Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Public Slushpile #16

TITLE: Lifeweaver
GENRE: Fantasy

Dear [agent],

A year ago, Talyn inherited the gift of lifeweaving: the ability to transfer any affliction, even death, from one person to another. By healing the nobility and punishing the wicked, he believes he lives a righteous life – until one assassination hones his gift into a political weapon.

When the king dies to a foreign ambassador’s blade, Talyn saves his liege's life by weaving the death back onto the supposed murderer. In the process, he discovers the twisted truth: the king plotted his own death, exploiting Talyn’s abilities to incite a war.

Overwhelmed with guilt, Talyn cannot bear to stay silent. But when he seeks allies in ousting the king's plot, he only finds more conspirators. Worse, he has drawn the attention of a desperate outcast who needs Talyn's power to save his family – and is willing to kill to get it. Talyn's only salvation hinges on the one person who will listen to him, and who might protect him from the schemers tearing him in all directions: a young, stubborn zealot named Serra.

Unfortunately, her name is next on the list of murderers slated for execution by his hand.

48 comments:

  1. Yes. I don't read much adult fantasy, but I really like the idea of someone being able to transfer death.

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  2. No. This reminds me too much of The Healing Wars. Sorry!

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  3. Yes. The conflict and consequence are clear and I understand enough of the world to be sucked into it.

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  4. YES. Not a genre I normally read, but your story definitely has a unique hook.

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  5. Yes. Clear stakes and a MC who actually does something about his situation with an interesting hook to boot.

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  6. Yes. The story certainly sounds interesting and is conveyed clearly.

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  7. No. I like the premise, but I got quite confused with subjects and tangled sentences toward the very end - I was less certain what was happening after the 3rd paragraph than I'd been after the first.

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  8. YES, YES, YES. I love the premise and am willing to see where it leads (though I think you want a different verb than "hones" in paragraph 1; that confused me at first).

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  9. No. The query's fine, and I can see how it could appeal to some people, but this doesn't grab me.

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  10. YES. Everything about this sounds awesome to me, and I hope I get to read it some day!

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  11. YES. I don't read much in this genre but this really grabbed my attention. It's cut and clear and gets to the action fast. I imagine your writing is just as great!

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  12. YES, love the unique concept and plot. Great job.

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  13. Yes, clear stakes, a good hook and an interesting premise. Sign me up.

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  14. Yes. This sounds like a good read. The query isn't perfect though, there were some confusing sentences (last line of the 2nd paragraph for instance) that could be tightened so it really sings and doesn't distract from the story.

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  15. Yes. You can cut the bit about the desperate outcast b/c that starts to become too much, but otherwise, great sense of conflict (although I wish I knew WHY Serra is so important).

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  16. No. Too confused at first reading.

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  17. YES
    I wish there was more focus on the consequences as they relate to the MC, but i'm hooked by the worldbuilding and the plot

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  18. Yes! I don't typically read fantasy but I'd read this book. The query gives enough information to be intriguing without feeling like a synopsis.

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  19. YES. I've never read anything like this. The query is tightly written and the book sounds interesting!

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  20. Yes. Interesting take on Death Note-like powers, and the political underpinnings are interesting, though the end needs clarification on what his circumstances are if he's trying to kill and/or run from them while apparently still doing their bidding.

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  21. Yes. Well written query, all the stakes are clear and I like Tayln's ability, although it reminds me a lot of Maria V. Snyders TOUCH OF POWER.

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  22. Yes. It was well written and engaging. Great job.

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  23. Yes. Strong and clear conflict. Great job!

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  24. Yes.

    Strong writing, good structure, clear conflict and stakes; although, I also think you should cut the part about the outcast and instead, provide a little more information about Serra.

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  25. Yes- clear, succinct, grabbed me from the start.

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  26. Yes. The mc's strange ability is interesting. The moral entanglements are even more interesting. Sounds great.

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  27. Yes. The third paragraph drags and has too many nameless, vague characters for my taste - 'more conspirators,' 'a desperate outcast...' these just detract from the important part of that paragraph, which is Serra's introduction. The rest is meaningless to us without specifics.

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  28. Yes.

    I was beginning to wonder if I was going to say yes to anything. But this one made sense and was intriguing. Neat concept and I got a sense of the world and the stakes very well.

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  29. Yes. Like the idea of world turned upside down by trying to do good and messing everything up, instead. Sounds like there is good conflict and stakes (and romance?).

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  30. Yes. Almost a no, you've intrigued me just enough to want to know more.

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  31. Yes - Interesting concept. I think some sentences could be combined or edited as others have suggested.

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  32. Yes, I like the concept and your letter was clear and to the point.

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  33. Yes. Focused, tight, exciting!

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  34. Yes. The concept is exciting, and covers what you need to know to draw you in for more.

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  35. No. The one piece of information I need (what makes Serra important) is missing, and it leaves me flat on why I should be worried about the execution (especially as it will be by Talyn-- why doesn't he just weave her death onto the king?)

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  36. Yes.

    I love the concept, and the characters and world sound intriguing.

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  37. No. And I'm shocked that I wasn't hooked but that is what I feel is lacking, a definite hook to the first paragraph.

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  38. Yes - Clear conflict, logical connections between characters and story, and the premise sounds interesting.

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  39. Yes. I don't normally read fantasy, but you have an interesting and clear conflict and a cool concept.

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  40. No. Promising, but I was very confused.

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  41. Yes. Clear conflict, clear resolution, neatly written. My one nitpick is that I don't like the dangling "unfortunately" sentence - I agree its important information, but it seems out of place.

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  42. Yes.
    A somewhat iffy yes though. I like the premise and the world building, but the mc's god-like power over death make the stakes a little murky. I'm sure her gift's limitations are explained in the story, but some of hint of that in the query would add tension and clarity.

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  43. Yes. Although, I think you give away too much of the mystery in this query.

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  44. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times! :)

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  45. No, because I can't help feeling the book will need a lot of edits.

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