Synopsis Feedback

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gilesth
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Synopsis Feedback

Post by gilesth » March 15th, 2010, 9:26 am

I've re-written this synopsis a couple of times, and I can see a few problems with it, but I need another set of eyes to tell me what's really missing. Any help is appreciated, especially because I think it's too long. Thank you so much :D

Andere is in the middle of a steam-power revolution. They are on the verge of finalizing their first elected government, thanks to a decade of hard work from the Queen. They still rely on the Magi to perform many tasks, including police work, engineering, lighting the street lamps, etc.. Nicholas Benson is in Lottown, the capitol of Andere, because he occasionally has seizures that make the weather behave unnaturally. This never bothered until he accidentally created a lightning storm that killed a bully in his home town. Since Sean Sefton, a friend of the family, happens to teach at the Magi Academy, Nicholas and his parents traveled to Lottown to see if he could help.

Moments after the Bensons meet up with Mr. Sefton, a group of anti-royalists attack the Queen and one of the Prime Minister candidates. When they fail to kill the Queen, the rebels destroy Lottown’s famous Clock Tower to create a riot of panic that will mask their escape. During the chaos, Nicholas has a seizure that turns the spring rain shower into snowy windstorm. As a result of the seizure, Nicholas passes out and has a vision of a shadowy figure with an ornate dagger who is cursing the Queen for surviving the attack.
Three days later, Nicholas goes before the Magi Council and discovers that his seizures are caused by magic that is bursting out of him like water from a geyser. Nicholas is accepted into the academy under Mr. Sefton’s tutelage so that he can learn to control himself and keep his family safe. Since Nicholas’s Aunt Margaret owns an inn near the Academy, the council insist that he stay with her so that a mage can be sent to help him if he has another seizure.

To his surprise, Nicholas discovers that the Queen’s daughter, Joselyn Jameson, is also learning magic from Mr. Sefton. The pair quickly become friends, even after Nicholas has another seizure that almost burns both of them alive. As the magical attack dies down, he has another vision of the shadowed man with the fancy dagger. This time, he’s with a group of men who are planning another attack on the Queen, but before Nicholas can discover their plans, he wakes up back in Mr. Sefton’s classroom.

One evening, while Nicholas and Joselyn are practicing their magic at Aunt Margaret’s inn, Nicholas overhears a conversation between Joselyn’s uncle, the Archduke of Wellia, and the Queen’s bodyguard, Heath Steppenhue. It turns out that both men are aware of the rebels’ plans to kill the Queen. They also suspect that one of the Prime Minister candidates is involved in the plot.

Before Nicholas can find out anything more, the Archduke and Heath leave. With the Archduke away from the city, and without any visions of the rebels, Nicholas has no choice but to focus on his schooling. As soon as the Archduke returns, though, Nicholas takes every opportunity to eavesdrop on him and find out what he knows about the plot to kill his best friend’s mother. The boy is horrified when the Archduke tells Heath that he despises both Prime Minister candidates, and he plans to kill them at a Christmas Eve dinner at the palace. To prevent the elected government from taking hold, he’ll also kill the Queen and Joselyn, taking the throne for himself.

Nicholas tells Joselyn and Mr. Sefton right away. Joselyn gets angry with her friend for accusing her uncle of treason, and Mr. Sefton noncommittally agrees to keep an eye on the Archduke. Not sure if he can trust his teacher to do anything, Nicholas sneaks into the palace on Christmas Eve. He arrives in time to stop the Archduke from killing anyone. However, the Archduke has the same ornate dagger as the shadowy figure from Nicholas’s visions. Angry that his true master has been discovered as the leader of the rebels, Heath tries to kill the Queen and her candidates, but Nicholas catches him by surprise and throws him out of the palace with a blast of magical force.

Nicholas follows Heath into the palace lawns, and the moment the seasoned mage attacks the boy, Nicholas falls into another seizure. Because of his training, Nicholas manages to remain conscious as a furious blizzard surrounds the combatants. He does his best to direct the storm at Heath, withstanding the mage’s attacks until both of them are encased in ice.

One week later, Nicholas wakes up. Much to his surprise. He discovers that both the Archduke and Heath Steppenhue are awaiting their trial in prison. More importantly, Joselyn, the Queen and her candidates are all safe.

