Apr 23, 2009

Query - Traitor's Plight

A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

Dear Agent,

For generations the Kings of Mudamora had exiled the kingdom’s criminals to the mountains west of the Zaltana wall. Thousands of men and women were condemned by their liege and abandoned by the gods to die in the cold. The damned have found their own god, though, and instead of dying they have survived, flourished, and now march under the command of the witch queen Rufina to conquer those who persecuted them.

Lord Captain Rhys Calorian was born to the power and privilege of nobility, all of which were lost the night the Zaltana wall fell to the subterfuge of a lone female assassin. Five years later he is the sole survivor of that night, desperate to regain his honor and achieve his birthright of military command. Instead he finds himself captain of the Princess’s bodyguards and living in the midst of the women who form it.

Drusilla was raised by a wealthy patrician senator in an empire far across the seas. Under attack within the first moments of returning to her homeland of Mudamora, she discovers that a power has arisen within her when she restores Rhys from a mortal injury and is forced to suffer the physical pain that results. The power proves to be an unwelcome one, as all healers are bound to the mad King’s failing army and destined to suffer in their servitude. Alone in an unfamiliar kingdom and desperate to keep her power a secret, Drusilla agrees to join the ranks of the Princess’ bodyguards and unwittingly finds herself drawn into a love affair with Rhys.

With the capital under threat of attack, Rhys is given command of a suicide mission to stop Rufina’s exile army, while Drusilla finds herself entangled in web of political intrigue. Bound by oaths to protect a royal family plagued by madness, she is forced to put her love, liberty and even her life at risk in order to avoid a war of ascendancy that would leave Mudamora ripe for Rufina’s picking.

TRAITOR’S PLIGHT is a 106,000 word fantasy with a strong romantic element, and is the first volume in a trilogy. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of XYZ and this is my first novel. I would be happy to send you the complete manuscript at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,

Author

5 comments:

Rick Daley said...

You have a compelling story, but I think you should trim it down for the query. It reads more like a synopsis (but it is well structured).

Who is the main character, Rhys or Drusilla?

Are Rhys and Drusilla among the damned, or are the damned rising up against them? I'm not sure I see the connection between the exposition in the opening paragraph and the individual characters.

Wait, I just re-read it and I see it in the closing paragraph that they are fighting against Rufina. On my first read, which was admittedly quick, I missed that. It stands to reason that an agent might, too...

DLJensen said...

Very helpful comments, thanks!

Rhys and Drusilla are co-protagonists, so to speak. The book alternates between their points of view.

Suzan Harden said...

I think your book has a more eye-catching premise with Drusilla's situation. Even though she and Rhys are co-protagonists, you may want to focus your query more on her.

Start with your third paragraph instead. You don't have to be specific about what happened at the Zaltana wall because it sounds like your story really starts five years after that defeat. *smile* A couple of published friends have kicked my a** a couple of times over starting the query with backstory.

folksinmt said...

Nice job. Your query is well written. I also think it is a bit long and had a synopsis-like feel. It could also use a bit more emotion in regards to the characters to make me care about them enough to read more. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I think your premise is intriguing, but there are a number of confusing points that muddle up the story.

Lord Captain Rhys Calorian was born to the power and privilege of nobility, all of which were lost the night the Zaltana wall fell to the subterfuge of a lone female assassin (one assasin takes out an entire city?) Five years later he is the sole survivor of that night, desperate to regain his honor and achieve his birthright of military command.(he seems to be captain in an army already - what military command is he looking for?) Instead he finds himself captain of the Princess’s bodyguards and living in the midst of the women who form it. (who is the Princess? When did she come into the story?)

Alone in an unfamiliar kingdom (I thought she was back in her homeland?) and desperate to keep her power a secret, Drusilla agrees to join the ranks of the Princess’ bodyguards and unwittingly finds herself drawn into a love affair with Rhys.



With the capital under threat of attack, Rhys is given command of a suicide mission to stop Rufina’s exile army, while Drusilla finds herself entangled in web of political intrigue. (Is Zaltana being attacked again?)

I think you have a great story, but the query needs some tightening.