Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

The Immortal Guard - YA Historical Fantasy

Fantasy Historical Fiction Young Adult Adventure Fiction

  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#41 lyncfs

lyncfs

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 54 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS South

Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:14 PM

This is a good query. It's clear and concise and piques my interest. I'm a bit more confused about the big picture things. Is this more of a fantasy thing (the magical element) or historical fiction? So you're re-imagining Alex/Roxana in a magical world? Hopefully, you've thought of ways to square this with our historical perspective (this era wasn't all that long ago). Otherwise, you'll have to give some alternative history type of explanation. Maybe I'm just wondering aloud. Just to be clear: magic is a THING in this world?

 

Please have a look at my query as well (link in sig).

 

I believe there is a genre called historical fantasy or alternative history and this is what my book would fall into. Yes, I tried to be somewhat historically accurate but added magic into the world. Actually, Alexander the great lived around 364 B.C. so about 2300 years ago. 

 

Yes, magic is present in the world I created along with mystical creatures. And thank you for all the feedback. I'll think about adding a line about Thessalus' character.

 

Good luck with your query!


THE IMMORTAL GUARD. Link to my query. Please critique, if I have reviewed yours.

#42 MICRONESIA

MICRONESIA

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 132 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:16 AM

LOL. I know when Alexander did his thing. Compared to ancient Egypt or Old Testament stuff, it wasn't that long ago. My point was that there are a TON of historical records of the era (i.e. it's hard to buy people "forgetting" about magic since then). But since this is an alternative history thing, you're cool. I would definitely consider mentioning that in the query, though.

#43 EMarie

EMarie

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 29 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 24 July 2017 - 12:59 PM

Overall I think you have a very strong, polished query with every word on point. :-) 

 

Dear agent,

 

Roxana possesses the ability to transform emotions into weapons. She wields guilt to force confessions out of thieves and calms unrest with a twitch of her fingers. But to Roxana, her gifts are a curse; a gilded cage that holds her captive to the Persian empire. (I agree with the poster who says this line raises questions. Do the Persians know about Roxana's abilities at the beginning of the novel? Or do they discover her abilities in the course of the story? Do they respect and appreciate her abilities? Or do they have a negative view of them? If so, why? Also, I thought "gilded" cage was too much like the later line--"city of spices and gold"--as regards to word choice.) 

 

As a soldier in Persia's elite army, Roxana knows no other life than a world of violence. Her lack of physical combat skills makes her a target of ridicule by the entire army. While others go off to war, Roxana desires only to elude the general’s wrath and guard the streets of Susa, the city of spices and gold.

 

When the general’s son attacks Roxana, her abilities backfire and nearly kill him. Roxana receives one last mission to prove her worth. She must guard Thessalus, the lead Macedonian diplomat, who hopes to prevent war through a Persian marriage alliance.

 

Nothing goes as planned, not even the course of her own heart. To Roxana’s surprise, she becomes more valuable to Thessalus than a hired sword and shield. As Roxana’s affections for Thesslaus grow, so does her trust in her own strength.

 

Except the line between duty and love blurs when Roxana uncovers Thessalus’ secret which could turn the tide of war in Persia’s favor. She must decide if becoming the savior of her country is greater than betraying her own heart.

 

THE IMMORTAL GUARD, completed at 98,000 words is a YA historical fantasy and my debut novel. It is a re-imagining of Roxana’s life before she becomes the wife of Alexander the Great. The events in this novel are loosely based on real incidents and people. My novel will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and Renee Ahdieh’s A WRATH AND THE DAWN series.

.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#44 Vio Liddell

Vio Liddell

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 62 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationEurope
  • Publishing Experience:"Les Agonies de l'Innocence" (Tabou Editions, June 2013). Novellas. Dark erotica/horror.

Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:11 AM

Hi!

 

 

Here we go again. Thank you for the feedback. It really helped me clear things up. I am still working on returning critiques.

