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Persephone's Waltz Fantasy (will return critique)


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#1 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:40 PM

Latest version HERE.

 

 

PERSEPHONE’S WALTZ—SYNOPSIS

 

Holy Maiden YSABEL has only four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which kills her first: her healing ability which takes a day off her life every time she uses it or the Council of Patriarchs who plan to sacrifice her in a ritual to obtain immortality when she turns twenty-five. Ysabel has made her peace with her fate and uses the political influence it brings her as leverage to obtain political rights for women and protect the halfling refugees camping outside her city. Although by “made peace” she means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget. She also suffers from face-blindness and anxiety attacks.

 

Then Dark Lord KAINE arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her clinic, fleeing an assassination attempt by Patriarch JIOH. Ysabel sneaks him out of the city so he can stop his army from attacking her city. Before leaving, Kaine tells her he owes her a great debt which he vows to repay.

 

The next she hears of him, he’s got an army outside the Holy City Arahasnor and is demanding the patriarchs turn her over to him. The council sells her out like cheese about to expire. Still traumatized by the last clichéd dark lord who tried to carry her off, Ysabel hides a knife in her hair and plans to save herself.

 

After narrowly avoided being stabbed, Kaine explains he did it to save her life after he discovered that the council and their leader JIOH plan to kill her and have bound her with a magical oath not to escape. It definitely wasn’t a dreadful attempt at kidnapping equal love! Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man who uses Bodymodifiers.

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to let him try to free her from her geas. The plan is to win World Game, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six wizard-warriors. The world leaders are magically bound to abide by the outcomes. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities and makes him a favorite to win. Ysabel has the first team made of women and led by her best friend, Humanity’s Strongest Wizard-Warrior ALZIRA, who can control meteors. However, she’s been too scared to compete ever since the patriarchs threatened to murder all her friends if she tried, and it takes reassurance from them to find the courage she’s been suppressing.

 

Ysabel and Kaine’s teams meet in the finals and fight to a draw. When Kaine is injured, Ysabel admits her love for him. Now she’s been freed of her oath and become the new head of the council by defeating all the patriarchs, all seems well. In a vicious twist, Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers who takes over the city. Imprisoning Ysabel’s friends, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine.

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her. Kaine breaks into the city to save her too despite her earlier attempt to chase him off. He fights Jioh despite his magic not working and is fatally injured while killing the lich. He refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she is already close to the end of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she tries to heal him, he uses his ability to steal her cursed gift, while she tries to stop him because she doesn’t want him to end up with her curse.

 

The result of their clash of wills is that Ysabel’s life is restored but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Ysabel continues to heal people, but from Kaine, she’s gained the power to take a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom. In the very last scene, she overhears two kitchen maids telling the story of how the dark lord abducted the holy maiden. They’re both under the illusion that Kaine is the dominant one in the relationship, although actually he’s submissive by nature, as is revealed when Ysabel heads back to her room. But she no longer cares what others think of her and is content with her new life.



#2 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 04:28 PM

Holy Maiden YSABEL has only four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which will kill her first: her healing ability which subtracts a day off her life every time she uses it or the Council of Cardinals who plan to sacrifice her in a ritual to obtain immortality when she turns twenty-five. Ysabel has made her peace with her fate and uses the political influence it brings her as leverage to obtain political rights for women and protect the halfling refugees camping outside her city. Although by “made peace” she means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget.

 

Then Dark Lord KAINE arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her healing clinic. He’s fleeing assassins sent by the head of the council, Cardinal JIOH. Though his nation has an old enmity with hers, Ysabel sneaks him out of the city because his death would mean war. Before leaving, Kaine tells her he owes her a great debt which he vows to repay.

 

The next she hears of him, he’s got an army outside the Holy City Arahasnor and is demanding the cardinals turn her over to him. The council sells her out like cheese about to expire. Still traumatized by the last clichéd dark lord who tried to carry her off, Ysabel hides a knife in her hair and plans to save herself.

 

After narrowly avoided being stabbed, Kaine explains he did it to save her life after he discovered that the council and Jioh have bound her with a magical oath not to escape their plot to kill her. It definitely wasn’t because he fell in love at first sight whatever the bards might claim! Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man who uses Bodymodifiers.

