Note: I didn't not read former renditions/critiques so as to come at it fresh. If you've already addressed a point in the comments and I missed it making points here redundant, apologies :)
When the King kills himself in his throne, he leaves behind his mute daughter, Lux, who inherits the cursed Kingdom of Nightling. In Nightling, the sun never shines, the snow never stops falling, and the vagrants who seek refuge are
soon driven mad (by the cold that never ceases and the darkness that never ends.) this bit is good imagery, but repetitive on the heels of "sun never shines... etc bit)
After seventeen years of ill-treatment by her vicious father and traitorous vagrants I'm having a hard time undertanding why vagrants would come to a land of "dark, cold, madness" and once they're there, why are they even in contact with this princess?, Lux has learned ( seen you're from Australia/ New Zealand, so this edit will be wholly dependent on where you're sending your query :) to despise every human who comes knocking at the iron gate of Nightling
hides behind. Alone in the dark, Lux’s days are made bearable because of by her beloved animals: Her an adoring wolf, Leod, who gave her his heart when no one else did would, and her a cherished crow, Avalon, who lent her his voice, because she was robbed of her own.
When Leod and Avalon go missing, Lux finds a note pinned to her castle door: If you do not leave Nightling by morning, I will kill the wolf and crow. Here I might just give the gist of the note "a note threatening her companions lives if she doesn't leave Nightling" istead of the direct wording.
For Lux, a lifetime spent in familiar darkness is far easier than having to step outside and face the light for the first time. If she leaves Nightling to find Leod and Avalon, she will have to navigate a frightening new world without her animals to protect and speak for her. But if she doesn't
not leave, she will spend a lifetime in a cursed kingdom of darkness without the crow who has her voice, and the wolf who has her heart.
Right now I'm not sure why she wouldn't want to leave Nightling, or exactly why it's cursed. I do understand the stakes, but there isn't enough drama/suspense/danger to really make me wonder what's going to happen. I have no clear "bad guy" to root against, nor does it seem like a huge sacrifice to leave a dark/cold/miserable existence. I think what's happening is you're too close to your story, so as you write your query you're filling in the excluded info in your head and it makes sense, but you have to remember that your reader can makes small guesses, but we're basically clueless to everything except what you're telling us (which is good, if we can figure it out that means the story to trite/ unoriginal). If you've had any beta readers I'd ask them to outline the three most important things about your novel (if not do it yourself). You need to be able to explain in a concise and interesting way what Lux wants (to get her animals back/safe), what's stopping her (unsure), and what the stakes are if she doesn't (having the animals be gone isn't really enough, you need an obvious catastrophe)
Hope this helps :)
I'd love feedback on my inquiry if you are able, thanks!http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/38524-agents-of-balance-ya-fantasy-last-revision-before-initial-inquiries/?p=353277