Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Feedback Request

The author of the book featured most recently here requests feedback on the following version of the query.

Dear EE,

Tali Adilrein accepts a bodyguard job expecting to defend [defending] her client, Shimmer, from kidnappers.  Within hours, she protects her from a magic-spawned swarm of hundreds of potentially lethal arrows.  After an attack by a third group [group of what?] severely injures bystanders, officials [Officials of what? The police? Local government?] place Shimmer in protective custody.  They tell Tali she's no longer needed. [Are they the ones who hired her? If Shimmer hired Tali, Shimmer should decide if Tali is needed.]
However, they didn't notice the same rare dragon magic--only wielded by people from Tali's homeland--assisting [enhancing] the common magics in each attack.  Tali's not about to leave her client a sitting target under the officials' dubious protection.  While fighting the bureaucracy to keep her job, she helps them investigate the scores of her fellow countrymen in town for a festival.  She also prepares spells to defend Shimmer during [the next attack] and follow the dragon magic in the next attack back to its source.

Unknown to any of them, their enemy is biding her time until she becomes powerful enough to destroy those who imprisoned her millennia ago, and their numerous descendants, associates, and anyone who gets in her way.  She's not particular.  If she obtains [captures] Shimmer and her ability to enhance magic, it will all happen that much sooner. 


If there are scores of Tali's countrymen in town, and Tali's countrymen have the power to enhance common magic, why don't the kidnappers or the mysterious enemy take one of those people instead of going after the one who's protected by a powerful bodyguard? Is there something special about Shimmer? 

If someone wants to use Shimmer's magic, they probably wouldn't risk killing her by sending hundreds of lethal arrows her way.

The first paragraph is confusing. I'm not sure who these groups are. I guess the first group is kidnappers, the second is arrows (which may or may not have been fired by the kidnappers), and the third group is "another group." Maybe it's better to keep it simple:

As bodyguard Tali Adilrein is protecting her client Shimmer from magic attacks, several bystanders are severely injured. Law enforcement authorities put Shimmer in protective custody for her own (and everyone else's) safety, not realizing that rare dragon magic--wielded only by people from Tali's homeland--enhanced the magic attacks.

I assume this enemy who was imprisoned millennia ago didn't hire the kidnappers and wasn't responsible for the arrows, as that wouldn't exactly be "biding her time." On the other hand, if she had nothing to do with any of that, and she's the main villain in the book, she might need a bigger role in the query than the groups Tali easily thwarts.