Hello guys :) This is my newest project I finished a while ago. It's a historical fantasy and sort of a loose re-telling of Beauty and the Beast from Gaston's childhood. At the moment, I know it's way too long and reads more like a synopsis but I was hoping to have a bit of help to scale it down and tighten it a little to make it more query like. There's a lot in this story and I'm hoping it'll work as a query. Any help appreciate and I will return critique as always :)
Dear [Agent’s Name],
[Personalised reasons about why I’m choosing this agent].
In 1887, post-revolutionary France has entered a new age of Steam and Magic. Sixteen-year-old Gus spends his day slaving away at his brother's shipyard but all he wants is to escape. He lives in Paris, the city of dreams, but to Gus, it’s the city where dreams are shattered. One day, when he scares off a group of thieves who are targeting an old beggar-woman. In return, the old woman reads Gus his tarot-cards. Reluctant and frightened, he listens to her warning; that if he chooses mind over heart, he'll accomplish great things but at the cost of what he holds dear.
When Gus returns home, he receives tragic news: one of his brothers has died in battle. For months, soldiers have been protecting the borders. While his family grieves, Gus sees an opportunity to escape the life he’s always hated..He seeks out the regiment captain, known as the Beast, and offers to take his brother’s place but his offer is declined.
Humiliated and angry, Gus rebels and finds himself becoming friends with the same thieves that he scared off. After a failed robbery, Gus is sent to take up apprenticeship with an old watch-maker named Maurice. During his apprenticeship, he once again encounters the regiment Captain and his sister, Belle, with whom Gus immediately falls in love. Seeing his new potential, The Beast offers Gus a new chance to take his brother's place in the regiment.
Now finding himself at a crossroad, Gus has two choices: he can either choose love or follow the path of glory he's always wanted but in doing so, lose Belle forever.
A Gust of Wind, is a 80,000 word historical fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Sally Gardner’s the Red Necklace, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Christina Henry’s Lost Boy.