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theWallflower
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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by theWallflower » March 15th, 2010, 10:53 am

Andere is in the middle of a steam-power revolution. They are on the verge of finalizing their first elected government, thanks to a decade of hard work from the Queen. They still rely on the Magi to perform many tasks, including police work, engineering, lighting the street lamps, etc.. Nicholas Benson is in Lottown, the capitol of Andere, because he occasionally has seizures that make the weather behave unnaturally. This never bothered until he accidentally created a lightning storm that killed a bully in his home town. Since Sean Sefton, a friend of the family, happens to teach at the Magi Academy, Nicholas and his parents traveled to Lottown to see if he could help.
-2 consecutive sentences begin with the word "they"
-Who is "they"?
-Mention the country name.
-I thought Andere was a person. Say "the country of Andere". And a city is not a "they"
-Capital, not capitol
-What does Nicholas being in a certain city have to do with his seizures?
-What is meant by "unnaturally".
-"This never bothered HIM..."
-All synopsis happen in present tense.
-This paragraph jumps around. Start with the protagonist.
-It also has too much flavor of a query letter, trying to intrigue the person. Synopsis's don't do that. They are a straightforward summarization of all the events of the story. Spoilers and all.
Moments after the Bensons meet up with Mr. Sefton, a group of anti-royalists attack the Queen and one of the Prime Minister candidates. When they fail to kill the Queen, the rebels destroy Lottown’s famous Clock Tower to create a riot of panic that will mask their escape. During the chaos, Nicholas has a seizure that turns the spring rain shower into snowy windstorm. As a result of the seizure, Nicholas passes out and has a vision of a shadowy figure with an ornate dagger who is cursing the Queen for surviving the attack.
-You can just say "fail", not "fail to kill the queen"
Three days later, Nicholas goes before the Magi Council and discovers that his seizures are caused by magic that is bursting out of him like water from a geyser. Nicholas is accepted into the academy under Mr. Sefton’s tutelage so that he can learn to control himself and keep his family safe. Since Nicholas’s Aunt Margaret owns an inn near the Academy, the council insist that he stay with her so that a mage can be sent to help him if he has another seizure.
-It's kinda obvious that Nicholas's seizures are magic related.
To his surprise, Nicholas discovers that the Queen’s daughter, Joselyn Jameson, is also learning magic from Mr. Sefton. The pair quickly become friends, even after Nicholas has another seizure that almost burns both of them alive. As the magical attack dies down, he has another vision of the shadowed man with the fancy dagger. This time, he’s with a group of men who are planning another attack on the Queen, but before Nicholas can discover their plans, he wakes up back in Mr. Sefton’s classroom.
-Remove "quickly"
-You're repeating "seizure" too much
-Doesn't seem like the plot is advancing much. He sees visions, but nothing happens because of them. It makes it sound like a loop.
One evening, while Nicholas and Joselyn are practicing their magic at Aunt Margaret’s inn, Nicholas overhears a conversation between Joselyn’s uncle, the Archduke of Wellia, and the Queen’s bodyguard, Heath Steppenhue. It turns out that both men are aware of the rebels’ plans to kill the Queen. They also suspect that one of the Prime Minister candidates is involved in the plot.
-Coincidence is never a good plot point. The best scenario is having a main character act actively, not passively. Have him act, not react.
Before Nicholas can find out anything more, the Archduke and Heath leave. With the Archduke away from the city, and without any visions of the rebels, Nicholas has no choice but to focus on his schooling. As soon as the Archduke returns, though, Nicholas takes every opportunity to eavesdrop on him and find out what he knows about the plot to kill his best friend’s mother. The boy is horrified when the Archduke tells Heath that he despises both Prime Minister candidates, and he plans to kill them at a Christmas Eve dinner at the palace. To prevent the elected government from taking hold, he’ll also kill the Queen and Joselyn, taking the throne for himself.
-I have a hard time caring about this because, so far Nicholas has done nothing. At least Harry Potter took some daring risks to break into the library, and pursue a troll.
-It seems like there's a lot of talking, not a lot of doing.
Nicholas tells Joselyn and Mr. Sefton right away. Joselyn gets angry with her friend for accusing her uncle of treason, and Mr. Sefton noncommittally agrees to keep an eye on the Archduke. Not sure if he can trust his teacher to do anything, Nicholas sneaks into the palace on Christmas Eve. He arrives in time to stop the Archduke from killing anyone. However, the Archduke has the same ornate dagger as the shadowy figure from Nicholas’s visions. Angry that his true master has been discovered as the leader of the rebels, Heath tries to kill the Queen and her candidates, but Nicholas catches him by surprise and throws him out of the palace with a blast of magical force.
-Don't need "with her friend"
-"Unsure" instead of "not sure"
-Eliminate "to do anything"
-This plot seems more like a novella or novelette than a novel. There's not enough that "happens".
-Why is he suspicious of Mr. Sefton?
Nicholas follows Heath into the palace lawns, and the moment the seasoned mage attacks the boy, Nicholas falls into another seizure. Because of his training, Nicholas manages to remain conscious as a furious blizzard surrounds the combatants. He does his best to direct the storm at Heath, withstanding the mage’s attacks until both of them are encased in ice.
One week later, Nicholas wakes up. Much to his surprise. He discovers that both the Archduke and Heath Steppenhue are awaiting their trial in prison. More importantly, Joselyn, the Queen and her candidates are all safe.
-And all is right with the world. There are no consequences for his actions. It wraps up neatly like a sitcom. It doesn't appear that anything that happened mattered.
-It ends predictably, Nicholas masters his previously unmasterable power. The bad guys are in jail. I'm waiting for Josselyn to declare her undying love for him.

