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The Huntsman and the Alchemist-Will return Query


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#1 The Drowned Man

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 06:54 PM

Hey everyone just wanted to get some feedback on this query before I sent it out to agents! Please let me know what you think! 

 

As the youngest instated Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra Vitallis has some big expectations to fill and could very well be the only person capable of restoring freedom to her homeland of Rodvania, but thanks to her deadbeat father who’s recently sailed off with half the nation’s slave population, the whole of the nobility has been turned against her. Broke, hated, and with a small army of money hungry bounty hunters hot on her trail, Solarra quickly realizes that things might not be as simple as she anticipated.  

                            

As heir to the formerly richest slave-owning family in Rodvania, it’s hardly a surprise when Solarra arrives at the infamous Citadel for her first assignment and expects the world to bow to her every whim. While meeting with the Chancellor on official guild business, Solarra is armed with her own secret agenda; to recruit powerful allies to help her overthrow the guilds Brewmaster, a calculating overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Oh, her biggest secret? She cheated on the State Alchemist Exams, but no biggie, right?

 

When Solarra winds up getting stuck with world renowned Huntsman, Thane Grimheart, a man who hardly embodies the legendary monster hunter that the stories paint him to be, she must undertake the most dangerous task of her life: to hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness. With a satchel full of potions, an arsenal of secrets, and a kick em in the ass attitude, Solarra eagerly sets out to kill this Horror and return for her next assignment, but little does she know that the path laid out before her is unlike any she’s ever dared dream of.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.



#2 BadgerFox

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:36 AM



 

As the youngest instated Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra Vitallis has some big expectations to fill and could very well be the only person capable of restoring freedom to her homeland of Rodvania, but thanks to her deadbeat father who’s recently sailed off with half the nation’s slave population, the whole of the nobility has been turned against her. [This opening sentence is three lines long, and that really isn't going to work. Much too long, unfortunately. I can't even follow it. A hook needs to be one line or less. I know it's tricky but there's an art to it, and an agent will judge your writing on your ability to present information in a snappy, hooky, concise way in this query. It's kind of a writing test in its own right. Agents usually aren't looking for info-dumping sentences three miles long.] Broke, hated, and with a small army of money-hungry [hyphenate] bounty hunters hot on her trail, Solarra quickly realizes that things might not be as simple as she anticipated.  

                            

As heir to the formerly richest slave-owning family in Rodvania, it’s hardly a surprise when Solarra arrives at the infamous Citadel for her first assignment and expects the world to bow to her every whim [I'm not sure the understated tone is quite working for this query here. It works for some, when the comedy element is a bigger part of the story, but for adult epic fantasy I'm not sure slightly flat sarcasm, understatement and dad jokes sets the scene exactly right] [Also, if this character is so arrogant, why are we supposed to like her? I'm sure she has redeeming qualities, but saying that she expects everyone to bow to her may not make an agent want to hear more about her. Unless it's a story of how a bratty young aristocrat in a fantasy land got taken down a few pegs and told to stop being so arrogant, which it doesn't seem to be] . While meeting with the Chancellor on official guild business, Solarra is armed with her own secret agenda; to recruit powerful allies to help her overthrow the guilds Brewmaster, a calculating overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist [Still having some trouble following the plot here. You might need to rethink how you're explaining it. Shorter sentences and more focus on what order you present information in might be better]. Oh, her biggest secret? She cheated on the State Alchemist Exams, but no biggie, right? [No, that sounds pretty awful, actually. I think cheating on exams is a big deal, and an agent might too. I'm not saying a character can't be a loveable aristocratic rogue who lies and cheats and is still an enjoyable antihero - Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels and the Flashman series are good examples of this material. Solarra can be a total asshole and still be very enjoyable to read. But she has to be presented in a particular way, if so. Right now, her positive qualities are not coming across. So far all we have is an exam cheat from a fancy, moneyed background, who comes from a family who enslave other people (which is honestly pretty repellant by most people's standards; you may have to go some to compensate for this undesirable trait), who lied her way into her career post, made other rich people hate her (which right now it sounds like maybe they were right in doing), and ontop of it all appears to have some narcissistic idea that she's the 'chosen one' who must save her entire homeland. Again, I'm not saying she can't be a loveable rogue. But at present there is very little reason to empathatize with her and root for her, just from the information you've given]

