I've been starting to query some agents with my manuscript and have been billing is as YA Fantasy, but I'm not actually sure if that's the right age demographic. I've been going off of the ages of the characters, but even there it's a little fuzzy.
A little about the story:
There are two main POV characters: David, who is 17 and Ajax, who is 20. Their stories take place 1,000 years apart from each other and each have their own separate plot.
David's story is almost a thriller in structure. He stumbles onto a private conversation between a powerful lord and the High Priest and is caught. In an attempt to avoid getting killed by the lord, he tries to find out more about what he overheard and why it was worth killing over. There are dark themes of murder and abuse of power, but David as a character is fairly naive.
Ajax's story is more of a traditional adventure fantasy. He is the son of a powerful lord who gets rescued by the assassin sent to kill him, an 18-year-old girl named Rosie. They start off on the run from Rosie's boss, who has been trying to take over the world, but end up trying to fight against him. There are, again, dark themes of murder and abuse of power, as well as Rosie's account of the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that her boss used on both her and others. If it's YA, it is definitely on the upper-est-end of it.
In the end, the stories and the way that they interconnect are about the importance of history, and all the ways that the past (even the very distant past) affects the present in ways we could never fully realize. After reading some of the other posts on this forum, I think that that would lean it more towards Adult, since it's not as much about the characters growing into their own or developing relationships with each other. But I've also been told that the beginning reads more YA.
Lastly, the book is 117,000 words, which would be a comfortable length for an Adult Fantasy but be about 27,000 words too long for YA. Hence another part of the dilemma, because if it's YA, I need to really cut it down.
Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!