Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

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hagenpiper
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Re: Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

Post by hagenpiper » July 22nd, 2012, 7:07 pm

Neeku never thought he would live to see twenty-three. Though his splotchy, cuttlefish skin makes stealing easy, his mushroom city is brimming with bounty hunters, all looking for color-changing Sneaks like him.

Waking up one day, he finds his twin missing. Bounty hunters. Panicking, he hurries to save her, but fails. The queen declares the catch a good omen, a sign the gods’ approve of her daughter’s union. What better way to show thanks than by executing the Sneak abominations that mock them?

With nothing left to live for, nobody left to lose, Neeku can either slink away in his splotchy “shit-stained” skin, feeling sorry for himself, or slit the bride’s throat and share his grief – a wedding gift for the whole city. Let them watch her bleed out on the temple floor. What better way to mock the gods?

A friend warns justice doesn’t come to Sneaks, “we’re cursed if you ain’t noticed.” But for ten days, Neeku fights for it. He starts a riot, steals, suffers, spies, murders, and lies for it, only to discover that the curse has its roots, not in the gods of the mushrooms or those living atop them, but in the beast – long forgotten – imprisoned deep in the swamp below the mushrooms, where their roots still suckle his poison, infecting all with hate.

Antihero turns hero in TRAJU’S DAGGER, an epic fantasy of 167,000 words. Its pace is fast, its characters eccentric, and the action and twists should appeal to readers who prefer Joe Abercrombie over Robert Jordan.

(Or is that too much?)

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Shipple
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Re: Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

Post by Shipple » July 22nd, 2012, 8:53 pm

I got a bit confused while reading this. I think your query letter would be really improved if you introduced who Neeku a bit more clearly first.

Hmm, now I'm writing this, I see you posted a revised query letter later. I have to say, it's a big improvement. It's shorter and introduces who Neeku is much better. I think it still might be a tad long, but I understand that cutting it back can be hard. I finally see what you mean by Sneaks!

My only useful criticism of the new query is that the quotes you throw in feel a little out of place. I'm sure you were trying to throw a little of the book into the query, but I think the plot is much more moving and the quotes are so short that they don't give you a better sense of the book. I'd leave them out.
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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

Post by LurkingVirologist » July 22nd, 2012, 11:40 pm

hagenpiper wrote:Neeku never thought he would live to see twenty-three. Though his splotchy, cuttlefish skin makes stealing easy, his mushroom city is brimming with bounty hunters, all looking for color-changing Sneaks like him.

Waking up one day, he finds his twin missing. Bounty hunters. Panicking, he hurries to save her, but fails. The queen declares the catch a good omen, a sign the gods’ approve of her daughter’s union. What better way to show thanks than by executing the Sneak abominations that mock them?

With nothing left to live for, nobody left to lose, Neeku can either slink away in his splotchy “shit-stained” skin, feeling sorry for himself, or slit the bride’s throat and share his grief – a wedding gift for the whole city. Let them watch her bleed out on the temple floor. What better way to mock the gods?

A friend warns justice doesn’t come to Sneaks, “we’re cursed if you ain’t noticed.” But for ten days, Neeku fights for it. He starts a riot, steals, suffers, spies, murders, and lies for it, only to discover that the curse has its roots, not in the gods of the mushrooms or those living atop them, but in the beast – long forgotten – imprisoned deep in the swamp below the mushrooms, where their roots still suckle his poison, infecting all with hate.

Antihero turns hero in TRAJU’S DAGGER, an epic fantasy of 167,000 words. Its pace is fast, its characters eccentric, and the action and twists should appeal to readers who prefer Joe Abercrombie over Robert Jordan.

(Or is that too much?)
I like what you've added at the end. It sets up a character transformation, but leaves it ambiguous as to just how anti- our hero is going to stay, and lets us know that the story is about more than just revenge. Nice. I don't know if it's frowned upon to mention other writers as a "might appeal to" bit, though I am a big fan of Joe Abercrombie and would consider that a plus.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

hagenpiper
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Re: Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

Post by hagenpiper » July 24th, 2012, 10:12 am

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Last edited by hagenpiper on July 24th, 2012, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hagenpiper
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Re: Query: Traju's Dagger (Epic Fantasy)

Post by hagenpiper » July 24th, 2012, 4:24 pm

Her gods damned him.

Her laws consigned him to the slum.

Her bounty hunters left his body riddled with scars.

Her patrolmen had broken his nose so often it could no longer break.

And her people cheered while his sister burned, screaming his name, Neeku.

Tomorrow, the queen's daughter gets married. But there'll be no smiles when Neeku slits the bride’s throat. There’ll be no screaming when they torture him, no cheering when they throw him on the bonfire. Suffering in silence, he’ll clench the bitch’s blood in his fist and hold it high.

But it all goes wrong in TRAJU’S DAGGER, an epic fantasy set in a city atop colossal mushrooms occupied by a fungaloid race that is consumed in hate and doesn’t know why. It is 167,000 words, fast-paced, sometimes dark, sometimes light, but always gritty.

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