 

When Solarra winds up getting stuck with world renowned Huntsman, Thane Grimheart, a man who hardly embodies the legendary monster hunter that the stories paint him to be, she must undertake the most dangerous task of her life: to hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness [what does this have to do with her career post at the Brewer's Guild, or her secret agenda, or freeing her homeland? It's not clear why slaying a monster will lead her to achieve these goals. The monster seems unrelated to the other things happening in her life] . With a satchel full of potions, an arsenal of secrets, and a kick-'em-in-the- ass attitude, [this part of the sentence is fine, barring punctuation tweaks.] Solarra eagerly sets out to kill this Horror and return for her next assignment, but little does she know that the path laid out before her is unlike any she’s ever dared dream of. [This is too vague a statement of the stakes. It seems a bit obvious and unspecific. Clearly, having to go kill a monster is not something anyone dreams of. Peopel dream of being heros and having killed monsters, but usually the actual gory effortful quest part is not the appealling part. State what her goals are more clearly, and how what she's doing here will help her work towards them.]

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 [that word count is word is at the top end of what's acceptable. Consider trying to shave off a bit more. It's not a hanging offence but I did note I got more positive responses from agents when I cut down the word count beyond the absolute maximum limits. I know it's really hard but it does seem to make a positive impression on an agent.] adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.[I think maybe try and pick another comparison; it can be a tetchy business comparing your novel to the absolute bestsellers in the genre. It can show greater awareness of your genre to pick one that's selling well but is a little more obscure. Everyone knows Game of Thrones and almost everyone wishes they had written it, but it might give a better impression to choose a subtler comparison.]

 

I think this query has some issues and isn't ready to go yet. The word count is potentially problematic, the plot is unclear, and the query makes it hard to empathatize with the central character and care about her dilemma. The tone of the query and the register of language used also seems like it would be more suitable for a YA novel about slighty bratty high-schoolers than a serious epic fantasy. Try going back to basics and explaining the plot in terms of what the central character ultimately wants and what stands in her way to achieve it (and what bad things will happen if she fails to ccomplish it). I know it's tough but queries are an art form all of their own, and can take a few redrafts to really hit the nail on the head :) You can do it! All the best to you :)

 

Still looking for feedback on my 250-word chapter openings, if anyone has a minute to spare on critique :) : http://agentquerycon...native-history/


Spare a shiny scrap of feedback for newbie?

250 words of my AU novel: http://agentquerycon...native-history/


#3 The Drowned Man

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:04 PM

Thank you for your feedback! You made some very excellent points that I happened to agree with very much! I took a look at the first 250 of your story and while I haven't gotten the chance to respond yet I will be getting back to you very soon! Below is my currently revised Query. 

 

Dear _______  

                      

Nineteen year old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of the well.

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father, the richest slave owner in Rodvania, leads a massive uprising, everything she holds dear begins to crumble. Following this devastating betrayal, Solarra and her sister Thea are left in a precarious position with the understandably angry Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, the leader of the Brewer’s Guild, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

When Lecter sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, she eagerly seizes on the opportunity and leaves behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher.



#4 Timejockey

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:38 PM

 

Dear _______  

                      

Nineteen year old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of the well.

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father, the richest slave owner in Rodvania, leads a massive uprising, everything she holds dear begins to crumble. Following this devastating betrayal, Solarra and her sister Thea are left in a precarious position with the understandably angry Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, the leader of the Brewer’s Guild, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies. (While this all seems important to the overall story, it also feels like it could be trimmed down. There is a lot of information here, maybe too much for the query)

When Lecter sends Solarra (is sent) to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, she eagerly seizes on the opportunity and leaves behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired (She is) with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher. (As a fan of The Witcher, I can see how this compares and the appeal to fellow fans)

I think there is a lot of good here, but it just feel feels like it needs trimmed and only reference the most vital characters for the letter. I gave my thoughts on where to cut or change things, but that's just my opinion so take with many grains of salt.



#5 fatalkiss19

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:11 AM

Thank you for your feedback! You made some very excellent points that I happened to agree with very much! I took a look at the first 250 of your story and while I haven't gotten the chance to respond yet I will be getting back to you very soon! Below is my currently revised Query. 