OVERALL:
-Look for sentences longer than 20 words and cut them up
-It doesn't seem like the story is very interesting. The second act is all "overhearing" things. The first act makes the story seem like it will be cool -- steampunk, anti-royalist bombings, magi academys, but the first act doesn't reflect the second and third act. The plot is not at all character driven, and it seems the only reason the hero acts is because he is the hero.
-Read these articles about synopsis writing
http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/bl ... iting.aspx
-Maybe your story is longer and more detailed than your synopsis is making it out to be. There's no rules about synopsis writing--you have to use common sense--but I have two versions. A long one which is about 2,000 words, and a short one, which is 1,000 words. (of course, my novel is 120,000 words long, so it was hard to cut it down any shorter than 1,000 words).
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gilesth
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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by gilesth » March 15th, 2010, 11:19 am

AWESOME advice :D This is why I needed more eyes on it. There's definitely more to my story, and it doesn't happen by coincidence... I just need to show Nic's actions. Cool, I have a direction to move in, now :)

If anyone else has advice, I'm open to it, too.

Thanks, again!

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 15th, 2010, 12:52 pm

I agree completely with theWallflower that in the synopsis the opening is much stronger than the middle and especially the conclusion.

In the first paragraph the first "they" can be replaced buy "it" if you follow his advice and begin with "the country (or nation, land, kingdom, whatever) of Andere". Then the second "they" can become "the people" or something which is more specific, more precise and provides more info. Remember that a synopsis is essentially a summary of facts and though you don't want it to be that dry or boring you don't need incredibly descriptive or colorful language.

If Lottown is somewhere people are sent to quarantine them because of their dangerous untamed magic make sure to mention it, but then if it's the Capital, that doesn't make much sense. I think maybe what you mean is that he is in the Capital trying to seek guidance for his magical powers, which killed someone accidentally in his home town. If so you need to clarify. Heck, even if you mean something else you need to clarify. The final sentence of that first paragraph seems to confirm my guess but this whole concept needs to be cleaned up.

The part about killing the Queen is also a little unclear as Wallflower pointed out. Were they trying to kill her? Rob her? Kidnap her? If it was as assassination attempt you can just say "when they fail to kill her". Or you could say "when a group of anti-royalists makes an assassination attempt on the Queen and a candidate for Prime Minister" then you can do as Wallflower suggested and simply follow with "when they fail". Then it seems like your MC is having premonitions of an evil leader of this rebel group - you need to define this more and it is unclear who they are and why they want the new government to fail. I agree with Wallflower again here - the visions sound dull, not advancing the plot much. Obviously it's probably different in the actual story but tell some more about the bad guys here so we care who they are.

When they overhear this plot - if the girl is the princess couldn't she just have these people arrested? If only Nicholas hears it make that clear. The coincidence does seem a little hokey but I don't think it's that big a deal. It would make more sense though if the MC already suspected these people and therefore had a reason to listen in on them.

All the sneaking and listening in does sound mundane in this synopsis, I'm guessing it's not in your story. Give us some of the exciting specifics about all this espionage - remember just because the synopsis is kind of "just the facts" doesn't mean leave out the exciting facts.

