Heya, welcome to the site! As a high fantasy writer, I can totally dig trying to debut with an epic fantasy piece. Makes the wizards in my heart smile =D
I am currently seeking representation for
my novel, entitled FIRE WITHIN, an epic fantasy for adults told from multiple points of view. It is set beneath the two-mooned sky of the Taroshian Empire, a world whose magic is hidden in the lining I have no idea what this means, I think it detracts rather than adds, and will appeal to readers of FATEMARKED, AMONG THIEVES and WE RIDE THE STORM.
the imprisoned Ivan Styles receives word that his wife and child are missing, he must postpone his own execution. I agree with other comments, it's a better hook to suggest that he might've killed his sister here. The reader immediately wonders why he was imprisoned, and it's never answered throughout the rest of the query. A better hook that incorperates both ideas might be something like, "Ivan Styles murdered his sister in a drunken rage. At least, that's what everyone tells him." And then add to the next paragraph as thus:
When Ivan's wife and child go missing, he allies with a band of hard-headed criminals and man-eating wolfmen to break
s out of prison. Back home in Whitegarde, his lord father’s seat, the name doesn't add anything here, and we find out that his father is a lord later, so it's not necessary here he finds his wife’s house burned to the ground. The few clues he recovers from the ashes , as well as a couple of rumors, all point to her early demise.
turns to his friends of old for help. However, his That can be cut, it's basically a repetition of the same ideaacquaintances among the nobles want nothing to do with him, and even the thieves and killers of the slums are wary of helping the man best known for murdering his own sister.
and unwilling to let his wife go, he follows the few clues he has gathered and uncovers a hidden trail of half-covered-up secrets of corruption. Secrets that whisper of who really murdered his sister and what happened to his wife. The answers lie at the end of a road that leads him right back to his lord father’s castle.
If he wants to find out what happened to his wife and child, Ivan must fight the rising tide of his own reputation to unite the people against the corrupt leadership Woah, that escalated quickly! Now he's leading a rebellion? or drown in it.
Complete at 124,000 words, FIRE WITHIN is ready upon request, I have read from several different agents that they HATE it when people say "Complete at" or "the novel is ready", because if you're querying, it obviously is. It's better to say something to the effect of "______ is a novel of _______ words" yearning for a champion to take her the next step towards immortality.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
So aside from needing to be cleaned up a bit, the query flows smoothly enough, and the plot is pretty clear. I've only got three main critiques aside from those already listed
1) The stakes feel like they come out of nowhere. The whole query is about Ivan investigating, then suddenly he's leading a rebellion? I don't think it's a good idea to try to lead up to that, I'd recommend just cutting it. Fight the tide of his reputation is enough stakes, imho.
2) Magic is mentioned in your first sentence, then never talked about again, or even implied. I can see the fantasy genre in the medieval setting, but if there's other elements of magic, either add them to your query (or imply that they're there), or else remove them entirely from your query (which is probably best).
3) When reading this query, I struggle to see why the novel is unique. There's quite a few stereotypes here (Son of an evil Lord, or ruler of some kind, framed for a crime he didn't commit, wife + kids kidnapped), and the query itself feels somewhat generic to me. The main character also seems like every hero ever from reading the query. I can't say if this is because of the way your query portrays your book, or if the book itself is actually somewhat generic, but if I was an agent, I'd find myself asking the question, "what makes this different from every other medieval fantasy?"
I critique because I care. Good luck and happy writing!