Thursday, July 17, 2008

#53 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

The Morretain Prince

Genre: YA Fantasy

Kieren heard the Call just as her husband unrolled the parchment map of the kingdom’s newest trade route. Voices tore through her head, and a barrage of images and impressions flashed, each too fleeting to grasp. There was pain, raw and wild. And sound, loud and full of fear, like the roar of a winter wind. One red note hung above the cacophony of Nature’s song.

Elerosse is hurt.

She ran. Elemmire and the other nobles in the chamber room called after her, but she did not turn around. Her son was hurt, and nothing in the kingdom could keep her from him.

Her heart pounded as she ran through the crowded stone hallways, not caring who or what stood in her path. Elemmire’s heavy footfalls fell behind hers, but she could not stop; would not waste breath answering the questions he threw at her.

Her son’s edere, his elvish Light, was cast in shadow. She felt the darkness as surely as if the sun were eclipsed by the moon.

It scared her more than she could say.

Kieren rounded a corner, then raced down a spiral stairwell towards the Great Hall. Rosse and his cousins were supposed to spend the day in the garden when afternoon lessons were over. She sent a silent prayer to the Gods that the elflings were still there. Morraugh, please do not take him from me, she prayed. Not another one.


  1. Yes. I really want to know if she found her son, and if she could save him.

  2. I loved the names used in this one, but there's the adjective/noun pattern that begins to grate: spiral staircase; crowded stone hallways; heavy footfalls; silent prayer (aren't they usually?) -

  3. Yes, this worked for me though at first I thought it wouldn't. The first paragraph seemed a little overwritten. And "It scared her more than she could say," seemed unnecessary. You've shown it, don't need to say it.

  4. Yes, I would read on and indeed have!

    You have improved this bucket loads since I first read it, so the threat to Rosse's life shines through on the very first page.

    Wonderful stuff!


  5. Not what I immediately expected. A mother in an elvish story. That might be enough to make me read more.

    Some odd capitalizations that might be enough to make me pass.

    I'm on the fence with this one.


  6. I like the idea of a serious mother. Most mothers in fiction wind up being terrible cliches. The idea of children dying though, as a mother that's slightly off-putting. I don't read to cry my eyes out.

    You have a lot of talent but I'd have to see a good query or back of the book to keep reading just because of how this opens.

  7. Hesitantly yes. I like it better than the other opening to the novel I read, but it feels a bit boder line flowery and epic fantasy. (All the Capped Words, for example. ;))

    I think I would have to be in the right mood to read more, but I liked the immediate conflict and action.

    Good luck!


  8. Yes, with a word of caution. Fantasies are plagued with Capitalized Special Words that would be much less jarring in lowercase. I implore you not to capitalize words that aren't proper names, towns, or a specific god.

    I like elves and I like Fantasy, so I'd keep reading for a while. I'd need to know more about the plot before I'd commit to the whole book.

  9. No, passive writing is distracting as well as Capitalization.


  10. Tentative yes. Would give it another page or two to see if it was going to descend into cliche or not...

    Can't say I noticed the caps, but the language was indeed borderline flowery... Not necessarily bad, just a potential indicator of Yet Another Cliche Fantasy Epic ;)

    Too many names, though, for my poor brain - esp Elerosse, Elemmire and edere.

  11. I like it. Would definitely read more. The one part I didn't like was - One red note hung above the cacophony of Nature’s song.

    Really bothered me.

  12. Yes!

    Ok. This is cheating since I've read this novel elsewhere.

    *pushes preexisting knowledge aside*

    I love the characterization here - you really feel for her.

  13. Yes, and I too have read this elsewhere :)

  14. I enjoyed reading this, but wouldn't classify it as YA. Is the YA part right? If so, the mc is on the old side.

  15. Yes, I liked this.

    I felt transported to another time and visualized it right away. I did like the capital "Call" because it made me question what kind of 'call' it was, helping to create the different time period.

  16. Mildly not hooked.

    Not my genre, but I liked the immediate presence of conflict and action. I'd want to know if her son is alright but visions, elves, and elvin names are really not my thing.

  17. I'm hooked on your setting and I think on your character, but I your opening paragraph is very jarring. I'm not sure what to do about it but to rewrite and try to establish some parameters of normalcy in your world. Maybe a hint of danger before she gets the call. Why are they looking at the map? Are they outlining problem areas/invasion routes, etc?

  18. I would probably give this a few more pages before making a final decision about whether I wanted to read the book. I connected the with the mother's character but I did find the immediate descent into chaos a bit confusing.

  19. This has a good sense of immediacy (the "Not another one" very much hooked me). Given that it's YA, I assume the mom is not in fact the main character? That's ok so long as we do get to our young protagonist quickly; editors are tough on YA that is weighted with adult characters (reasonably so). I'd trim out some of the descriptions to keep the sense of forward motion, specifically:
    "not her path"
    "rounded a corner, then" and "down a spiral staircase"

  20. Yes, although in a few places the formal phrasing of the narration grated on me a little. I like the emotion in it though and makes me want to know if she gets there in time.

    Having seen part of this novel though, I'm confused why it's YA. The child is too young and the adults too old. It reads more like an adult novel to me.