 

Dear _______  

                      

Nineteen year old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of the well. (I like this. Great tagline!)

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father, the richest slave owner in Rodvania, leads a massive uprising, everything she holds dear begins to crumble. Following this devastating betrayal, Solarra and her sister Thea are left in a precarious position with the understandably angry Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, the leader of the Brewer’s Guild., Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

When Lecter sends Solarra to meets with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, she eagerly seizes on the opportunity and leaves behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher.

I like your query! It just needs to be a little tighter and you'll be golden.

 

If you have a moment, here's my query: http://agentquerycon...back-in-return/



#6 The Drowned Man

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

Thank you both for your feedback! I found both of your comments very helpful and was able to trim some thirty words! I have looked at your query Fatalkiss19 and when I get home from work tonight I will leave you my comments! Thanks again everyone! Below is the current draft! 

 

Dear _______  

                      

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of the well.

 

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, everything she holds dear begins to crumble. Following this devastating betrayal, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the infuriated Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

 

When Lecter sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, she leaps on the opportunity, leaving behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company



#7 Sataris

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:48 PM

Thank you both for your feedback! I found both of your comments very helpful and was able to trim some thirty words! I have looked at your query Fatalkiss19 and when I get home from work tonight I will leave you my comments! Thanks again everyone! Below is the current draft! 

 

Dear _______  

                      

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father, she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of the  a well.

 

Recently instated this seems like an odd word choice here, though it could just be me as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, everything she holds dear begins to crumble This is a little vague; what exactly does she hold dear? from the following text, it seems like the only thing she loses is her house's reputation. Following this devastating betrayal it seems like this revolt fails, so what happens to the father?, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the infuriated Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania with an iron fist presumably he's the one her father revolted against, right? So I'd assume that the nobility who now hate her father are allied with Lecter? In which case it probably doesn't make sense to say that they don't realize he's the true enemy. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

 

When Lecter sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, she leaps on the opportunity she can't really leap on the opportunity if she's sent somewhere; you might be better off saying "when offered the chance to meet" etc., leaving behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadel's Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that would will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company

Sounds like you've got a pretty cool story here. A couple quick things other than the above: It seems like the first paragraph is taking a really long time to set up what's happening. It seems like all we really need to know is:

 

Solarra—the daughter of a noble who led a failed revolt against Lecter, her country's despotic ruler— is desperate to redeem her family's name. But she'll have to recruit powerful allies if she's to finish what her father started.

 

There are two small disconnects that I'm wondering about: the first is how exactly overthrowing Lecter will return her house to glory. Do they plan to rule in his stead once he's gone, or has he been acting against their house? It might help if you could make their conflict feel a little more personal.

 

The second is that I'm not really sure what she needs allies for, or how a single huntsman could sway what seems to be a large scale war/political battle, particulary since it seems like Lecter himself is also trying to form an alliance with the Citadel. Is she just looking for help assassinating him? Maybe a few more details about her plan would help here, and why she'd go to such great lengths to make a single ally?

 

I hope that was helpful! Best of luck.


If I've been helpful, feel free to drop me a line or two about my query here.


#8 The Drowned Man

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:06 AM

Sounds like you've got a pretty cool story here. A couple quick things other than the above: It seems like the first paragraph is taking a really long time to set up what's happening. It seems like all we really need to know is:

 

Solarra—the daughter of a noble who led a failed revolt against Lecter, her country's despotic ruler— is desperate to redeem her family's name. But she'll have to recruit powerful allies if she's to finish what her father started.

 

There are two small disconnects that I'm wondering about: the first is how exactly overthrowing Lecter will return her house to glory. Do they plan to rule in his stead once he's gone, or has he been acting against their house? It might help if you could make their conflict feel a little more personal.

 

The second is that I'm not really sure what she needs allies for, or how a single huntsman could sway what seems to be a large scale war/political battle, particulary since it seems like Lecter himself is also trying to form an alliance with the Citadel. Is she just looking for help assassinating him? Maybe a few more details about her plan would help here, and why she'd go to such great lengths to make a single ally?

 

I hope that was helpful! Best of luck.