Iconian thanks for your edits! They smoothed over my transition issue.  I need help with the sentence in BOLD (not sure if I should keep it. Or if it should be a semi-colon or comma?)!

 

Dear agent,

 

Roxana possesses the ability to transform emotions into weapons. She wields guilt to force confessions out of thieves and calms unrest with a twitch of her fingers. But to Roxana, her gifts are a curse--[em dash]a gilded cage that holds her captive to the Persian empire. I suggest that you keep this sentence.

 

As a soldier in Persia's elite army, Roxana knows no other life than a world of violence. Her lack of physical combat skills makes her a target of ridicule by the entire army. While others go off to war, Roxana desires only to elude the general’s wrath and guard the streets of Susa, the city of spices and gold.

 

[But she can't escape anonymity for long.] When the general’s son attacks Roxana [give brief explanation--greed, lust, crazy, jealousy? etc.], her abilities backfire and nearly kill him. Roxana receives one last mission to prove her worth: [colon] she must guard Thessalus, the lead Macedonian diplomat, who hopes to prevent war through a Persian marriage alliance. I second Iconian's suggestions here. Very good ones.

 

Nothing goes as planned--[em dash]not even the course of her own heart. To Roxana’s surprise, she becomes more valuable to Thessalus than a hired sword and shield. As Roxana’s affections for Thesslaus grow, so does her trust in her own strength.

 

Except the line between duty and love blurs when Roxana uncovers Thessalus’ secret, (comma) which could turn the tide of war in Persia’s favor. I agree that you should give us a hint of what his secret is. She must decide if becoming the savior of her country is greater than betraying her own heart.

 

THE IMMORTAL GUARD, completed at 98,000 words, (comma) is a YA historical fantasy and my debut novel. It is a re-imagining of Roxana’s life before she becomes the wife of Alexander the Great. The events in this novel are loosely based on real incidents and people. My novel will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and Renee Ahdieh’s A WRATH AND THE DAWN series.

.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Well I had trouble finding things to nitpick about! In my opinion your query is close to perfection. You should be submitting already.

 

Thank you very much for your feedback on my own query, which is far from being perfect xD

 

Best of luck to you.



#45 Sataris

Sataris

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 120 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:10 AM

Roxana possesses the ability to transform emotions into weapons. (Roxana possesses the abilitity to manipulate others' emotions? I'm not sure transform is the perfect word here- I actually pictured weapons at first, which is probably silly on my part, but still something to think about) She wields guilt to force confessions out of thieves and calms unrest with a twitch of her fingers I don't mind this line, but I wonder if you could do without it if your first line explained the magic more concretelyBut to Roxana, hHer gifts is more of  are a curse one that; a gilded cage that holds her captive binds to the Persian empire. 

 

so you can read that better: Roxana possesses the ability to manipulate others' emotions. But her gift is more of a curse- one that binds her to the Persian empire. 

 

And I get where youre going with gilded, but if the first thing we hear about the abilities is that she considers them a curse, gilded softens the blow. It's still a cage, after all, but better a gilded one (that implies luxury) than a regular cage.

 

Consider: Roxana has a great power (interesting) but she thinks it's a curse (more interesting) but there are some benefits to it but overall it's a huge con (less interesting/empathy-worthy). Your example is nowhere near that cut and dry, but I hope that example illustrates my point.

 

As an unwilling soldier in Persia's elite army, Roxana knows no other only a life than a world of violence. Her lack of physical combat skills makes her a target of ridicule by the entire army. While others go off to war, Roxana desires only to elude the general’s wrath and guard the streets of Susa, the city of spices and gold. this reads as: "while others act, Roxana dreams" but given her life of violence, I'm assuming she's dragged along with them?

 

The unwilling part would get at the captor bit without restating it, and would link the first two paragraphs

 

When the general’s son attacks Roxana, her abilities backfire and nearly kill him. Roxana receives one last mission to prove her worth. She must guard Thessalus, the lead Macedonian diplomat, who hopes to prevent war through a Persian marriage alliance.

