I am looking for someone to critique the first chapter of my new novel, The Other Side of Blood. It does not have to be in depth by any means. It is the first time I have written first person, so I am really just looking to see if I am doing OK with it. Although you are more than welcome to go into more depth if you wish. Any glaring problems, do the characters draw you in? Advice to make it better etc
The novel is set in a gunpowder fantasy realm. Below is my query letter to help you get a feel for it.
The only thing assassin Velho Vain craves more than exterminating elves, is his own death. But immortality forces him to wander the world hunting for a cure to his existence.
When twelve-year-old Brooklyn tracks Velho down and pleads for his protection, she is trailed by a storm of trouble. Brooklyn is a princess with a price on her head, one Valtienne—a deranged assassin—intends to collect. Not surprising considering she stole a map to the lost city of Elemain from the Death Queen—her step-mum. She aims to reach the city before the queen so she can safeguard its legendary gold hoards. If the queen gains Elemain, she will use it to fund the destruction of the land and her subjects in pursuit of coal; a vital ingredient in black powder and key to unchallenged rulership of the entire Central Continent.
Velho's love of money does not extend beyond the cost of cheap whiskey, but the emergence of Valtienne— Velho’s old love but now mortal enemy—has him accepting Brooklyn’s offer. Understanding Valtienne will not give up chasing Brooklyn, Velho uses her as bait in an attempt to destroy Valtienne. The plan fails, leaving Velho racked with guilt as Valtienne escapes and returns Brooklyn to the Death Queen.
Velho must now deny himself the pleasure of death’s embrace while he attempts to rescue Brooklyn. To fail is to deliver Brooklyn to death, the queen to Elemain and the Central Continent to hell.
Thanks all in advance