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to let him try to help her. The plan is to win World Games, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six Magiknights. The world leaders are magically bound to abide by the outcomes. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities, making him a favorite to win and thus a perpetual assassination target. Ysabel has the first team made of women, but she’s been too scared to compete ever since the cardinals threatened to murder all her friends if she tried. It takes reassurance from them to find her courage. Kaine has his own reasons for fighting—to obtain legitimacy for his nation, removing their trade embargo and his “dark lord” status. While dodging assassins, they also collect blackmail material in order to force the cardinals to wager Ysabel’s life on the Games.

 

When Kaine is injured in the finals, Ysabel admits her love for him. Now she’s been freed of her oath and become the new head of the council by defeating all the cardinals, all seems well. Until Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers who takes over the city. Taking Ysabel’s friends hostage, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine.

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her. Kaine breaks into the city to save her too despite her earlier attempt to chase him off. He fights Jioh despite his magic not working and is fatally injured while killing the undead wizard. He refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she is already close to the end of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she tries to heal him, he uses his ability to steal her cursed gift, while she tries to stop him because she doesn’t want him to end up with her curse.

 

The result of their clash of wills: Ysabel’s life is restored but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Ysabel continues to heal people, but now she can use a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom. In the very last scene, she overhears two kitchen maids telling the story of how the dark lord abducted the holy maiden. They’re both under the illusion that Kaine is the dominant one in the relationship, although actually he’s submissive by nature, as is revealed when Ysabel heads back to her room. But she no longer cares what others think of her and is content with her new life.



#3 hermitage

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 10:51 PM

Holy Maiden YSABEL has only four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which will kill her first: her healing ability which subtracts a day off her life every time she uses it comma or the Council of Cardinals who plan to sacrifice her in a ritual to obtain immortality when she turns twenty-five. Ysabel has made her peace with her fate and uses the political influence it brings her as leverage to obtain political  word echo rights for women and protect the halfling refugees camping outside her city. Although by “made peace” I don't love this segue she means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget. with whom? is it possible to give these a slightly more evocative description? 

 

Then Dark Lord KAINE Does he absolutely have to be called a Dark Lord? That is a bit of a cliche, with a bunch of preset connotations, which don't seem to match what you have in mind exactly. LINK arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her healing clinic. He’s fleeing assassins sent by the head of the council Council with a capital C, Cardinal JIOH. Though his nation has an old enmity with hers, Ysabel sneaks him out of the city because his death would mean war. Before leaving, Kaine tells her he owes her a great debt which he vows to repay.

 

The next she hears of him, he’s got an army outside the Holy City Arahasnor and is demanding the cardinals turn her over to him. The council sells her out like cheese about to expire. This kind of voice is fine in general I bet, but is it maybe a little inconsistent with your tone above? Maybe you want more of this rather than less, but I'm just saying it feels a little uneven so far. Also, to "sell someone out" usually means to betray them. Is she being betrayed here, or let off the hook? Still traumatized by the last clichéd dark lord who tried to carry her off, Ysabel hides a knife in her hair and plans to save herself.

 

After narrowly avoided being stabbed, Kaine explains he did it to save her life well yeah, I figured that out. after he discovered that the council and Jioh have bound her with a magical oath not to escape their plot to kill her. It definitely wasn’t because he fell in love at first sight comma whatever the bards might claim! Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man who uses Bodymodifiers. okay, cool; didn't see that coming

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to let him try to help her. At this point right here I'm not sure what her predicament is... is it the healing power that's killing her? The plan is to win World Games, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six Magiknights. The world leaders are magically bound to abide by the outcomes. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities, making him a favorite to win and thus a perpetual assassination target. Ysabel has the first team made of women, her team is separate from his? at this point I'm feeling increasingly confused. but she’s been too scared to compete ever since the cardinals threatened to murder all her friends if she tried. It takes reassurance from them to find her courage. Kaine has his own reasons for fighting—to obtain legitimacy for his nation, removing their trade embargo and his “dark lord” status. I don't know what this means in your story. While dodging assassins, they also collect blackmail material in order to force the cardinals to wager Ysabel’s life on the Games.

