Thursday, July 17, 2008

#105 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Prophecy of the Heir
GENRE: Historical Fantasy


Crimson letters glistened across the thin sheet of parchment. The white-cloaked figure dipped his quill into the basin of blood and inscribed the final letters across the page. Closing the massive book, a sigh escaped his lips, for its completion was only the beginning.

As his finger caressed the name engraved upon the ornate cover the echo of his father’s words whispered through his mind. Are you certain you understand the consequences? Yes, he had answered. Yet even now, he heard the strain in his father’s voice. And you understand the sacrifice? She is worth it.

He pressed his fingertips to his lips and then against her name.

Rising from the alabaster bench, he withdrew from the walled garden, then wound his way through the royal gardens before crossing the palace courtyard.

The palace doors swung open and he strode through the vast columned chamber. The shimmering emblem engraved in the center of the floor cast a golden glow upon his ageless features. A tiered dais lay at the far end of the room, its first level was the alabaster of the columned room; the second encompassed an array of white stones ablaze with an incessant flame; and the third held a gold throne and the one who sat upon it.

He walked through the midst of the fire, unburned by its flames, and bowed low in front of the throne. With much solemnity, he presented the King with the book.

His voice was but a whisper. “It is finished.”


  1. *GRINS*

    YES. <- Loves Hist-fant.

    This is well written and the mysterious unnamed (normally that bugs me, but I'll let it go for right now) guy character was strongly written and held my attention.

    Of course, I expect the first chapter will change pov, but if you handle that as you did the MUG (mysterious unnamed guy), I'm sure this will be something I'd sit down and read.

    And of course - I wondered what was inside the book.

  2. Hmmm...this is very well-written, everything flows quite well . But I have to admit I got a little irate when this guy's father is talking to him from...where? Or is it just a memory of his's too bad this isn't made clearer.
    I don't get a sense of the main character or action yet, but I'd read because I like these macabre high fantasy type novels.

  3. Me likes.

    I feel like something huge is about to happen with this, and I'd definitely read more to find out what.

    I'm hooked.

  4. Yes, yes yes!

    It takes a lot to draw me into fantasy, but you did a great job here. I agree with Kat, and I'm on the edge of my seat to find out what happens.

  5. You hooked me. I usually want to know the character's name too, but this didn't bother me at all. I know it's a prologue, and I know it's a fantasy, so I'm not expecting to know much in the beginning. You did a nice job. The only thing I saw that sort of screamed overwriting was the "alabaster bench." Then you mentioned the alabaster again, and I think that probably would have been enough. And I didn't get that he was in a "columned room" with the alabaster bench and was confused for just a moment about that. But such minor things wouldn't stop me from reading a lot more. :)

  6. Yes. I'm hooked. At least to find out if "she's worth it." ;))

  7. From the first line I was hooked. Great descriptive writing. I wanted to read more.

    Loved the words written in blood in some ancient tome.

  8. You started off so strong. It really disappointed me that you completely lost your momentum by getting bogged down with unnecessary details. If you cut all the details down to about 20 words, you might salvage it.

  9. Yes. This sets the scene very well with only as much description as is necessary - not too much. I don't think it's excessive at all. This isn't a genre I have read much of, but I would certainly read on.

  10. Definite yes, with a few caveats:

    1) Check your grammar and punctuation. There were several places that commas or line breaks would have been effective.

    2) (I get tagged on this one all the time)-- In a royal setting like a castle, there were historically ALWAYS people milling about. Servants, councilors, page boys, guards, etc. Even at night, there were people working and moving about the castle. If this castle is intentionally empty for a specific reason, we need to know that right up front.

    But yeah, I am intrigued and would definitely read on. I especially liked the MC's internal debate with his father over his course of action.

  11. I can't say that I am hooked. I don't usually read this type of genre, so I lost intrest after the first couple of lines. It was not bad; it just did not hook me. Good luck!!

  12. Possibly. I like it as a prologue, but if the rest of the story is written the same way, I think I would get tired of this sort of description, and if it isn't, then I don't know what to expect of it. So I like it enough to turn the page, but probably not enough to buy the book. I'm definitely interested, though -- especially whether she is, indeed, worth it. :)

  13. Hm. Intriguing! I want to know who these mysterious people are and what the heck is so important that it must be written in blood in a massive tome that is presented to the King.

    I agree about this being an especially eerie, empty palace. I think that adds to the atmosphere, but I also think you might want to explain why the place is uncluttered by people.

    Watch the semicolons -- they can distract from the flow of a sentence. (And please don't follow a semicolon with an "and." Technically, semicolons substitute for "and.")

    Good luck with this! :-)

  14. Hmm. The writing looks smooth. The protagonist seems interesting -- I like the concept of sacrificing something of himself for what he believes to be worthwhile. I'm not quite sold on this opening, however. If I knew more about the plot as a whole, I might be enticed to read further.

  15. Yes, for me. You created two nice intrigues with the book and the girl being worth it. You have a nice writing style. I little too much detail on the room, but those can be trimmed to keep the pace.

  16. Not hooked.

    Your writing was good, but for some reason my interest drifted with all the descriptions (I usually like descriptiosn). It infers much epic-ness about the book and it being finished but it didn't really engage me. Felt distant; probably not my cup of tea.

  17. On the fence. But I have a feeling this is leading to a whole "chosen one" adventure/quest for the throne, so I'm a little put-off.

  18. Out of all the submissions I've read, THIS is the best one!

    Wonderful voice...beautifully written for the imagination...makes me want to read the entire thing!

  19. No.

    I'm not a fan of prologues like this. You use the word "figure" which gets an automatic book-slammed-shut NO from me--personal peeve, but I loathe that word in context in fiction due to how unimaginative and overused it is--and an unnamed random dude doing interesting stuff, but just, no.

    If you give him a name, stop being so bloody ;) vague and give me more reason to care, I might say yes.

    Good luck,


  20. Maybe, depending on the blurb. It's good, but it's not leap-off-my-seat-and-read-it-now great.

  21. I'm hooked. Many of the books i read for pleasure have prologues. I am curious as to what is in the book. I want to read more.

  22. Maybe. This would be a book I would read when I was in the mood for fantasy and something poetic and fancy. You have a good tone and a very lyrical writing style.

    Good luck!

  23. This isn't my type of book, but the writing is really great and you definitely have some intriguing things going on, so I'm hooked.

  24. Not really. The writing feels polished, but I'm not really invested in the situation and the unnamed character irritates me. The book feels too much like a story within a story thing. Then again, I'm not into standard fantasy, which could account for my lack of interest.

  25. I generally have a beef with prologues, but this one worked pretty well for me. The idea of "she is worth it" coming so soon, and the overall sense that this book comes at extremely great cost, works to bring me into the story, There are some note supthread about increasing your specificity which I think you could consider, but if this came in to me, I'd at very least look at the actual pages for Ch. 1 to decide.

  26. Thanks everyone for all your comments! This was alot of fun.

    As for mysterious unnamed guy, it's a historical fantasy. Just from the back blurb you would know who it is, the prologue was written for pure dramatic emphasis.

    The same goes for the empty castle.

    And yes, chapter 1 swithes POV to the MC.

    And be assured, the rest of the book is not bogged down with description. I can't write description. It's an extreme struggle for me. I describe the palace and grounds in more detail in chapter 2 and then that's it, my readers had better remember what it looks like because that's the end of my description, lol.

    Thanks again!


    PS - If anyone is interested in reading a breif excerpt much further into the book or to know updates on the agent and the publishers, check out my blog.