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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Query critique: YA Fantasy

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message 1: by Rachel (last edited Jan 21, 2017 08:26AM) (new)

Rachel Thyssen (rachelthijssen) | 121 comments (Version 2)
Hi,

I'd love to get some help to improve my query. Any tips and advice is appreciated! :)

Query:

Dear (agent),

Seventeen-year old Dalila Bau chooses to take her brother’s place in the long-lasting war between the two countries of Medea and Kash.

Her brother gave up on warfare long ago to start a family. If he were to go to war, he’d leave behind his wife and unborn child.

Unfortunately, if Dalila will be executed if she’s discovered as the women of Medea are not allowed to fight.

Also, she lacks her brother’s military education and experience. So when General and Crown Prince Kazim shows interest in her as her brother, she has trouble keeping up her disguise. Despite this, Dalila and Kazim get along while training and the two develop a powerful friendship.

During a heated battle, Dalila finds out she has the gift of magic. She helps her fellow soldiers escape from the enemy’s grasp.

When Kazim is killed, Dalila faces a difficult choice. The God of Death wants to strike a deal: Dalila kills the King of Kash and ends the war, and the god will return prince Kazim to the living.

If the prince doesn't return, Medea will lose the war. And Dalila is desperate to get her friend back.

Armed with her new abilities, Dalila needs to end the war and save the prince, or else her country and loved ones will perish.

THE GIRL IN MAN’S ARMOR (85.000) is a YA fantasy retelling of MULAN, which fans of POISON STUDY and AN EMBER IN THE ASHES might enjoy as well.

A few years ago, I published two middle-grade books with a small, independent publisher. Both were nominated by the publisher as best of the year and my second book placed in the top three.
THE GIRL IN MAN’S ARMOR is my fifth novel, second in the genre of Young Adult.

Thank you for your consideration,


Rachel.


message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I feel I can see the story, but I'm not grabbed by your description. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I don't feel energized, I feel lacklustre.

Regarding the bit about mental illness... Others may feel different, but since the story doesn't feel like it specifically addresses mental illness, I don't feel like it adds and is just a distraction.

I noticed you were looking for CPs. Mine didn't look like a fit so I didn't say anything, but I could take a look at your first few chapters of this story and see if I can offer some suggestions for energizing your query. PM me if you're interested.


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Thyssen (rachelthijssen) | 121 comments Keith wrote: "I feel I can see the story, but I'm not grabbed by your description. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I don't feel energized, I feel lacklustre.

Regarding the bit about mental illness... Other..."


Thanks for your comment. Although I'm not sure how to grab you with my description as a query is supposed to be short. Lol.

And you have a point. The story doesn't focus on mental illness and such.

Thanks,

Rachel


message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments All the more important for the query to be energizing!

I'll take a stab at it and post back in a few minutes...


message 5: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I combined what you have above with what I found at Inkitt:


Teenage Dalia chooses to replace her older brother when he's called back into war. She loves him too much to allow him to leave his wife and unborn child.

There is a wrinkle, though. Not only does Dalia lack any of her brother's military education and experience, but if she's discovered she'll be executed!

During a heated battle, Dalia discovers she can do magic. In helping her fellow soldiers escape, she comes to the attention of Crown Prince Kazim. Dalia and Kazim develop a powerful frienship.

When Kazim is killed, Dalia is offered a difficult choice. The God of Death will return Kazim to the living if Dalia will kill the King of Kash, the country Kazim is fighting against.

Can Dalia successfully assassinate the King of Kash and get Kazim back?


Take as much or as little as you like, perhaps my effort will inspire other ideas.


message 6: by Rachel (last edited Jan 21, 2017 08:27AM) (new)

Rachel Thyssen (rachelthijssen) | 121 comments Keith wrote: "I combined what you have above with what I found at Inkitt:


Teenage Dalia chooses to replace her older brother when he's called back into war. She loves him too much to allow him to leave his wif..."


Thanks for the help. And it's Dalila, btw. Many people get that wrong ;)

I just changed the query :)


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