 

When Kaine is injured in the finals, Ysabel admits her love for him. Now she’s been freed of her oath and become the new head of the council by defeating all the cardinals, wait, when did that happen? pacing of the action feels uneven all seems well. Until Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers who takes over the city. Taking Ysabel’s friends hostage, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine.

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her. Kaine breaks into the city to save her too despite her earlier attempt to chase him off. He fights Jioh despite his magic not working and is fatally injured while killing the undead wizard. He refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she is already close to the end of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she tries to heal him, he uses his ability to steal her cursed gift, while she tries to stop him because she doesn’t want him to end up with her curse.

 

The result of their clash of wills: Ysabel’s life is restored but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Ysabel continues to heal people, but now she can use a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom. In the very last scene, she overhears two kitchen maids telling the story of how the dark lord abducted the holy maiden. They’re both under the illusion that Kaine is the dominant one in the relationship, although actually he’s submissive by nature, as is revealed revealed how? can you be more concrete and direct here? when Ysabel heads back to her room. But she no longer cares what others think of her and is content with her new life.

 

Okay, so this is a lively story, which sounds pretty fun! I feel like the synopsis could probably use some work though?

 

First, aren't they supposed to be more like 500 words? This one is 747. I bet you could take out quite a lot of the extra details and focus on making the truly essential plot developments feel less rushed and more clear to the reader. 

 

I for one like the dominatrix stuff, though, and wouldn't edit that out if I were you. Maybe you could make it a little more concrete, though.

 

Also, why the title? Just curious. 

 

Your turn. :-) http://agentquerycon...-adult-fantasy/



#4 eric balson

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 05:10 AM

Holy Maiden YSABEL has only four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which will kill her first: her healing ability which subtracts a day off her life every time she uses it or the Council of Cardinals who plan to sacrifice her in a ritual to obtain immortality when she turns twenty-five. Ysabel has made her peace with her fate and uses the political influence it brings her as leverage to obtain political rights for women and protect the halfling refugees camping outside her city. Although by “made peace” she means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget.

 

Then Dark Lord KAINE arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her healing clinic. He’s fleeing assassins sent by the head of the council, Cardinal JIOH. Though his nation has an old enmity with hers, Ysabel sneaks him out of the city because his death would mean war. Before leaving, Kaine tells her he owes her a great debt which he vows to repay.

 

The next she hears of him, he’s got an army outside the Holy City Arahasnor and is demanding the cardinals turn her over to him. The council sells her out like cheese about to expire This phrase isn't the best. I'd suggest replacing cheese with a similar food that appears in your story's world. Still traumatized by the last clichéd Isn't it the same "cliched" dark lord? Also, consider replacing cliched with another word, or rewrite the whole sentence dark lord who tried to carry her off, Ysabel hides a knife in her hair and plans to save herself.

 

After narrowly avoided being stabbed, Kaine explains he did it to save her life after he discovered that the council and Jioh have bound her with a magical oath not to escape their plot to kill her. It definitely wasn’t because he fell in love at first sight whatever the bards might claim! This sentence , and some preceding ones, makes it seem like the story is humurous in tone. If not, I suggest you cut out this line, it only brings out inconsistency in tone and voice Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man who uses Bodymodifiers.

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to let him try to help her. The plan is to win World Games, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six Magiknights. The world leaders are magically bound to abide by the outcomes. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities, making him a favorite to win and thus a perpetual assassination target. Ysabel has the first team made of women, but she’s been too scared to compete ever since the cardinals threatened to murder all her friends if she tried. It takes reassurance from them to find her courage. Kaine has his own reasons for fighting—to obtain legitimacy for his nation, removing their trade embargo and his “dark lord” status. While dodging assassins, they also collect blackmail material in order to force the cardinals to wager Ysabel’s life on the Games.

