trusts him or not, he may be the only one capable of saving them.