Guess the Plot
1. When the blind falls over. When the dog runs away. When your shotgun accidentally takes out your mother-in-law. Oh wait. That was a good day.
2. The haunting and chilling memoir of a man who pushed his friendship too far and criticised Dick Cheney.
3. On a hunting trip upon the Mimsy Borogroves, Carol Lewis is in search of the mighty Jabberwock. However, upon finding the eviscerated body of her companion, Beaujean Snarkh, Carol finds herself hunted, as well as hunter.
4. It's the first day of deer season, and the gals at Buck Country Beer Store who are trying to keep the shelves stocked for the guys heading to deer camp have just one message for anyone who might venture into the woods: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
5. Two perennial adversaries find themselves stalked by a predator in a remote woodland. Will a battle of wits determine the survivor of the encounter, or will it be a simple deus ex machina?
6. Leo Rogan has a thriving business hunting down runaway slaves and returning them to their owners. Then James Reynard shows up and starts claiming that all the slaves Leo captures are actually his servants. This kind of trouble can kill a business. A slave hunter has nothing without his reputation.
Leo Rogan is determined to be a land owner. Under the laws of Sarkine, he has a chance to buy his father's fief from Sir Egan, thus fulfilling his father's deathbed wish. Sir Egan gives him a year to come up with the money; if Leo fails, all of his profits will go to Egan's coffers and Leo himself will be trapped as Egan's servant.
The fastest way to earn money is tracking down runaway faery slaves. Leo, a skilled hunter, uses his abilities to establish a thriving slave-catching business. The work is difficult, but Leo perseveres.
Until he meets the Reynards.
James Reynard, an abolitionist who poses as a slave-owner, claims that the runaways are his servants. Leo suspects that he's actually smuggling them to the Faery Realm. With nothing more than the real owner's description to base his claim on, Leo has to give up his prey. [Isn't returning runaway faery slaves to their owners the way Leo makes money? If Reynard claims a captured runaway faery slave is his, he should pay Leo. Who pays slave-catchers if not the slave owners?] But giving up doesn't mean giving in. Instead, he finds a way to expose Reynard as a thief and send him to prison.
With Reynard imprisoned, his faery wife Zara is auctioned off. Out of pity, Leo buys her, intending to set her free. [Why isn't she free? She was a landowner's wife, not a slave.] But Zara refuses to leave her husband. She threatens to undermine Leo's reputation as a slave-catcher by claiming she escaped from him. [But she isn't a slave, is she? People know she's Reynard's wife.] To save his business, Leo reluctantly agrees to let Zara stay with him until her husband is freed.
Living with a faery causes Leo to look more sympathetically at the slaves he tracks. It's a sympathy he can't afford, though, for the year is drawing to a close and he still doesn't have Egan's fee. [Maybe if he didn't blow all that money buying Zara he'd have enough.] Worse, he is beginning to fall in love with Zara.
Hunting Trouble is a fantasy novel in progress. [No need to include that sentence, as you won't be sending the query anywhere until the novel is complete.] Thank you for your time and criticism. [No need to thank me for criticizing you. Criticizing people is my pleasure.]
You say, "With nothing more than the real owner's description to base his claim on, Leo has to give up his prey." If Leo captures a runaway who meets the real owner's description, what more does he need? DNA tests? Doesn't the real owner get a chance to identify the captured slave as his own before Leo just accepts Reynard's claim that it's his servant?
How do faeries differ from humans? I assume they don't look like Tinkerbell if Reynard married one. Do they have magical abilities?
The fief workers already work the land and give all their profits to the landowners. And the landowners have servants. So what do the landowners need faery slaves for?
Tracking slaves is the fastest way to make money, and Leo's business was thriving. If he doesn't have the money, how does anyone ever manage to buy a fief? If the price is too high, isn't there any land for sale besides his father's fief? He can start his own business, but he can't leave town and buy land somewhere else?
I'd combine the first two paragraphs, which have some unnecessary info, into something like:
Under the laws of Sarkine, Leo Rogan can buy his late father's fief from Sir Egan--if Leo can come up with the money within a year. The fastest way to earn money is tracking down runaway faery slaves, so Leo, a skilled hunter, uses his abilities to establish a thriving slave-catching business.
It seems out of character for landowners to accept a law that requires them to sell their land to the children of their deceased fief workers. With enough deaths they might no longer be landowners.
The plot description is well-written, but I'd like some of the issues I brought up dealt with.