Thank you for your very astute critiques on my query! I’m sorry that it’s taken forever to return the favour, but I hope at least some of my comments prove useful.
In a battle between humans and mystics (missing comma) KALA (I don’t think names need to be capitalised in the first instance. Just in the synopsis) is torn between the family who raised her and those who left her behind.
Kala grew up believing that mystics were responsible for the death of her parents. When an elf (I assume that the term ‘mystic’ covers all fairy-tale creatures? Perhaps a quick definition wouldn’t go amiss since it might not immediately be obvious to everyone – I’ll admit that it was silly of me, but on my first read-through, I thought that elves and mystics were two different groups entirely. Maybe you could even take the chance to weave in a pinch of backstory as well, just to set up the context more clearly? Nothing extravagant – the absolute bare minimum. Something like, ‘The war between men and fairy-tale creatures—mystics—has been especially hard on Kala’) mysteriously shows her kindness and spares her life, his parting words shatter her perception of the family who left her behind, and spark a curiosity that leads her to seek him out. (I think this needs to be more specific. What did he tell her? What secret could he have revealed that makes Kala re-evaluate her entire perspective on life? I bet the answer is gripping, but at the moment, it’s so vaguely worded that it makes me lose interest. Being mysterious in a query isn’t necessarily interesting. Interesting plot developments/awesome character details are what’s interesting).
As their friendship grows to romance, Kala begins to question everything she was raised to believe about the native inhabitants (so… the humans shouldn’t be there? The humans are the invaders? Again, another potentially unique plot point is hidden behind vague wording).
Her loyalties split as the kingdoms prepare for war, and her indecision could prove fatal for those she loves (but without knowing anything about the two different sides and what they stand for, it makes it really hard to get invested in this conflict. The problem is further compounded by the fact that we’re given only the barest details about the huge event that has just happened in Kala’s personal life e.g. her previous worldview (which we know almost nothing about, other than that mystics are bad) has been flipped upside-down thanks to a shocking revelation, the details of which we can only guess at. The way it reads at the moment is: because of something vague that happened to Kala, someone else we don’t even know is in danger because of… something… or… something…
The impression I get here, under the surface, is of a big, epic, wonderful story – but this query seems afraid to revealing too much, and so what should be a gripping plotline ends up feeling somewhat limp).
Ring of Fire is a [word count] Young Adult fantasy with moral undertones that draw parallels to the history of the settlement of America (this is great, I like this bit, and it confirms my suspicions that the humans are the invaders/settlers. It’s like the fairy-tale version of Pocahontas. That’s so cool! This parallel needs to come across more clearly in the rest of the query). It is written to target audiences similar to that of Princess Academy and A Tale of Two Castles.
Thank you for your consideration.
(I’m incredibly sorry if this came across as harsh L. But like I said, this query has all the elements of something awesome, but at the moment, all those elements are hiding just beneath the surface. Bring them out into sharper focus and I think you’ll be on the right track)