Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #140

Genre: Adult/NA Epic Fantasy
Word Count: 83,000


Crown princess Kierstaz Orion is not one to stop and smell the roses. Short, confident, and heir to the throne, she spent most of her twenty-three years training to be as dangerous as any man in armor— just in case. Although Serengard is composed of gifted tradesmen and wealthy farmers, talk of revolution has been circling for decades.

When a large mob of rebels starts a war, kills her parents, and burns her city, the love she has always had for her people turns to a burning desire to set the bloody mess to rights. With a price on their heads and assassins nipping at their heels, Kierstaz pushes her younger brother, Mikel, into leading a handful of knights against the rebel army.

Yet saving Serengard may not be so simple as Kierstaz imagines. As their numbers dwindle, Mikel grows more and more eager to surrender their position to the opposing power of Dreibourge. And although her dead father’s friends profess loyalty, an ambitious rival lurks in the shadows of the man they trust the most. Secrets have always been a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as those kept from her.

First 250:

The smack across her face came as a surprise. Kierstaz had been nicked by the point of a blade before, but never struck by a hand.

“Was your journey pleasant, little Orion?”

Kierstaz squinted at the Seren militia man from the darkness of the wooden crate. He caught one of her small hands and yanked hard. She braced, swung herself past him, skinning her palms on the ground. They were in the hardwoods… to the south? She breathed in muggy, sweet air and curled her fingers into the turf. Eleven men languished around her, armed with the weapons of her murdered armor bearer.

Damned militia bastards.

“Up. Into the house.”

Their leader gestured toward a slate dwelling twenty paces away. The iron chain about her ankles tugged as she walked, but it was not very solid. Inside, the windows were covered by tapestries, maintaining a dim reddish glow. Boards had been pulled from the oaken floor and a chair placed in the clay beneath.

“Sit, princess. It makes me dance in sweet revelry to know that you’ll hold no title by the end of the week.”

Kierstaz swallowed, assessing him. The scruff of a few days covered a strong, square chin, and curly brown hair fell in bunches about his ears. A handsome Seren, if ever she saw one. But his arms were thin. He could no sooner wield a broadsword than he could carry away a pier.

She smiled. “Well. Will you be escorting my head to a spike?”


  1. Lori A. Goldstein (@_lagold)February 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    This sets an instant picture in my mind. Well done. Minor edits: don't think you need the comma before "but" in second line and something about the "to the south?" jarred me out of the scene a bit. I'd suggest taking a look at that. Maybe "They were in the hardwoods, somewhere to the South, most likely."

    I think the pitch is good and concise but want a tad more voice (pitches are not my strong suit so I hate to nitpick!). Something about the first line and stop and smell the roses didn't mesh with the rest of the pitch to me. Almost seemed too light when I then went on to paragraph two and found out what horrible tragedies she's experienced.

    I'd read on!

    1. Thank you, Lori!

      I really appreciate your feedback. Now that you mention the line about the roses, it certainly doesn't fit there. AT ALL. I think it was leftover from a lighter version of my query and I never noticed it needed to go.

      And your edits in my 250 are spot on. Appreciate it!

  2. This is really intriguing. I do agree with Lori re: the hardwoods line. It made me pause and re-read a few times. I think putting the sensory cue first (breathing in muggy air) might help it read easier? Then the reader understands what triggered the MC's understanding of her location.

    Other than that tiny nitpick, I really enjoyed the first 250, esp. the last line -- I'm loving Kierstaz's attitude/voice already!

    1. Thanks, Carissa!

      I love your suggestion to put the sensory cue first. Will definitely be taking your advice. *nods* And I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    2. Thanks, Carissa!

      I love your suggestion to put the sensory cue first. I'll definitely be taking that advice! *nods* And I'm thrilled that you enjoyed reading it. :)

  3. Nice entry! The only things I noticed were the ones Lori and Carissa mentioned already. You've got good voice and a main character I already like. Only one question I had: the third-person POV and the emphasis you place on Mikel in the query makes me wonder if this is a multiple POV ms. Just wondering, it's not something you'd have to note anywhere, I think. :)