The end sounds a little contrived - has he not learned to control his seizures at all yet? It might work if you give the whole 'uncontrollable magic because of seizures thing' some good background/explanation but it still seems like Nicholas is just a conduit instead of being much of a hero himself.

Other than that this story sounds really cool. Maybe I just love steampunk but still - the setup sounds awesome. Clean it up and you've got a good start. Then for the middle and the end get your synopsis to match the story. If the story is missing some of the elements we've discussed, try to fit them in.

Looking forward to seeing your revision.

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by gilesth » March 18th, 2010, 8:58 am

Alright, how's this?

The people of Andere are in the middle of a steam-power revolution, though they still rely on the Magi to perform many tasks like police work, engineering, and lighting the street lamps. Andere’s citizens are a year away from electing their first Prime Minister, thanks to a decade of hard work from the Queen. Nicholas Benson is in the city of Lottown, the capitol of Andere, because he has seizures that make create lightning storms, earthquakes, uncontrollable fires, and summertime snow flurries. This only bothers him because he accidentally killed a bully in his home town. Since Sean Sefton, a friend of the family, teaches at the Magi Academy, Nicholas and his parents travel to Lottown to see if he can help.

Moments after the Bensons meet up with Mr. Sefton, a group of anti-royalists attack the Queen and one of the Prime Minister candidates. When they fail, the rebels destroy Lottown’s famous Clock Tower to create a riot of panic to mask their escape. During the chaos, Nicholas has a seizure that turns the spring rain shower into snowy windstorm. As a result of the seizure, Nicholas passes out and has a vision of a shadowy figure with an ornate dagger who is cursing the Queen for surviving.
Three days later, Nicholas finds out that his fits are an unusual side-effect to his natural, magical talent. He is accepted into the academy under Mr. Sefton’s tutelage so that he can learn to control his fits and keep his family safe. Since Nicholas’s Aunt Margaret owns an inn near the Academy, the council insist that he stay with her so that a mage can be sent to help him if he has another seizure.

To his surprise, Nicholas discovers that the Queen’s daughter, Joselyn Jameson, is also learning from Mr. Sefton. The pair become friends, even after Nicholas almost burns both of them alive. One evening, while Nicholas and Joselyn practice looking and listening through walls with their magic at Aunt Margaret’s inn, Nicholas listens in on a conversation between Joselyn’s uncle, the Archduke of Wellia, and the Queen’s bodyguard, Heath Steppenhue. With ongoing visions of the rebels, Nicholas is curious about what Heath might know of their plans. The two men do know about an upcoming attack on one of the candidates, as well as new plans to overthrow the Queen. Before Nicholas can find out exactly what they know, he loses focus on his magic.

Worried for his best friend and her mother, Nicholas puts all of his energy into finding out who is planning the attacks. The boy is horrified when he overhears another conversation between the Archduke and Heath. The Archduke confesses that he despises both Prime Minister candidates, and he plans to kill them at a Christmas Eve dinner at the palace. To prevent the elected government from ever taking hold, he’ll also kill the Queen and Joselyn and assume the throne.
Nicholas immediately tells Joselyn and she gets angry with him for accusing her uncle of treason. Unsure of whether or not anyone else will believe him, Nicholas sneaks into the palace on Christmas Eve and arrives in time to stop the Archduke from killing anyone. Furious that his master has been stopped, Heath tries to finish the job, but Nicholas catches him by surprise and throws him out of the palace with a blast of magical force.

Nicholas follows Heath into the palace lawns, and the moment the seasoned mage attacks the boy, Nicholas loses control of the wild magic inside him. Even though he’s been training for six months, Nicholas barely manages to remain conscious as a blizzard surrounds the combatants. He does his best to direct the storm at Heath, withstanding the mage’s attacks until both of them are encased in ice.

One week later, Nicholas wakes up. Much to his surprise. He discovers that both the Archduke and Heath Steppenhue are awaiting a courtesy trail that will be followed by an execution. Realizing that he still has a long way to go before his friends are safe, Nicholas decides to work even harder on his training. He never wants to put anyone in danger, and now that Joselyn is safe again, he knows that he needs to keep it that way.

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 18th, 2010, 10:30 am

gilesth wrote:Alright, how's this?

