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Wings of Dawn (YA FANTASY)

Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 jennafyre

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:52 PM

Revised as of 1/21/18

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Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows that the cult has sacrificed innocent people, that her own fiance may have been involved with these murders. She knows this old god wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshipped. Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.


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#2 VSChapman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:05 PM

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a mere woman to ascend the throne. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of avaricious Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too farfetched to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN. It is the first installment of a possible trilogy.

I really like this. It's clear and concise and it tells me everything I need to know. I really wouldn't change much at all. If I had to nitpick I think maybe the last sentence could use a little more 'drama' too it. Like if she's able to become a dragon, will she still get married? Or is it one or the other? Just something that gives us a choice to hold onto. Great job!



#3 darlah

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:14 AM

I would like to know what Kianna has to lose if she helps this cult? Does she have anything to lose? 



#4 Sataris

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 11:34 AM

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would will never allow a mere woman to ascend the throne. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of avaricious this reads a bit too much like an SAT word to me for YA Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too farfetched to even consider this made me stumble a little bit - maybe ridiculous instead of farfetched?; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN. It is the first installment of a possible trilogy. a standalone with series potential.

 

Despite the above edits this is already a really strong query. We know what the MC wants and what's stopping her from getting it, and your hook is interesting. The only thing we're missing is what darlah pointed out above - we don't know what the mc is going to have to give up.

 

Right now it seems like her choice is pretty obvious - go to the cult, become a dragon, inherit the throne, marry if she chooses. I know cult has a negative connotation/there's the darkness thing, but since they're offering exactly what she wants and they think women should have all the powers that men do they're really coming off as the good guys right now. A simple line about the horrors they've committed etc etc would probably do it.

 

Nicely done!


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#5 jennafyre

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 12:22 PM

Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback so far! I'm so glad you pointed out the muddy stakes at the end of the description. Revision is below, edits made in red. The edit in the first paragraph was to eliminate some repetition of the word "throne". Does the last line pack enough punch to make her choice less obvious? (She definitely should not and does not side with cult haha)

---------

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a mere woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of calculating Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. All Kianna must do is make a blood sacrifice by her own hand, and she could be one too.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.


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#6 Sataris

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:44 PM

Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback so far! I'm so glad you pointed out the muddy stakes at the end of the description. Revision is below, edits made in red. The edit in the first paragraph was to eliminate some repetition of the word "throne". Does the last line pack enough punch to make her choice less obvious? definitely makes her choice less obvious but isn't hitting as hard as it probably could, more on that below (She definitely should not and does not side with cult haha)

---------

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a mere woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of calculating what about ruthless? would contrast more with charming and not be another gerund. i don't mind calculating though and that might fit your world better Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And if All Kianna must do is makes a blood sacrifice by her own hand, and she could be one too. definitely better, though it makes me wonder who exactly she'd have to sacrifice. it would hit harder if we knew, but then you'll have to introduce another character earlier on (unless it might be her father or Alun?)

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

thanks for taking a look at my query!


No current query.


#7 VSChapman

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 04:08 PM

Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback so far! I'm so glad you pointed out the muddy stakes at the end of the description. Revision is below, edits made in red. The edit in the first paragraph was to eliminate some repetition of the word "throne". Does the last line pack enough punch to make her choice less obvious? (She definitely should not and does not side with cult haha)

---------

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a mere woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of calculating Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. All Kianna must do is make a blood sacrifice by her own hand, and she could be one too.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

I agree with Sataris's comments above. I also like 'ruthless' instead of 'calculating' but only if that's what fits them. This is still a really good query. I wonder who she'd have to sacrifice though and if telling us would make the query stronger? 



#8 KET Writes

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

Hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback so far! I'm so glad you pointed out the muddy stakes at the end of the description. Revision is below, edits made in red. The edit in the first paragraph was to eliminate some repetition of the word "throne". Does the last line pack enough punch to make her choice less obvious? (She definitely should not and does not side with cult haha)

---------

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a mere IMO  the word "mere" is redundant. It is obvious they think less of women as it is, since they would never allow her to rule the kingdom. woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, Just to clarify, can only men shapeshift? When you say the blood runs her veins, I think she can shapeshift too, but then you say she can't take to the sky, I think she can't. but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of calculating Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over. Since your query is nice and short, it couldn't hurt to stick in a few words as to how Alun demonstrates this. What does he do specifically to win her over?

