There aren’t a huge amount of fantasy/science fiction hybrids and probably for good reason; it’s a very hard balance to strike. If the reader feels for even a moment that the fantasy elements are there for the sake of being there (i.e. the science fiction elements should have resulted in the civilisation moving on – so, swords would have been replaced with guns, or dragons wiped out by space ships, or mages taken-out/replaced with armoured, laser-wielding infantrymen, etc.) then the world feels false and will quickly lose credibility. With that said, I’ve always felt there’s strong demand for series that do a good job of it and there have been a few in recent years that have been a success amongst readers: Pern, The Book of the New Sun, and Dune are a few examples.

The Lost Puzzler is the latest book that seeks to tackle this…er, puzzle. Making the pieces of science fiction and fantasy fit together in a way that makes sense and draws the reader into a world they feel is genuine. Here’s the blurb:


Among the ruins of a civilization beyond their understanding, humanity clings to survival. Guilds vie for control of ancient cities, bandits ride glowing highways, and cyborg adventurers hunt for lost technology.

In the City of Towers, once the heart of the fallen Tarakan Empire, a historian searches for clues to explain the disappearance of Rafik, a young boy with extraordinary abilities – a Puzzler. Marked with strange tattoos and gifted with a miraculous connection to Tarakan technology, Rafik could open doors inside the ruins, uncovering treasures and secrets. As Rafik’s story is retold, it becomes clear that one lost boy may be the key to reviving a broken world or unleashing a new wave of devastation.

Sounds like a Star Wars + Indiana Jones + Harry Potter hybrid, right? I imagine the concept would be an easy sell to Hollywood should the book do well.

And here’s the cover for it, which I’m sure you will agree is rather wonderful:

The Lost Puzzler (cover)

I asked the author, Eyal Kless, to give us some thoughts on how the artwork captures the story that lies within:

The Lost Puzzler is an exciting mix of science fiction and fantasy – a story of blaster guns, mule carts, SuperTrucks, lost cities, mutants, guild wars, oracles and power swords.

It is set four generations after an apocalyptic war wiped out most of humanity, as well as a mysteriously advanced civilization called the Tarakan. The survivors still know how to use Tarakan technology but they have lost the ability to manufacture it. Only a few rare individuals, known as Puzzlers, are born with the ability to unlock doors in the ancient cities and access the tech inside.

In the middle of all the violence and intrigue, a lowly secondary scribe from the Guild of Historians has been ordered to find Vincha, a former mercenary and treasure-hunter, by any means necessary. The information that Vincha holds – the story of a young Puzzler called Rafik – could be the difference between salvation and a second Armageddon.

What I love about the cover is that it captures the essence of the novel’s world perfectly. A man dressed in a medieval-looking black cloak is coming back from a long, perilous journey to the high-tech City of Towers. This is exactly the moment that The Lost Puzzler begins. Before him lies not a modern road but a track across a lake or a swamp. Everything in this picture speaks of destruction, and the red colouring hints at the terrible violence that has happened and that will come again. Yet all is not lost. The towers still stand and their light is like a shining star of hope for human ascension.

You’ve got to wait until 10th January 2019 to get your hands on this first book in The Tarakan Chronicles, but you can follow Eyal on Twitter and Facebook in the meantime! 🙂


By Overlord

is a Martial Artist, Reader, Student, Boston Terrier owner, Social Media Adviser (to UK Gov/Parliament) and the founder of It's a varied, hectic life, but it's filled with books and Facebook and Twitter and Kicking stuff - so he'd not have it any other way.

3 thoughts on “The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Kless – Cover Reveal”
  1. Overlord, that was unkind 🙂 After that intriguing review, the build-up and that excellent cover I was ready to rush out and get this book straightaway. Then your last sentence left me crushed.
    It sounds as though it is a good balance for all who love both SF and FF and explores both in a new way. Will wait impatiently, but thanks for bringing it to the Forum attention..

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