The people of Andere are in the middle of a steam-power revolution, though they still rely on the Magi to perform many tasks like police work, engineering, and lighting the street lamps. Andere’s citizens are a year away from electing their first Prime Minister, thanks to a decade of hard work from the Queen. Nicholas Benson is in the city of Lottown, the capitol of Andere, because he has seizures that make create lightning storms, earthquakes, uncontrollable fires, and summertime snow flurries. This is better but still seems out of order. Try putting the part about Sean Sefton, teacher/friend first. This only bothers him because he accidentally killed a bully in his home town. Since Sean Sefton, a friend of the family, teaches at the Magi Academy, Nicholas and his parents travel to Lottown to see if he can help.

Moments after the Bensons meet up with Mr. Sefton, a group of anti-royalists attack the Queen and one of the Prime Minister candidates. When they fail, to do what? the rebels destroy Lottown’s famous Clock Tower to create a riot of panic to mask their escape. During the chaos, Nicholas has a seizure that turns the spring rain shower into snowy windstorm. Does this somehow affect the riot/panic? As a result of the seizure, Nicholas passes out and has a vision of a shadowy figure with an ornate dagger who is cursing the Queen for surviving.

Three days later, Nicholas finds out that his fits are an unusual side-effect to his natural, magical talent. Good clarification here. He is accepted into the academy under Mr. Sefton’s tutelage so that he can learn to control his fits and keep his family safe. Since Nicholas’s Aunt Margaret owns an inn near the Academy, the council insist that he stay with her so that a mage can be sent to help him if he has another seizure.

To his surprise, Nicholas discovers that the Queen’s daughter, Joselyn Jameson, is also learning from Mr. Sefton. The pair become friends, even after Nicholas almost burns both of them alive. One evening, while Nicholas and Joselyn practice looking and listening through walls with their magic at Aunt Margaret’s inn, Nicholas listens in on a conversation between Joselyn’s uncle, the Archduke of Wellia, and the Queen’s bodyguard, Heath Steppenhue. Does he recognize the shadowy figure? With ongoing visions of the rebels, Nicholas is curious about what Heath might know of their plans. The two men do know about an upcoming attack on one of the candidates, as well as new plans to overthrow the Queen. Before Nicholas can find out exactly what they know, he loses focus on his magic. Huh? Confusing.

Worried for his best friend and her mother, Nicholas puts all of his energy into finding out who is planning the attacks. The boy is horrified when he overhears another conversation between the Archduke and Heath. The Archduke confesses that he despises both Prime Minister candidates, and he plans to kill them at a Christmas Eve dinner at the palace. To prevent the elected government from ever taking hold, he’ll also kill the Queen and Joselyn and assume the throne. I still think you need more description of the espionage in here somewhere. Nicholas immediately tells Joselyn and she gets angry with him for accusing her uncle of treason. Unsure of whether or not anyone else will believe him, Nicholas sneaks into the palace on Christmas Eve and arrives in time to stop the Archduke from killing anyone. Furious that his master has been stopped, Heath tries to finish the job, but Nicholas catches him by surprise and throws him out of the palace with a blast of magical force.

Nicholas follows Heath into the palace lawns, and the moment the seasoned this sounds odd, try experienced, talented or master or something like that. Seasoned sounds old, or spicy. mage attacks the boy, Nicholas loses control of the wild magic inside him. Even though he’s been training for six months, Nicholas barely manages to remain conscious as a blizzard surrounds the combatants. He does his best to direct the storm at Heath, withstanding the mage’s attacks until both of them are encased in ice.

One week later, Nicholas wakes up. Much to his surprise. He discovers that both the Archduke and Heath Steppenhue are awaiting a courtesy trail trial that will be followed by an execution. Realizing that he still has a long way to go before his friends are safe, Nicholas decides to work even harder on his training. He never wants to put anyone in danger, and now that Joselyn is safe again, he knows that he needs to keep it that way. If this is sort of a epilogue conclusion it might not be necessary. It makes it sound like the narrative goes on, but then it seems like it doesn't.
Looks like you've improved some things and it is certainly better but still needs work. Hopefully someone else will chime in as well because I am terrible at synopses (sp?).

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by JaEvans » March 18th, 2010, 11:11 am

The second working is so much better than the first.

There are still some small glitches like:

the capitol of Andere, because he has seizures that make create lightning storms, earthquakes, uncontrollable fires, and summertime snow flurries.

I am assuming that "make create" is a glitch.

You may consider explaining how being in the capitol is related at all to the making of natural disasters. Does the capitol help him control it?