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. All Kianna must do is make a blood sacrifice by her own hand, and she could be one too. This super interesting, and I can make the jump and understand what this might mean. A, she has to kill someone, B, if she can be a dragon, she will be respected as a monarch in her own right, and C, if she is a monarch in her own right, she really doesn't even need to marry another a dragon, so where does that leave her and Alun, and C, will she still be respected if she as to make a blood sacrifice? I Don't know if these points are in your story or not, they are just the places that I guess the story might be going. The agent might not be willing to take the time to jump to some of these conclusions so you might need to spell out some of the conflicts Kianna will need to face.  Does this make sense? 

 

Even though the story/plot/everything is COMPLETELY different, I'm getting some vibes from Hawksong and Snakecharm by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, (Two of my faves book). Maybe it's the shapeshifters part.  

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

Schedule

 

Your story sounds great, and definitely like something I'd love to read! The I think the stakes/conflict needs to be outlined a bit more. Like what does Kianna risk losing if she makes the sacrifice and becomes a dragon. At face value, we're like awesome, yeah she has to kill someone, but that solves her problem! So we want to know where the conflict lies, is it the morality of it? how people will see her if she kills? Is it WHO she has to kill? Specifying where the tension will come from will help shine light on where the story is going. 

 

Best of luck!

Schedule


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my YA Urban Fantasy Query !

 


#9 jennafyre

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 10:44 AM

Okay, I feel pretty good about this revision. After thinking about it I realized that Kianna having to make a sacrifice isn't really what's at stake (the victim in question is a bad guy, so its not that hard a choice). What's really at stake is the murders that have already occurred, her fiance's involvement with the cult, and the scary future the cult's god envisions. All these bad things have happened, but her first instinct is still to say yes. That internal struggle is the real battle. Revision below.

----

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows that the cult has sacrificed innocent people, that her own fiance may have been involved with these murders. She knows this old god wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshipped. Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.


Liked my feedback? I'm actively seeking advice on my query


#10 KET Writes

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:36 PM

Schedule

 

Okay, I feel pretty good about this revision. After thinking about it I realized that Kianna having to make a sacrifice isn't really what's at stake (the victim in question is a bad guy, so its not that hard a choice). What's really at stake is the murders that have already occurred, her fiance's involvement with the cult, and the scary future the cult's god envisions. All these bad things have happened, but her first instinct is still to say yes. That internal struggle is the real battle. Revision below.

----

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select the men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming The words "forced" and "charming" have me a bit confused. Because if he's charming, how hard would she have to be forced. outlier in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over. I get from a story perspective what's happening, but I'm a bit confused by the order we're receiving the information.  I don't think you need the "to do so for love?" part, because in the order we're reading the query it seems like a strange jump, from "forced" to "charming" to "marry for love", all without much context.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to hold the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows that the cult has sacrificed innocent people, that her own fiance may have been involved with these murders. ​How does she know this? Did she know this during the courtship, or does she discover it? She knows this old god wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshipped. Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

 

 

I can see the progress! I would look at where you could do a little bit of showing vs telling. Like I how does she know her fiancé is involved with the murders? Does she stumble across something? Does he tell her? Same with her fiancé in general. I'd like to see why he's so charming and sincere. What does he do or say that makes her feel this way? 

Schedule


If my feedback was helpful, I'd appreciate some thoughts on my YA Urban Fantasy Query !

 


#11 PureZhar3

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 04:55 PM

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over. I'm not super fond of the whole 'to do so for love? Too ridiculous...' bit - I think it could be cut and you would keep flow better

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to holds  It could be me, but surrounding words (like legend, "he says") make the claim part self-evident the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows that the cult has sacrificed innocent people, that her own fiance may have been involved with these murders. I can feel tension trying to break through right here, but it's too general for me to feel it. She knows this old god wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshiped (there's just one s). Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

 

Much better - keep up the good work. You're almost there!