Thank you for your critique! You made several good points that have helped me further enhance (hopefully anyhow) my query! You bring up several good questions that are all answered/explained in the query but that I was, unfortunately, unable to squeeze in my already borderline lengthy query. I've readjusted my query pulling back in a few bits i'd previously deleted, deleting a few other tid bits, and adding a whole new line while also shortening that particular paragraph! Though I did increase the query by about ten words . . . I know doom me to hell already . . . but I think they just might add a flare of flavor and can/should probably be removed! Hopefully you or someone else will do me the solid of kicking some sense into my head. Thanks again! I really appreciate it! I'll post my updated query below. 



#9 The Drowned Man

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:12 AM

My offically updated query! Woo! Rip it to shreds!!!! Thanks! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

 

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the vengeful Rodvanian nobility. Well, those who are still breathing anyhow. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

 

In the wake of her father's devastating betrayal, Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, forcing her to leave behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company



#10 Nonicks

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 04:01 AM

My offically updated query! Woo! Rip it to shreds!!!! Thanks! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

 

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the vengeful Rodvanian nobility. Well, those who are still breathing anyhow. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

 

In the wake of her father's devastating betrayal, Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance, forcing her to leave behind the only world she’s ever known. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company

 

Where is the alchemy?



#11 ThatDan

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:34 AM

Love the progress so far. Here's my 2c

My offically updated query! Woo! Rip it to shreds!!!! Thanks! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

 

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful Rodvanian nobility. Well, those who are still breathing anyhow. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to overthrow Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

 

In the wake of her father's devastating betrayal, Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel to forge a possible alliance <not sure who this chancellor guy is, why he's important, and who he's possibly forming an alliance with (Lecter or Solarra), forcing her to leave behind the only world she’s ever known.<is this figurative? I assume "the citadel" is still in Rodvania. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on contract returns.<sounds like we're accountants now :p Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Tasked with hunting down the Horror of Skorengard,<why? just to get those better return contracts? a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra must embark on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.<second time Solarra has entered a (literal/figurative) new world.

^so my main gripe with this paragraph is that everything Solarra does is under the direction of Lecter. It's Lecter who (unexpectedly) sends Solarra to the Chancellor, who then pairs her with the huntsman, who accompanies her to fight the Horror. Considering Lecter is the enemy, why is Solarra following this convoluted string of tasks orchestrated by Lecter? Does Solarra have no other choice? Does she think she can gain something from it? (aside from perhaps encountering some allies to recruit) I'm sure there is a good answer,but it's not  coming across in the query.

On a positive note, I love the concept of Thane's reputation outweighing his actual talent.

 

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company

So aside from the above comments,I really like the setting and plot, but I think it just needs a little more to link Solarra's aims to restore her status, and the quest to fight the horror. Seems a bit disjointed at the moment.


My query, your critiques >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#12 The Drowned Man

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 07:18 PM

Love the progress so far. Here's my 2c

So aside from the above comments,I really like the setting and plot, but I think it just needs a little more to link Solarra's aims to restore her status, and the quest to fight the horror. Seems a bit disjointed at the moment.

Thank you for your feedback! You made some very excellent points that I tried to improve/integrate into my updated query. Unfortunately this also meant increasing the word count a tad . . . Who knows maybe you or someone else can help me shave down the bits I don't need? Thanks again! I'll post my updated query below! 


This is my updated query for anyone who cares! Feel free to tear it to shreds! Thanks all! Cheers! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

 

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to assassinate Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

                    

Amidst this crisis, Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra halfway across the continent to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel, the Inner Kingdom’s wealthiest guild, to forge a possible alliance between the two organizations. Solarra, however, has no intention of being Lecter’s pawn and resolves to earn the Chancellor’s favor for herself. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on recently declining contract returns. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Their contract? To hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness. Armed with a satchel full of potions, an arsenal of secrets, and a kick-em-in-the-ass attitude, Solarra embarks on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

                                                                                                                            

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company.



#13 ThatDan

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 09:01 PM

Now I know why Solarra is agreeing to Lecter's order, so that's good. I'm assuming that in order to get the Chancellor on her side instead, she must prove her worth, hence going up against the Horror. However, I'm still unclear what these "contract returns" are. Are you saying that there are these "contracts" to venture out and kill beasts, and that less and less huntsmen have been returning (alive), hence the need/test to see if sending an alchemist will improve survival rates?

