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When I was in junior high in the early 90s we read an excerpt from a sci-fi novel for class.

It was about a young girl on an alien planet. I think she was with her uncle who was an archeologist. They are studying ruins left on the planet from an advanced civilization. The only other creatures on the planet were small dog-sized, rat-like creatures that seemed friendly and had some intelligence.

Somehow the girl finds herself trapped inside the ruins with the creatures, and they are able to operate the ancient machines there. With the creatures help she gets out, but is unable to tell her uncle it was those creatures who built the ruins. She doesn't think he will believe her.

This section of the story ends with her being undecided if she should join a ship returning home, or stay and try to solve the mystery of the planets ruins and their link to the creatures.

I also remember the ruins were hidden under a dome that looked like a large grass covered hill from outside.

I have no idea what year this book might have been released. It would had to have been before 94 I think.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you recall the cover art? Or the names of any of the characters?
    – DavidW
    Feb 5 at 4:46
  • goodreads.com/book/show/462485.Ice_Crown matches on some points...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 5 at 5:48
  • Ice Crown is tantalisingly close to your description. The girl Roane goes to the planet Clio with her uncle Offlas and at the end she is stranded on the planet. However the planet is not deserted and indeed the story is about Roane restoring a princess on the planet to her throne. There are no rat like aliens. Feb 5 at 6:54
  • Thank you all for commenting. It definitely wasn't Ice Crown, and sorry I don't recall any cover art or character names. Feb 11 at 2:12

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