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#12 Queen of my backyard

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 01:06 PM

Okay, I feel pretty good about this revision. After thinking about it I realized that Kianna having to make a sacrifice isn't really what's at stake (the victim in question is a bad guy, so its not that hard a choice). What's really at stake is the murders that have already occurred, her fiance's involvement with the cult, and the scary future the cult's god envisions. All these bad things have happened, but her first instinct is still to say yes. That internal struggle is the real battle. Revision below.

----

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select (I'm not sure why you added "select" to this version but it made me stumble and ask how are they selected? I liked the wording in earlier versions better here.) men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier (I don't understand the significance of him being an outlier as it's written. It actually seems counter-intuitive. If her father is the king and his near death experience prompted him to force her into marriage, presumably to ensure some rule of succession is adhered to in the event another attempt proves successful???... then wouldn't he want her in a courtship with one of the main dudes, not an outlier? Or are you implying that he was the best option out of a group of lousy choices given all the nobles are pretty much power-hungry jerks who would do anything to get their hands on the throne?) in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising rises in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to holds the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that long ago once, men were not the only dragons. A ––and Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows discovers that the cult has sacrificed innocent people, and that her own fiance may have been involved with these the murders (insert how she discovers/learns). She knows this old god (old god sounds a little flat. Can you use ancient?) wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshipped. Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

This is getting closer but it's not clear (to me at least... maybe I'm in the minority here) that the deity's plans for a new order are sinister. If the deity is offering to make her a female Drachri, then we still assume it's a good thing for the MC... and we still don't have any idea how her choice of whether or not to get her own wings affects her relationship with the noble. We need to understand more fully what the consequences are if she chooses A or B and how that ties into her marriage (since you've introduced it).


If you found my comments helpful, please consider critiquing my query at http://agentquerycon...fantasyrevised/


#13 VSChapman

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 01:26 PM

Okay, I feel pretty good about this revision. After thinking about it I realized that Kianna having to make a sacrifice isn't really what's at stake (the victim in question is a bad guy, so its not that hard a choice). What's really at stake is the murders that have already occurred, her fiance's involvement with the cult, and the scary future the cult's god envisions. All these bad things have happened, but her first instinct is still to say yes. That internal struggle is the real battle. Revision below.

----

Princess Kianna is the sole heir to a throne she cannot inherit. The Drachri—select (I also think this is better without) men who shapeshift at will into flying, fire-breathing dragons—would never allow a woman to rule the kingdom. The blood of the sky runs in Kianna’s veins, but since she can’t take to the air herself, she must marry a dragon, or give up her claim to the throne of Albyn entirely.

 

When Kianna’s father, the Dragon King, narrowly survives an assassination attempt, she is forced into a courtship with Alun, a charming outlier in the pool of ruthless Drachri nobles. The prospect of marriage has always been unappealing to Kianna, and to do so for love? Too ridiculous to even consider; but Alun’s honesty, affection, and sincerity win her over.

 

As their marriage approaches, a powerful cult is rising rises in Albyn. Their deity, a monster steeped in legend and darkness, claims to holds the power to grant women the gift of flight. He says that once, men were not the only dragons. And Kianna could be one too.

 

She knows that discovers the cult has sacrificed innocent people, and that her own fiance may have been involved with these murders. She knows this old god wants to establish a new order in which Drachri don’t just rule, but are worshipped. Yet when the choice to take flight on wings of her own is offered, Kianna isn’t sure that she’ll say no.

 

WINGS OF DAWN is an upper-YA Fantasy novel, complete at 98,000 words. It combines the bright, female voice and magical elements of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED with the dragon rich lore of Anne McCaffrey’s PERN.

I think this is a great query. Just clean up some words and it'll flow a little smoother. But I wouldn't change much and personally, I don't think you need to answer any more questions. I feel like you've told us everything we need to know in a query. But that's just me. ;)  Good luck!







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