Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Agent's Inbox #16

Dear Ms. Marini,

Princess Far has always known how it feels to die.

She is a Relic, a person who has visions from their past lives, and she has spent her entire life guarding this secret. In the ancient legends, Relics sold their souls to demons in exchange for unstoppable magic, and most people believe all Relics must be exterminated. None of Far’s past lives match the horrors of the legends, but even she doesn’t know the origins of her memories, demonic or otherwise.

After the sudden death of her sister, eighteen-year-old Far must assume membership in the kingdom’s Council, but all she knows how to do is be invisible.

When a dark order of magi invades her kingdom and thrusts her people into a world war, Far’s past-life knowledge becomes her most powerful weapon. She is the only one who knows the order's secret. But somehow, they also know hers. She must decide if exposure is worth the protection of her people.

Because if those same people learned what she really is, they’d nail her to a fiery stake. Crown and all.

RELIC is Young Adult fantasy complete at 85,000 words with series potential. The self-discovery, past-life romance, and world war make it a cross between GRACELING, A GAME OF THRONES, and THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.



I’ve died this way before.

Before, I stumbled into the wrong place at the wrong time. But now, from the burning in the stranger’s eyes, I know he has every intention of killing me.

I wonder, does he see her too?

Her name is Far. All my life, I have been haunted by memories. I don’t know about magic or destiny or death. But they do. There are thousands of memories and dozens of lives trapped inside me. Or maybe I am trapped inside them.

His footsteps behind me grow louder. When I try to push myself up from the forest floor, my chest smashes back to the ground.

The footsteps stop. I hear his breathing behind me. A heavy inhale. A slow, relaxed exhale. I can’t see him, but I think he’s smiling.

I squeeze my eyes shut and try to recall how it feels to be stabbed. For once, the memories don’t come.

Of all the memories, Far's are the clearest, so close to the surface that sometimes I believe they’re my memories. That I am Far. That she is me.

Of course that can’t be true. Her tiara is my baseball cap. Her magical tattoos are my tan lines. Her creepy past-life sketches are my inspirational posters.

I’m not Far.

I’m not.

But I can’t let it go. I can’t convince myself that I’m my own, separate person when one crucial piece of evidence is missing: Far never died. Her life ended without even a whisper, as if existence has a pause button.

I can’t help but think it has something to do with me.


Suja said...

I've seen this before and I liked it then, too. Your query is clear and I like the last sentence very much. The first 250 drew me in. I'm curious to know what happens.

Janice Sperry said...

I would change the first line of your query to: Princess Far knows how it feels to die. You don't need the always. I like your query and your first 250. I'm curious how she got to be someone else. I would read on.

Lanette said...

The query is all about Far, but the first page is clearly about a modern girl who is also a relic with Far's memories.

I'm interested in reading on to see where this goes, but I'm also perplexed as to who the protagonist of this story is. Will it be Far's story told from the perspective of the modern girl?

Amanda Foody said...

Thanks, everyone! And the opening is a memory (Far has visions from her past lives). Far is most definitely the main character.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED your first 250. Your query doesn't do it justice. It's good, it gives us all the info we need to know what the story is about, but I wonder about the necessity of telling us all the details about the Relics? Nothing in the rest of the query makes me think this is need-to-know-NOW kind of stuff, so I'd take it out and instead tell us why she's the only one who can take her sister's place on the Council.

Victoria Marini said...

This is an interesting concept, but I think there's almost too much here. For example, "None of Far’s past lives match the horrors of the legends, but even she doesn’t know the origins of her memories, demonic or otherwise" confused me. Does she not know she's a relic? Does she not understand these visions? And what do demons have to do with Far if the whole idea is that Relics *used to* trade with demons? I think you could cut that part out and I'd be just as well off.

With the sample, the writing is good.I assume that it's a future RELIC's memory of Far's death, but why start there? More curiosity than criticism. Thanks!

Amanda Foody said...

Thanks for your advice! To clarify (it's easier to understand as the scene progresses), this character here is not Far. It's one of Far's past lives. Weirdness, but it's really important in the plot. And that line of my query has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, so I'll probably cut it. Thanks!