Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #8

TITLE: The Calling
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Odelia dreamt a river of blood. She stood in the middle of it, the blood gushing over her feet and soaking her white robe to the knees, turning it a sickly red. She doubled over, gripping her stomach, crying out as a sharp, burning pain ripped through her. Blood oozed over her hands as she gasped for breath.

“You will die like your mother,” a woman snarled.

Odelia’s head shot up and she saw her Aunt Tabitha standing in the distance, a dagger dripping with fresh blood in her hands. The river flowed from a mountain of dead bodies behind her, and atop them was the king. A strangled cry escaped her lips, her eyes widening. Black feathers rained from the sky and Odelia tilted her head back further to see a winged man hovering above the king, smirking down at her.

“We are coming,” he warned. “And your people will fall.”

The chamber filled with a thick haze. The Dark Prince emerged from within it, stepping up to the dreaming princess. He pressed his fingers against her forehead, reading her dream. He frowned; why were young females always chosen? Did He honestly think this one could defeat him when the others had failed?

Whispering furiously, the Dark Prince drew the dream from her mind. The princess lurched under his hand, her eyelids fluttering, the whites of her eyes quaking.

He removed his hand and she stilled, her eyes falling shut.

He then slid back into the haze and vanished.


  1. The imagery in your opening paragraph is amazing. I know what I'm in for right from the first sentence. I get the sense that this is either a vision or a dream, and it definitely seems like a preview of things to come. Very strong start.

    I am very mystified by the Dark Prince, though. I can't tell whether he's the king from her vision, or whether he's an ally. It's enough of a hook that I want to read on to see what happens. At the same time, I can see how it might be confusing. "Dark Prince" immediately made me think he would become the king from her vision.

    I'm also curious whether this will be a dual POV, or omniscient third. I say this because the vision is clearly from Odelia's perspective, but then we swap to the Dark Prince. There's definitely a shift in tone between the two.

    Overall, this is a very strong 250. I wanted to keep reading!

  2. This is a cool beginning. All I would tell you is NOT to say that it's a dream in the first sentence. Because it's such cool imagery going on, and the "dream" aspect kinda took me out of it, a little. (It kinda disappointed me, actually)

  3. I am not a huge fantasy reader. However, I will not take away from good writing. I LIKE YOUR STYLE. I am hooked. I would read more. Thanks

  4. Excellent opening! This has a great opening line/paragraph which instantly intrigued me. The Dark Prince "reading" her dream is creepy and sinister - the opening raises a lot of questions, and I'd absolutely read on to find out the answers.

  5. This starts strong and compelling, making me want to know more.

    In the sentence
    A strangled cry escaped her lips, her eyes widening
    It isn't clear to me who her is. The aunt? Odelia?

    I would keep reading.

  6. It is a strong opening with lots of great images. A mountain of dead bodies, blood dripping from her dagger. I particularly liked the black feathers raining from the sky.

    I did wonder if you might meld the two scenes together, so you don't have the disconnect from the dream to reality. Perhaps if we saw the arrival of the dark prince first, and then when he reads her dream you could show us the dream and then he could draw it from her mind and then disappear. It would eliminate the jump between scenes which was a bit jarring, and give it continuity. Just a thought.

  7. I'm afraid this one is too dark for my tastes.

    But if it weren't...I would probably keep reading.

    My only critique is that I think he eyelids should flutter open, since they later close, and I don't think the whites of her eyes should quake. that seemed a bit odd to me.

    But the dark prince taking her dream is intriguing and creepy. And her aunt with the dagger is creepy. So if you're going to for creepy, you have succeeded.