 

When Kaine is injured in the finals, Ysabel admits her love for him. Now that she’s been freed of her oath and become the new head of the council by defeating all the cardinals, all seems well This sentence sounds off. Until Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers who takes over the city. Taking Ysabel’s friends hostage, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine Really? That's all he does to her? Force her to reject her love interest. I'm thinking, considering Jioh hates Ysabel's guts for, you know usurping her, his retaliation would be a lot more severe.

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her. Kaine breaks into the city to save her too despite her earlier attempt to chase him off. He fights Jioh despite his magic not working and is fatally injured while killing the undead wizard. He refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she is already close to the end of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she tries to heal him, he uses his ability to steal her cursed gift, while she tries to stop him because she doesn’t want him to end up with her curse. I'm having a hard time figuring out the last part of this sentence.

 

The result of their clash of wills: Ysabel’s life is restored but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Ysabel continues to heal people, but now she can use a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom. I think you should do away with this entire paragraph, it doesn't add anything to your synopsis. In the very last scene, she overhears two kitchen maids telling the story of how the dark lord abducted the holy maiden. They’re both under the illusion that Kaine is the dominant one in the relationship, although actually he’s submissive by nature, as is revealed when Ysabel heads back to her room. But she no longer cares what others think of her and is content with her new life.

 

Final thoughts: If I'm being honest, the story is muddled and a bit all over the place. It was hard for me to figure out what your story is actually about.

Hope I've been of help. Please take a look at my query here (post#3):

http://agentquerycon...is/#entry358264



#5 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 05:04 PM

Holy Maiden YSABEL has four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which will kill her first: her healing power which subtracts a day off her life every time she uses it, or the Council of Cardinals who plan to ritually sacrifice her to obtain immortality. Ysabel uses her holy position to obtain rights for women and protect the halflings camping outside her city. She feels responsible for the refugees because she killed their leader, a dark lord who tried to kidnap her. She’s made peace with her fate—which means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget.

 

Then the new Dark Lord KAINE arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her healing clinic. He’s fleeing assassins sent by the head of the council, Cardinal JIOH. Despite her mistrust, Ysabel sneaks him out of the city to prevent a war. Before leaving, Kaine vows to repay her.

 

He returns to the Holy City with an army and demands the cardinals turn her over. The council immediately sells her out. After narrowly avoiding being stabbed by Ysabel, Kaine explains he acted the part of a kidnapper after discovering Jioh’s plot to kill her and the magical oath that prevents her from running away. It definitely wasn’t because he fell in love at first sight, whatever the bards might claim! Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man.

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to take a risk: enter the World Games, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six Magiknights. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities, making him the favorite and a perpetual assassination target. Ysabel has already gathered the first team made of women, but she’s been too scared to compete ever since the cardinals threatened to murder them all if she tried. Her best friend and team captain helps her find her courage. Kaine has his own reasons for fighting—to obtain legitimacy for his nation, removing their trade embargo and his “dark lord” status. Between dodging assassins, they finally collect enough blackmail material to force Cardinal Jioh to wager Ysabel’s life on the Games.

 

Several of Kaine’s people are taken hostage and barely rescued in time for him to make it to the Games stadium. When Kaine is injured in the finals, Ysabel admits her love for him. Their team’s victory ends the threat to sacrifice her. After tossing Jioh in jail, she believes she’s won her happy ending. Until Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers and conquers the city. By taking Ysabel’s friends hostage, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine and send him away.

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her from being sacrificed. Kaine returns to save her too, despite a spell disabling his magic. Though he kills Jioh, their battle leaves him fatally injured. Kaine refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she has already used up most of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she forces healing on him, he tries to steal her cursed gift, which would lead to him dying in her place.

 

It becomes a battle of wills between their magic. As a result, Ysabel’s lifespan is restored, but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Ysabel continues to heal people, but now she can use a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom, where she no longer feels pressured to fake a submissive personality.