Also:

How did he kill the bully?
I would omit "only" from the bully sentece it makes it sound like he is only slighlty bothered and not really bothered about killing someone.

The rest I am agreeing with Matthew Rush.

I would say though, very good revision. I enjoyed reading it!! and am now curious as to what happens next.
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" Horace Walpole

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by gilesth » March 20th, 2010, 5:17 pm

What if, instead of changing the order of the first paragraph, I make it into two paragraphs, keeping the setting at the beginning, and then making the introduction to Nicholas the second paragraph? The only reason I hesitate to change things around is because the setting descriptions interrupt the flow of the synopsis if they show up later, and without them, everything that follows doesn't make sense...in my opinion.

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Re: Synopsis Feedback

Post by gilesth » March 20th, 2010, 5:31 pm

Quick changes were made.

The people of Andere are in the middle of a steam-power revolution, though they still rely on the Magi to perform many tasks like police work, engineering, and lighting the street lamps. Andere’s citizens are a year away from electing their first Prime Minister, thanks to a decade of hard work from the Queen.

Nicholas Benson is in the city of Lottown, the capitol of Andere, to meet with Sean Sefton, a friend of the family who also teaches at the Magi Academy. Since Nicholas has seizures that create lightning storms, earthquakes, uncontrollable fires, and summertime snow flurries, he and his parents are in Lottown to see if Mr. Sefton can help.

Moments after the Bensons meet up with Mr. Sefton, a group of anti-royalists try to kill the Queen and one of the Prime Minister candidates. When they fail, the rebels destroy Lottown’s famous Clock Tower to create a riot of panic to mask their escape. During the chaos, Nicholas has a seizure that turns the spring rain shower into snowy windstorm. As a result of the fit, Nicholas passes out and has a vision of a shadowy figure with an ornate dagger who is cursing the Queen for surviving.

Three days later, Nicholas finds out that his fits are an unusual side-effect to his natural, magical talent. He is accepted into the academy under Mr. Sefton’s tutelage so that he can learn to control his fits and keep his family safe. Since Nicholas’s Aunt Margaret owns an inn near the Academy, the council insist that he stay with her so that a mage can be sent to help him if he has another seizure.

To his surprise, Nicholas discovers that the Queen’s daughter, Joselyn Jameson, is also learning from Mr. Sefton. The pair become friends, even after Nicholas almost burns both of them alive. One evening, while Nicholas and Joselyn practice using their magic to look and listen through walls at Aunt Margaret’s inn, Nicholas eavesdrops in on a conversation between Joselyn’s uncle, the Archduke of Wellia, and the Queen’s bodyguard, Heath Steppenhue. With ongoing visions of the rebels, Nicholas is curious about what Heath might know of their plans. The two men do know about an upcoming attack on one of the candidates, as well as new plans to overthrow the Queen. Before Nicholas can find out exactly what they know, his magic fails him and he loses focus on the conversation.

Worried for his best friend and her mother, Nicholas puts all of his energy into finding out who is planning the attacks. The boy is horrified when the Archduke and Heath return to the inn for another private chat. As Nicholas listens again, the Archduke confesses that he despises both Prime Minister candidates, and he plans to kill them at a Christmas Eve dinner at the palace. To prevent the elected government from ever taking hold, he’ll also kill the Queen and Joselyn so that he can assume the throne without any resistance.
Nicholas immediately tells Joselyn and she gets angry with him for accusing her uncle of treason. Unsure of whether or not anyone else will believe him, Nicholas sneaks into the palace on Christmas Eve and arrives in time to stop the Archduke from killing anyone. Furious that his master has been stopped, Heath tries to finish the job, but Nicholas catches him by surprise and throws him out of the palace with a blast of magical force.

Nicholas follows Heath into the palace lawns, and the moment the mage attacks the boy, Nicholas loses control of the wild magic inside him. Even though he’s been training for six months, Nicholas barely manages to remain conscious as a blizzard surrounds the combatants. He does his best to direct the storm at Heath, withstanding the mage’s attacks until both of them are encased in ice.

One week later, Nicholas wakes up. Much to his surprise. He discovers that both the Archduke and Heath Steppenhue are awaiting a courtesy trial that will be followed by an execution. Realizing that he still has a long way to go before his friends are safe, Nicholas decides to work even harder on his training. He never wants to put anyone in danger, and now that Joselyn is safe again, he knows that he needs to keep it that way.

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