Friday, November 30, 2012

(8) Epic Fantasy: Lifeweaver

TITLE: Lifeweaver
GENRE: Epic Fantasy

When Talyn gained the ability to transfer death from one person to another, he never imagined the king would exploit this power to incite a war. Now, he'll have to commit treason and rely on the honor of a convicted murderer if he wants to prevent thousands of deaths -- including his own.

A hint of citrus drifted past Talyn, but it could not overcome the stench of blood.

Talyn squinted against the light of hundreds of candles, held aloft by golden chandeliers. For all their beauty, the flames provided the royal dining hall with no warmth. Neither did the stone-faced guards—twenty men, at least.

Yet one assassin had eluded them all.

The massive oaken doors behind Talyn slammed shut. He tensed, fighting the urge to hide behind Gariss as the dark-skinned behemoth of a man eyed every shadow in the room.

Talyn leaned closer. "The royal family wouldn't summon me until they caught the killer, would they?"

"Probably not," his bodyguard said. "Though maybe they have servants to bear their deaths."

Talyn shivered. "I can’t kill an innocent. I won’t."

"Even if they order you to?"

Yes, Talyn wanted to say, but he couldn't force the word past his lips. A handful of people watched him from the far end of the hall, where a dais of red marble supported the royal table. Upon that table lay the remains of a small feast, a decanter of spilled wine, and a lifeless body.

The body of King Arlan.

"You are ready?" Gariss asked.

Talyn shook his head, but edged forward anyway. He should have faked a confident stride, but no amount of bravado would make an assassin fear a scrawny young man like him. He dared not vocalize the question on his mind, lest the killer arrive to answer it.

Why would someone murder the king without killing me first?


  1. Very intriguing power for your protagonist. I wonder if I would be confused by the first page if I hadn't read the log line. But I think I would be hooked enough to keep reading and find out why Talyn has been summoned the king's body, and why that would required him to kill an innocent.

    Why does he fear that the assassin might be watching? I wouldn't have expected the king's murderer to linger after killing him. And if he assumes they've already caught the assassin, he wouldn't be free to attack Talyn, would he? I assume these issues are addressed later; they were just some of the questions that came to my mind.

    The writing is strong. I did notice a prevalence of sentences with the "Clause, but clause" structure, but it's not a major issue. (It's a structure I tend to overuse in my own writing, so I'm hyper-aware of it. ;) Good luck!

  2. Fantasy isn’t really my forte, but I have to say I like this. I think it ends at a great spot that leaves me wanting more. I’m also intrigued by Talyn’s ability to transfer death and his role in the kingdom (something of an executioner, it seems?). I like that it doesn’t take forever to explain the setting and establish the mythology of the fantasy right at the beginning. I can only hope that the author parcels that out along the way so that it lays the groundwork as we go and doesn’t overwhelm with an info dump.

  3. Hooked, i'd certainly keep reading. Fantasy isn't always must first choice, but when the world-building is well-integrated and plot compelling, i'm in. You've accomplished both so far. Nice job.

  4. I liked this, which is saying something b/c I don't often read epic fantasy or many male PoV books. I especially liked the first and last lines. They both hooked me in and were intriguing.

    I do agree with Matril that I might have been confused about why Talyn was there for the dead king and why he'd be afraid of the assassin if I hadn't read the logline.

    Good luck with this!

  5. The first and last lines here are great, and the logline is really interesting.

    I got a little confused trying to figure out what exactly was happening in the beginning of the scene. It might be a good idea to give a few clues earlier on to lay the groundwork, especially as the reader is plunked down in the middle of the murder scene.

    I'd definitely read on, especially with that last line!

  6. I agree with the comments above. The only thing I wanted to add was that it seemed like you used Talyn's name a lot. I think you could get away with a few "he"'s instead. Great job though, I'd read on!

  7. I'd read on for that last line alone. :)

  8. I really enjoyed this. I know we're being plopped right in the middle of a murder, but the writing kept me engaged. I love the premise since it's something I've never come across before. And, of course, you did such a great job ending your excerpt for this with that killer last line! :)

  9. I love the premise. It's unique. I have alot of questions in my head after reading your first 250, but I assume they'll all be answered as I keep reading. So good job. I'd keep reading.

  10. I really like the premise of transferring death, but I thought your logline could be refined. I'd like to know the exact relationship he has with the king. I also don't like the "he never expected" line. There has to be a better way to get this information across.

    Some nitpicky details, he talks about the stench of blood, but I thought he was far away from the body because of how talkative he is with his bodyguard.

    Once you name Gariss as his bodyguard, then you need to consistently use that reference. Otherwise it gets confusing as to how many people are here talking.

    I love the last line.

  11. Not my genre of choice, but everything the logline, writing, and character hooked me. Without a doubt, I would continue reading. Good luck with this.

  12. 50! (Are we breaking the rules?)

  13. Crap, you're right.
    I'll fix it with 75!

  14. Um, nix that. Clearly I'm breaking ALL the rules today.


  15. Amy, are you bidding... against yourself?

  16. I'll bid against Amy. Full!



  18. Nothing like winning by rampaging like headless chicken-rhino hybrid! *fistpump*

  19. Hello,

    I wanted to congratulate you on getting a bid for a full. I enjoyed your first 250 very much and with this story continued success.