I realized that I've never returned the favor of your query critique. Sorry that it took so long for me to get here and check this out!
In the underwater kingdom of Syren, Princess Ondine is the only girl who can’t swim. oooh After losing both her legs, her metal prosthetics keep her from being carried away by the currents, but they also weigh her down and make her an object of ridicule.
Still, nobody makes Ondine feel inferior without her permission. She fights at the drop of a fin, and fearlessly rides her manta ray in the deadliest races. Her reckless lifestyle is an embarrassment to the royal family, but she’s never cared about politics. Not until a border lord is murdered by agents of the Nereid Kingdom, and whispers circulate of a traitor in the palace.
When Ondine catches the king’s own I'm not sure the word "own" is necessary spymaster meeting secretly with the Nereids, she realizes the danger is closer than she thought. This is minor, but I'm not loving the last clause of this sentence. It's a blend of vague/cliche Unfortunately, no one believes her except Drake, a handsome manta racer who would rather whisk her away than get involved. Then the spymaster turns up dead, and she learns the identity of the real traitor: Antipater, royal adviser and a man who has been like a second father to her.
Drake urges Ondine to leave the palace, but she's the only one who accepts the truth about Antipater. Small point of clarity: so others know the truth, they simply don't believe it? She has to stop him, even through it means betraying the only person who truly understands her Drake? Antipater?. Because if she fails, there will be another death in the palace. And this time, the victim will be her real father, the King of Syren himself. ooohh
OCEANS DEEP is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that should appeal to fans of a strong female lead and political intrigue, as found in Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING. This comp *gulp* may not be recent enough to be considered a good comp - that said, it's not the worst either, if you can't find a more recent one
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I had nothing big; just a few small comments. You seem to have a really solid query and story here! Good job :)