Maybe it's just me, but as it stands, I'm still not 100% sure what these contract returns are.


My query, your critiques >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#14 Sataris

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 09:35 PM

Maybe it's just me, but as it stands, I'm still not 100% sure what these contract returns are.

 

I agree - and also, it seems like a fairly sterile description for what's later revealed to be a great adventure. I'm not sure we need to know about contract returns at all - just the fact that her assignment is to be paired with a legendary hunter is probably good enough, as we're going to assume she's helping in some way.

 

Overall i think this latest query is a step in the right direction. It's still quite long at ~380 words, so my focus for now would be on trimming it down while trying to preserve the information you've laid down here.

 

One question that the current version does raise, though, is why she needs the favor of the Chancellor. Would he be able to help out if her assassination plot were to be successful? Also - does she have an interest in sabotaging the relationship between the Chancellor and Lecter?


If I've been helpful, feel free to drop me a line or two about my query here.


#15 ThatDan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:49 AM

 

 

One question that the current version does raise...

 

Your question raises a question of my own.

What is the main story? It seems a little disjointed atm. At the start of the query, Solarra is trying to defeat Lecter and return her name to glory. But at the end, she goes off with Thane to fight the Horror. Currently, the query reads as two distinct plotlines.

It kind of feels like this is the first part of a series, in which defeating Lecter is the main goal, but this part mainly focuses on fighting the horror.

-thats just the way it reads to me atm


My query, your critiques >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578


#16 The Drowned Man

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:02 AM

Thank you guys for your feedback! I very much appreciate it! So you basically hit the head on the nail with the contract returns. They are like a wanted poster but for a monster that's eating people or livestock or something, though I can see how that general description could seem uninformative. Unfortunately, there isn't enough space in a query to cover all the bases leaving the exposed area's that you both have pointed out. So basically Solarra is trying to both sabotage Lecter and try and gain favor with the Chancellor who is a very influential man and could greatly contribute to her efforts. So the plot for The Huntsman and the Alchemist: the Horror of Skorengard revolves around Solarra teaming up with Thane and traveling north to the realm of Skorengard to hunt down the Horror which has caused mass evacuations in the countries northern realms on the brink of winter threatening mass starvations.

 

So again you hit the nail on the head. The Horror of Skorengard is the first installment of a series of books that I intended to be one episodic book but got way to out of hand and I had to make them each their own separate books. All the books titles start with "The Huntsman and the Alchemist:" but end with different titles. So far i've written "The Nightmare of Ravenna" "The Haunting of Hemshire" "The Witch, the Hunter, and the Toad" and "The Scourge of Nazar". Basically, it's about Thane and Solarra traveling around the world killing monsters and such, and while Solarra still holds her goal of liberating Rodvania she realizes that it will take much longer and will be much harder than she imagined. For obvious reasons, I couldn't include all of this in the query. For instance, the book actually starts with Solarra having just arrived at the Citadel where she meets the Chancellor and Thane and sets out for Skorengard. And while I don't think I'll be able to answer all of these questions in the query I do think it's a small win that you both bothered to ask them in the first place! Thank you guys again! 



#17 The Drowned Man

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 03:35 AM

My current version of the query! Thank you all! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

                  

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra and her sister are left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plot to assassinate Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need allies. Powerful allies.

                    

Amidst this crisis, Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra halfway across the continent to meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel, the Inner Kingdom’s wealthiest guild, to forge a possible alliance between the two organizations. Solarra, however, has no intention of being Lecter’s pawn and resolves to earn the Chancellor’s favor for herself or at the very least sabotage Lecter’s efforts. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on monster contracts. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Their contract? To hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness. Armed with a satchel full of potions, an arsenal of secrets, and a kick-em-in-the-ass attitude, Solarra embarks on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

                                                                                                                            

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company



#18 Nessa

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 12:27 PM

This is still very long. You don't need to drop all that information into the query. I'll make rough edits below to show what I mean.

 

My current version of the query! Thank you all! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.​ Though pretty, this is vague. I believe it is better to open w/ concrete details.

                  

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra ​Vitallis’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of Rodvania of its precious labor force, Solarra ​is and her sister are left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful Rodvanian nobility. With everyone now blinded by their hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers the Rodvania’s true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules Rodvania from the shadows with an iron fist. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra hatches a daring plots to assassinate Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need ​powerful allies. Powerful allies.

