An agent who is looking for YA sci fi/fantasy and LGBTQ protagonists wants a two-page synopsis. Any and all comments and improvements are welcome. Thank you!
THE QUEEN'S GIFT
A brilliant but reclusive queen rules the world of two moons, where everyone has access to advanced technical devices, but most people live in poverty.
Thera Almitas, a shy, bookish fifteen-year-old with a love for engineering, excels in a test given to the most promising students in the empire. She is ordered by the queen to travel to the palace, where she’ll attend classes with the royal twins, Ciriana and Sarnur. Though reluctant to leave her family, Thera has no choice. No one may go against the queen.
At the palace, a place of luxury and deep-rooted disregard for the common people, Thera distinguishes herself as the best student in her classes. A family misfortune prompts Thera to beg to be allowed to leave, but her request is denied. Thera is getting the education she dreamed of, but at the cost of her freedom.
Despite her misgivings, Thera enjoys her classes, but she’s also a reluctant witness to the royal family’s private lives. She sees Prince Sarnur’s pain as he struggles with his studies and his mother’s coldness. Princess Ciriana loves Sarnur, though Thera can clearly see Sarnur’s hostility toward his sister. Thera gradually comes to understand Ciriana’s loneliness and naïveté.
As Thera learns of Ciriana’s plans to improve the lives of the common people, the two become closer. When Thera and Ciriana visit the gorgeous villa of Ciriana’s uncle, they are free to explore their feelings for one another and become lovers. It’s there that they learn of the Witnesses, a mysterious group who first provided the advanced technology that people now take for granted.
Thera’s dreams of a future with the dazzling princess fall apart when Thera gets word that Ciriana has been in an accident and may not live. Thera tends to Ciriana, whose injuries are severe. The queen takes Thera into her confidence and tells her that she exiled Sarnur because she suspects he had something to do with Ciriana’s accident, and extracts a promise from Thera to protect Ciriana. She gives Thera a golden pendant and tells her to wear it always.
Sarnur forms an army in exile and returns to the palace. The queen, knowing that her son plans violence, takes Thera to her hidden workshop and gives her a device she’s created, which she says Ciriana can use to keep herself safe. Sarnur soon launches a bloody strike on the palace and overthrows the queen. Thera manages to get Ciriana away, at the cost of being physically assaulted herself.
After ruling for a few months, Sarnur shocks the empire by killing his mother the queen in a fearsome death machine. Thera implores Ciriana to use the device the queen had given her to remotely destroy the machine, but Ciriana refuses, fearing for Sarnur’s safety. Eventually Thera and Ciriana flee to a rebel encampment hidden in the Iron Forest.
Thera eventually discovers that she, too, can use the device, though Ciriana never told her. Stung by Ciriana’s betrayal, Thera understands that Ciriana’s injuries have permanently changed her. Thera takes it upon herself to destroy the death machine, possibly killing Sarnur in the process. Ciriana goes into shock, and the leader of the rebels steals the device.
Ciriana finally succumbs to her injuries, and is buried by Thera and close friends in a clearing in the forest. With the rebel leader in possession of the device, it’s unclear how long Thera will stay safe. As Thera stands by Ciriana’s lonely grave, the Witnesses, who tracked her by means of the pendant the queen gave her, appear and promise her safety, deep within the forest. Thera joins them and vows to pursue Ciriana’s dreams.
Edited by JoanB, 29 April 2017 - 05:52 PM.