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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » THE KING'S HUNTSMAN - Query

   
Author Topic: THE KING'S HUNTSMAN - Query
rabirch
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I'm working on a query, and I'm feeling compeletely lost with it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!

Rebecca

"A Huntsman stands for honor, loyalty, bravery, and fellowship. I swear to serve my king with my life--to speak honesty without fear, and to face death with courage. My liege, I am your man." -- The Huntsman's Oath

Tamlin's father raised her by the ideals of the king's legendary Huntsmen. He had been a member until they were disbanded under a cloud of suspicion after the old king's death twenty years past, and Tamlin strove to live up to his expectations. Now a young woman of nineteen, she chafes under her father's cautious care. Fiercely independent, she longs to prove that she can take care of herself.

When word reaches their solitary home in the cold northern forests that the King's Huntsmen are being reformed, and a Hunt--the traditional test for potential recruits--is being held, Tamlin yearns to follow in her father's footsteps--to win the Hunt and earn a place among the elite. There's just one problem. Women are forbidden.

Meanwhile, King Corbet, left an orphan at the age of five, realizes that his uncle, the Prince Regent, has no intention of releasing the power he wielded as the young king was growing. Corbet suspects that his uncle may have had a hand in his father's death, and is determined not to live his life as a puppet king. Alone in a complex world of power and intrigue, Corbet seeks to surround himself with men he can trust before attempting to wrest power back from his uncle. Risking retaliation, he issues a fiat reinstating the order of King's Huntsmen.

In the north, Tamlin's father refuses to allow her to join the Hunt. Desperate to prove herself, she slips away in the dead of night, using her mysterious innate power over nature to hide her tracks. Risking death if she is discovered, Tamlin cuts off her long curls and disguises herself as a boy to enter the Hunt. It will change the course of her life and the fate of a kingdom.

The King's Huntsman follows Tamlin as she grows from an impetuous girl to a confident woman, who has fought past prejudice and mistrust to gain the respect of her father and the friendship of a king, learning the truth of her fae origins and exposing a murderer along the way.

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Meredith
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First off, it's a little long and you haven't even included the genre and length yet.

quote:
Originally posted by rabirch:
"A Huntsman stands for honor, loyalty, bravery, and fellowship. I swear to serve my king with my life--to speak honesty without fear, and to face death with courage. My liege, I am your man." -- The Huntsman's Oath

I'm not sure about starting with this.

quote:
Tamlin's father raised her by the ideals of the king's legendary Huntsmen. He had been a member until they were disbanded under a cloud of suspicion after the old king's death twenty years past, and Tamlin strove to live up to his expectations. Now a young woman of nineteen, she chafes under her father's cautious care. Fiercely independent, she longs to prove that she can take care of herself.
This is mostly backstory. I think you can cut this paragraph.

quote:
When word reaches their solitary home in the cold northern forests that the King's Huntsmen are being reformed, and a Hunt--the traditional test for potential recruits--is being held, Tamlin yearns to follow in her father's footsteps--to win the Hunt and earn a place among the elite. There's just one problem. Women are forbidden.
This is a better place to start. From this we know that the Huntsmen are being reformed (so presumably they'd been disbanded) and that Tamlin's father was one of them. But it's more centered on Tamlin.

quote:
Meanwhile, King Corbet, left an orphan at the age of five, realizes that his uncle, the Prince Regent, has no intention of releasing the power he wielded as the young king was growing. Corbet suspects that his uncle may have had a hand in his father's death, and is determined not to live his life as a puppet king. Alone in a complex world of power and intrigue, Corbet seeks to surround himself with men he can trust before attempting to wrest power back from his uncle. Risking retaliation, he issues a fiat reinstating the order of King's Huntsmen.
I don't think you need to start with "Meanwhile". Every word counts in a query. Be careful of slipping into past tense. Presumably the Prince Regent is still wielding the power, so keep it in the present tense. How old is Corbet now? If he was five at about the time the Huntsmen were disbanded, that'd make him 25 now. Seems a tad old to be figuring out that he's not going to get to really be king unless he does something.

quote:
In the north, Tamlin's father refuses to allow her to join the Hunt. Desperate to prove herself, she slips away in the dead of night, using her mysterious innate power over nature to hide her tracks. Risking death if she is discovered, Tamlin cuts off her long curls and disguises herself as a boy to enter the Hunt. It will change the course of her life and the fate of a kingdom.
Again, get rid of "In the north". We know where Tamlin is. I think I would reorganize so that the two paragraphs centered on who Tamlin is and what she wants are together. I also don't like the last sentence.

Then look and see if you can tighten up those two paragraphs a bit. In fact, all three paragraphs.

The reference to her "mysterious power" and below to her "fae origins" feel almost like a throwaway. If this is important to the story, say it right out. Perhaps something like "She's sure she can do the job because . . ."

Now, you've introduced the two main characters, why we should care about them, and what they want/what choices they have to make. What's lacking is the obstacles and the stakes.

quote:
The King's Huntsman follows Tamlin as she grows from an impetuous girl to a confident woman, who has fought past prejudice and mistrust to gain the respect of her father and the friendship of a king, learning the truth of her fae origins and exposing a murderer along the way.
No agent wants to be told what the book is about. Even in a query, they want to be shown. Substitute a paragraph about the stakes. What happens if they fail?

The title should be in all caps and you need to also include the genre and length in words (to the nearest thousand).

Queries are hard. It always takes me several tries to get close to right.

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rabirch
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Thank you very much for your feedback, Meredith. You've given me a lot to think about and I'm going to need to take some time with it before I try again with a version two.

I appreciate your help!

(Sorry I'm so late responding. I've been on vacation and then straight into a writers workshop, so my internet time has been limited.)

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