Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Secret Agent Contest #25

TITLE: The Other Prince
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Prince Bob skidded around the corner with Friederick's gang in hot pursuit. His belly jiggled. His side ached. His lungs burned. But stopping meant a head-dunk in another chamber pot. Two more halls and he'd be at the library. Safe.

"There he is! Get him!"

With a yank, Bob sent a suit of armor clanging across the floor. Bob's father would be mad, but this was self-preservation. He glanced over his shoulder as he rounded the next corner. One of the gang tripped, but the others leapt over the mess.

"You're dead!" Friederick yelled.

Head down, Bob pushed harder and plowed right into someone. It felt like he'd hit a wall.

"Whoa, there!" Hands reached out to steady Bob before he fell.

"I've got you now, you little . . ." Friederick turned the corner and stopped short. He turned pale just as his gang smashed into him. Shoving his friends off, Friederick extracted himself from the pile of bodies. "P--Prince Charming."

Bob had never been so glad to see his brother.

"Friederick." Charming folded his arms. Bob copied him.

"I--I didn't know you were back." Friederick glanced from Bob to Charming. He and his friends edged backwards.

"We arrived this morning." Charming strode forward and Friederick's gang scrambled to get away.

"Oh, that's . . . great," Friederick simpered. "We were just on our way t--to cavalry drills, so we'd better go."

Bob hurried to keep pace with Charming who didn't slow down.


  1. Loved this! Loved the voice, and all the little details. Hooked!

    You might want to call the genre YA fantasy, though, just so an agent realizes it's not adult fantasy.

  2. This is adorable, I love the 'Wait.. Prince Charming? What?' thing going on. Like... okay, there's this kid, running, suit of armor, that's cool... Prince Charming?
    That probably makes no sense, but I'm definitely interested. :D

  3. Hee hee! This is a great voice, great names, Bob and Charming. They could not be any more apropos. Well done! Definitely hooked.

  4. Cute! Funny to think Charming would have a brother named Bob.

  5. Thanks for sharing your work in such a public forum. That takes guts.

    My comments are just a quick impression, as if I were browsing in a bookstore.

    There are some funny notes here: the whole "head-dunk in another chamber pot" thing and the name Bob for a prince.

    But I was confused by the line "Bob had never been so glad to see his brother." I wasn't expecting Charming to be the brother. I think you need to have this come in the line where "hands reached out to steady Bob..." because surely that's the place where Bob realizes his brother has arrived to save him from the ferocious Friedrick.

    I did like the jaunty tone, though, and would read on to see what the story leads.

  6. Huh? OK, I'm apparently the only one who has trouble with this. The whole Prince Bob and Prince Charming thing throws me - and I don't think I can read something with a main character named Charming with a straight face. And if you subtract the suit of armor and chamber pots, it's just a typical running-away-from-bully tale, generally not a great place to start a book.

    I'd definitely go a few more pages at least, to see where this is heading, though.

  7. I burst out laughing when Prince Charming was introduced. Loved this. Hooked.

  8. I laughed immediately at the name Prince Bob, and knew instantly this was going to be humorous and tongue in cheek. The intro to Prince Charming was great. It did seem more MG than YA to me, but I don't know what's to come.

    In spite of all the good stuff, I wouldn't read on simply because it seems to be another bully story. So while I'm not hooked, I think it may just be a personal thing, rather than a result of your writing.

  9. Although I agree this is more MG than YA, I loved the voice. I can't believe you had the gall to name him Charming! Awesome! I am definitely hooked and so is my 8 yr old. Excellent job.

  10. Nice strong voice, great humor. The only part I "stuttered" was in the: Hands reached out to steady Bob before he fell." sentence because I know it's Bob.

    I think you can get away with Hands reached out to steady him. IF you wanted to have Bob tell us it's Charming, you'd need to rework that sentence anyway.

    That said, definitely hooked. Well done. And even if it is "another bully story," what's wrong with that? Is coming of age suddenly outre?

  11. I was charmed by this. Definitely eager to find out more about Bob and Charming.

  12. I thought this was a great concept, though it seems more MG than YA to me.

  13. MG readers will love this. I hope the rest of the book keeps pace with the beginning. :)

  14. This is goofy middle grade, not YA, so far.

    It is fun, and I'd keep reading, but just know what you have.