#6 Dollophead

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:03 PM

Holy Maiden YSABEL has four months and three weeks to live. It’s a race to see which will kill her first: her healing power which subtracts a day off her life every time she uses it, or the Council of Cardinals who plan to ritually sacrifice her to obtain immortality. Ysabel uses her holy position to obtain rights for women and protect the halflings camping outside her city. She feels responsible for the refugees what refugees? because she killed their leader, a dark lord who tried to kidnap her. why would he try to kidnap her? She’s made peace with her fate—which means she indulges in recreational drugs and dominatrix games to forget. Mm this last sentence feels disconnected from the rest of the paragraph. Maybe put it somewhere after her "four months and three weeks to live"?

 

Then the new Dark Lord (why's Dark Lord capitalized here but not up there? ^) KAINE arrives half-dead at the doorstep of her healing clinic. He’s fleeing assassins sent by the head of the council, Cardinal JIOH. What's the beef between their countries? Also is Kaine a halfling? LOL Despite her mistrust, Ysabel sneaks him out of the city to prevent a war. Before leaving, Kaine vows to repay her. Why would he go to HER house? she killed the last dark lord...

 

He returns to the Holy City with an army and demands the cardinals turn her over. The council immediately sells her out. After narrowly avoiding being stabbed by Ysabel, Kaine explains he acted the part of a kidnapper (doesn't she already know he's there to repay her?) after discovering Jioh’s plot to kill her and the magical oath that prevents her from running away. It definitely wasn’t because he fell in love at first sight, whatever the bards (what bards) might claim! Although, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t have any feelings for her…enough to entrust her with his greatest secret, that he’s a trans man. Maybe it's just me but the word "trans" might be too...idk, modern? and it sticks out in your fantasy old world narration. What about "he was born a female" or "he changed from his birth gender with magic" or something?

 

COOL STORY. I would definitely read it :D

 

Ysabel has become accustomed to giving up and sacrificing herself, but Kaine persuades her to take a risk: enter the World Games, a proxy war where nations compete for territory and money using teams of six Magiknights. Kaine’s gift, Plunder, allows him to steal other’s abilities, making him the favorite and a perpetual assassination target. Ysabel has already gathered the first team made of women, but she’s been too scared to compete ever since the cardinals (what influence & power do they have in Kaine's domain?) threatened to murder them all if she tried. Her best friend and team captain helps her find her courage. This girl just comes out of nowhere--do you really need her in your synopsis? Kaine has his own reasons for fighting—to obtain legitimacy for his nation, removing their trade embargo and his “dark lord” status. Why did he become a dark lord if he doesn't wanna be one? Between dodging assassins, they finally collect enough blackmail material to force Cardinal Jioh to wager Ysabel’s life on the Games. Can you clarify a little? Didn't he WANT her to die? Why do they have to force him? What's he wagering for/against?

 

[Several of Kaine’s people are taken hostage and barely rescued in time for him to make it to the Games stadium.] This sentence is disconnected from the others. What's the significance and how does it lead into --> When Kaine is injured in the finals, Ysabel admits her love for him. Their team’s victory ends the threat to sacrifice her So...was she ever in any real danger?. After tossing Jioh in jail, she believes she’s won her happy ending--until Jioh reveals himself to be a former dark lord with necromantic powers and conquers the city he wasn't in charge of the city already? also I thought he wanted immortality not power/control?. By taking Ysabel’s friends hostage, he forces her to cruelly reject Kaine and send him away. Why does he care? Does he like her too?

 

An army of the dead?! Cardinal Jioh is a REALLY COOL VILLAIN

 

Ysabel’s teammates break out of jail and come to save her from being sacrificed. Kaine returns to save her too, despite a spell disabling his magic who put it on him?. Though he kills Jioh awww, their battle leaves him fatally injured. Kaine refuses to let Ysabel heal him because she has already used up most of her lifespan, despite her pleas. When she forces healing on him, he tries to steal her cursed gift, which would lead to him dying in her place. What a gentleman :_)

 

It becomes a battle of wills between their magic. As a result, Ysabel’s lifespan is restored, but Kaine loses his ability to steal magic. Nice. Ysabel continues to heal people, but now she can use a day of the patient’s life instead of her own. Oooh I like it She marries Kaine and moves back to his kingdom did he get legitimacy, get rid of his embargo, and remove his dark lord status?, where she no longer feels pressured to fake a submissive personality.






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