 

Nothing goes as planned, not even the course of her own heart. you're already showing us this with the following lines, though I think we could use an extra detail on Thess/how he makes her see the good in herself etc To Roxana’s surprise, she becomes more valuable to Thessalus than a hired sword and shield. As Roxana’s affections for Thesslaus grow, so does her trust in her own strength.

 

Except the line between duty and love love and duty (probably just personal preference) blurs when Roxana uncovers Thessalus’ secret which could turn the tide of war in Persia’s favor. She must decide if becoming the savior of her country is greater than betraying her own heart.

 

THE IMMORTAL GUARD, completed at 98,000 words is a YA historical fantasy and my debut novel. implied by lack of pubs It is a re-imagining of Roxana’s life before she becomes the wife of Alexander the Great. The events in this novel are loosely based on real incidents and people. You can cut this, because you've already said it's historical My novel will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and Renee Ahdieh’s A WRATH AND THE DAWN series.

 

Overall this is a really strong query! It's concise, and I know exactly what role the MC finds herself in and what she'll have to do. If you do go with the cuts I've suggested, I'd consider using the extra space to elaborate a bit more on the relationship- what makes it so special that she can't give it up? It's love, which works, but the more we feel like she can't go back to a life without him, the higher the stakes will seem.

 

I'll also confirm that we need a bit more on the secret- it's a fine line to walk here, but we do need a push in the right direction.

 

Website ate my original critique; if something in here makes no sense whatsoever, please let me know- maybe I've left half a suggestion in there somewhere. Hope that was helpful!


No current query!


#46 jaustail

jaustail

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 430 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationAsia
  • Publishing Experience:Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans Magazine.

Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:20 PM

JMO

 

Dear agent,

 

Roxana possesses the ability to transform emotions into weapons. She wields guilt to force confessions out of thieves and calms unrest with a twitch of her fingers(good start. i remember this earlier. it was telling but this elaboration is good). But to Roxana, her gifts are a curse; a gilded cage that holds her captive to the Persian empire. (i am not a fan of using bold font in query. it distracts the reader. jmo)

(why is she captive? why can't she use her powers to coerce the army chief to let her go?)

As a soldier in Persia's elite army, Roxana knows no other life than a world of violence(this makes me think she was in the army right from childhood and that she's quite adept. like she's some tough girl who enjoys fighting. but the next sentence contradicts this. so maybe reword). Her lack of physical combat skills makes her a target of ridicule by the entire army(why can't she use her powers to make them her slaves or grow some compassion in them?). While others go off to war, Roxana desires only to elude the general’s wrath and guard the streets of Susa, the city of spices and gold.

 

When the general’s son attacks Roxana, her abilities backfire(maybe mention how. which emotion is she using here?) and nearly kill him. Roxana receives one last mission to prove her worth(why does she want to prove her worth? if the army is suspending her, she should be happy cause she wanted freedom). She must guard Thessalus, the lead Macedonian diplomat, who hopes to prevent war through a Persian marriage alliance.

 

Nothing goes as planned, not even the course of her own heart. To Roxana’s surprise, she becomes more valuable to Thessalus than a hired sword and shield. As Roxana’s affections for Thesslaus grow, so does her trust in her own strength.

 

Except the line between duty and love blurs when Roxana uncovers Thessalus’ secret which could turn the tide of war in Persia’s favor. She must decide if becoming the savior of her country is greater than betraying her own(maybe remove 'own' less word count) heart.

 

THE IMMORTAL GUARD, completed at 98,000 words is a YA historical fantasy and my debut novel. It is a re-imagining of Roxana’s life before she becomes the wife of Alexander the Great. The events in this novel are loosely based on real incidents and people. My novel will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and Renee Ahdieh’s A WRATH AND THE DAWN series.

 

 

.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

I hadn't heard of Roxana till now so maybe that's why I had most of above questions. I didn't really understand who's stopping Roxana from running away from the army. Why isn't she using her powers convince others to let her run away?

JMO







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Adventure, Fiction

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users