Query Critique #19

I found some time and decided it was time to post another query critique. This one is a YA Fantasy that involves dragons and soulmates. 

Submitted Query:

Dear [Agent Name]: 

When a rogue dragon puts Rook’s sister into an enchanted sleep, Rook must hunt down her sister’s soul mate to break the spell. (This has my attention!)

Seventeen-year-old Rook wants nothing more than to keep her sister safe and live quietly, surrounded by the plants she communicates with. (This gives me the impression that she’s in charge of her sister). But when her sister strays too deep into the forest and is captured by a dragon, Rook must find a way to rescue her sister. She enlists the help of Finian, a boy born without a soul, and Kyrdra, a dragon exiled from her clutch. (I think you can condense this to get more to the point. When seventeen-year-old Rook’s sister wanders too deep into the forest, she’s captured by a dragon. Determined to rescue her, Rook enlists the help of Finian, a soul-less boy, and Kyrdra, an exiled dragon.)

The path to finding her sister’s soul mate is more treacherous than Rook imagined as her companions each have their own agendas. (I think you somehow need to go from her sister being captured to her going after her sister and then finding out she has to find her soulmate. It feels like too big of a leap to me. It leaves me asking too many questions, which distract me from moving forward. For instance, how does Rook discover her sister has been taken by a dragon and how does she find out she needs to get her sister’s soul mate to wake her? The whole book is focused on the sister, and yet, we don’t know her name. To me, this takes away from who she is as a character. Even though you mention that her soulmate is needed in the first sentence, it’s more like an elevator pitch than a hook and needs to be organic in its mention.) Finian is a fugitive, on the run from the ruthless daughter of the governor who wants his ability to manipulate souls to facilitate her rise to power. Kyrdra is seeking to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will allow stolen souls to be released from limbo and reborn into the world and allowing her exile to be forgiven.

But their quest has set a greater plan in motion and their choices and deceptions will invite the sluagh, a monster that devours souls, back into the world. Rook will need to choose between saving her sister or destroying the world.  (While this is dramatic, it’s hard to swallow that Rook would allow everyone to die for her sister, which suggests you need to reconsider the scope of your stakes. Make them more personal for Rook. Is it the kind of scenario where she has to sacrifice herself to save her sister? That’s more realistic than the main character suggesting the destruction of the whole world is an option.)

Angsty Moths ANGSTY MOTHS is a standalone YA fantasy, complete at 95,000 words and utilizes a multiple POV structure. (I’m curious as to which POVs you use. Consider rewriting this pitch utilizing this structure. It might lend to providing a broader perspective.) It combines the elemental magic of AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER with storytelling elements of THE LAST UNICORN and SLEEPING BEAUTY.

One thought on “Query Critique #19

  1. Thank you so much! I’m definitely struggling with this and chose to frame this draft around Rook’s portion of the story, but I think I need to find a way to bring in Finian’s and Kyrdra’s POV to balance it more. And Rook’s sister being put into the enchanted sleep is the inciting incident for the rest. UGH. Complex queries. I love your feedback and its definitely going to help guide my revision as I try to sort this out.
    THANK YOU! <3 <3

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