Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #16

TITLE: Dawn of the Phoenix
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

The fear of death emanated from the men and women huddled together. Although, death would be a welcome alternative to torture by the usurper's most cruel spells; the horrors whispered among the rebel
Loyals were followed by chills up their spines. Despite the risks, High Wizard Rakkor had organized this hidden assembly away from passing eyes and ears. Between ensuring the safety of their people and
fighting the usurper Debor's vast army in raids, Queen Jaqulyn and Princess Serena's attentions were spread thin. Better they not know of Rakkor's plan which could jeopardize or save them all.

"I will be brief," Rakkor addressed the four wizards. "We all know the tide of the war is turning against us, we must end this."

"And what is it that you are proposing? Let them kill us?" short and cynical Anita snapped. "What can we do that has not been tried in these long years?"

"A drastic measure. It will deplete us for days, but we are at a loss for other options," he paused allowing his words to sink in. When none disputed his point Rakkor continued, "We must combine all our power to summon a Daughter of the Sun. The Phoenix."

Dontro was the first to break from the stunned group, "Madness! You wish to call upon a fairy tale? The Queen would never allow this casting, we would be even more defenseless than we are now!"

"The amount of power the casting would require could very well kill us," Sierra warned.


  1. There's a whole bunch of backstory thrown at the audience in the beginning. It's a little hard to digest when there's nothing else BUT that backstory. You could maybe intersperse the information throughout the rest of the chapter (and subsequent chapters) and it would really help readers be immersed in the story better (in my opinion).

    Another comment--the dialogue seems very formal to the point of awkwardness. But then again, this is just the first 250 words of your manuscript and I have a feeling that the MC hasn't been introduced to us yet so it may just be these Loyals that talk very formally.

    In any case, good luck! :)

  2. Honestly, it took me a couple of read-throughs to sort everyone out (and I'm still not sure if I've got the right picture). But I like that you get to the heart of the story fairly quickly. I'm anxious to see what happens with this dangerous summoning!

    You clearly have a good vision of your world and the events that are occurring within it. I think the beginning just needs a little more of that clarity. We can learn about the turmoil in the land and the key players over the course of the story. As it is, it feels like a bit too much to absorb and still keep track of what's going on (though that could just be me).

    Good luck!

  3. too many names. interesting though.

  4. The beginning gave me the impression that a bunch of people were huddled in terror, hiding from the enemy. Then it turns out this is an assembly called by Rakkor, which made me wonder why these folks are huddled in terror if they came there willingly. Then it turns out he only summoned four wizards. Are they the people huddled in terror? It doesn't seem so. So the opening wasn't clear to me at all. You might cut the first few sentences about the terrified people.

    Once you get to the actual meeting, things become clearer. I did wonder, though, why everyone has a strange fantasy world type name except for Anita. It seems out of place.

  5. Beware the information dump! Though I like the idea of raising a Phoenix, a daughter of the sun. But this opening turns me off because of all the names and background thrown at me at once.

  6. I was also very confused about who is huddling, where they are, and why are they huddling, and what do the wizards, or the war or whatever, have to do with them?