                    

Amidst this crisis, ​Then Lecter unexpectedly sends Solarra halfway across the continent to ​forge an alliance with meet with the Chancellor of the Citadel, the Inner Kingdom’s wealthiest guild, to forge a​n possible alliance between the two organizations. ​Onwards, this reads like part of a synopsis. Keep cutting. Solarra, however, has no intention of being Lecter’s pawn and resolves to earn the Chancellor’s favor for herself or at the very least sabotage Lecter’s efforts. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on monster contracts. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Their contract? To hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness. Armed with a satchel full of potions, an arsenal of secrets, and a kick-em-in-the-ass attitude, Solarra embarks on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

                                                                                                                            

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company

 

It's easier to cut than add. Keep at it! You're getting there. :)



#19 The Drowned Man

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

Thank you, everyone, for your help in helping improve my query! I greatly appreciate it! This is what I've boiled it down to! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

                  

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of its precious labor force, Solarra is left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful nobility. With everyone blinded by hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers the true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules from the shadows. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra plots to assassinate Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need powerful allies.

                    

 With the nobility calling for her head, Lecter sends Solarra halfway across the continent to forge an alliance with the Chancellor of the Citadel, the Inner Kingdom’s wealthiest guild. Solarra, however, has no intention of being Lecter’s pawn and resolves to either earn the Chancellor’s favor for herself or sabotage the Brewmaster’s efforts. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadels Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on monster contracts. Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Contracted to hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra embarks on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known.

                                                                                                                            

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company



#20 ThatDan

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:04 PM

Thank you, everyone, for your help in helping improve my query! I greatly appreciate it! This is what I've boiled it down to! 

 

Nineteen-year-old Solarra Vitallis knows what it’s like to stand on top of the world, and thanks to her father she now knows what it’s like to be trapped at the bottom of a well.

                  

Recently instated as the youngest Alchemist in the history of the Brewer’s Guild, Solarra’s life seems perfect, but when her lord father leads a massive slave uprising, stripping her homeland of its precious labor force, Solarra is left in a precarious position with the remaining vengeful nobility. With everyone blinded by hatred for her disgraced family, Solarra seems to be the only one who remembers the true enemy, Brewmaster Lecter, a ruthless Alchemist overlord who rules from the shadows. Seeking to restore the house of Vitallis to its former glory, Solarra plots to assassinate Lecter, but to succeed she’ll need powerful allies.

                    

 With the nobility calling for her head, Lecter sends Solarra halfway across the continent to forge an alliance with the Chancellor of the Citadel, the Inner Kingdom’s wealthiest guild. Solarra, however, has no intention of being Lecter’s pawn and resolves to either earn the Chancellor’s favor for herself or sabotage the Brewmaster’s efforts. Her assignment? To be paired with one of the Citadel​[apostrophe]s Huntsmen, the world’s foremost monster hunters, and use her alchemical abilities to improve the success rate on monster contracts.​< maybe "monster bounties" might be clearer. "contract" could be anything. killing, capturing, creating, etc. you could even re-write it completely, get rid of the confusing contracts, and give Sollara more purpose. For example, "use her alchemical abilities to aid the Huntsmen in defeating the deadliest monsters plaguing the land." Knowing a Huntsman could make for an invaluable ally, Solarra is eager to get underway, but when she is paired with legendary Huntsman Thane Grimheart, an irritable recluse who hardly embodies the legendary figure that the stories paint him to be, she quickly realizes her assignment might not be as straightforward as she’d imagined. Contracted to hunt down the Horror of Skorengard, a nameless bloodthirsty creature that stalks a vast and untamed northern wilderness, Solarra embarks on an adventure that will thrust her deep into a world unlike any she’s ever known. ​I personally feel we need a sentence at the end here to slightly tie back to her main goal. Example (bad example): But it's a world she'll have to familiarize herself with if she's to have any chance of restoring her name/ defeating Lecter.

                                                                                                                            

The Huntsman and the Alchemist: The Horror of Skorengard is a complete 130,000 word adult epic fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher and Glen Cook’s The Black Company

 

​Great improvements. I'd say its almost done!


My query, your critiques >>> http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=349578





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