Dear Esteemed Literary Agent
Sometimes meeting your Evil Twin makes you wonder which one you are.
Sophia Stratton leaves home to discover a temptress, an immoral gutter prowler named Viola living with her gentle aunt. Shocked and curious, she follows Viola to the Steam Palace, a small city of iniquity and sin built upon an ancient half-buried barge in the Connecticut River. Despite the obvious fact that Viola hails from a native tribe and lacks the slightest touch of civilized culture, Sophia is inexplicably drawn to her, and finds to her embarrassment that they share a similar demeanor. Needless to say when Sophia discovers this wanton woman is actually her twin sister, separated at birth, it thoroughly destroys her. But that is only part of the story.
All Sophia wants is a job, perhaps a proposal of marriage to an eligible gentleman of sufficient reputation, and a means to restore her family name. She never intends on bringing her country--torn between two neighboring countries--to the brink of ruin. She now hides out in a bombed-out Native village where spirits walk among the corpses. Captain Thomas Putnam, her love, is most likely dead, his leg torn by shrapnel in a unfortunate assault on their country’s rival, the Southland, in an attempt to steal the mysterious Sea Key. And now Viola, of whom Sophia has grown quite fond despite Viola’s untoward upbringing, has surrendered to the man responsible to all this destruction and faces torture and death for her disobedience. Hartford and the Steam Palace lie in ruins, and Ghost, a powerful Fury Lord with limitless technological power at his fingertips, refuses to assist. Sophia must find a way to rescue her sister, restore Thomas’ honor, convince Ghost to join their cause, locate the mythical Sea Key, and fight off her country’s invaders before war claims the remnants of a once-proud kingdom.
Steam Palace, complete at 120,000 words, is a Steampunk romp through alternate-history America, where proto-Nazis clash with British-style royalty while the Free Southland tries to democratize both. It features twins separated at birth, secret keys to impossible powers, airships and mechohorses, and of course, tea, corsets, and goggles.
This is a very early first-draft of a query. I'm not as much interested in grammar or style as much as wondering whether this is a good place to start. Does the book sound interesting? Is there too much detail? Do you understand what's at stake? I will be posting updates that are a bit more polished.