Thursday, February 22, 2007
Guess the Plot
The Mages of Triannis
1. A psychic courtesan and her husband must find the assassins who killed the emperor. But the assassins are also after them. The assassins, of course, are mages. From Triannis.
2. A dozen role-playing friends rent a Welsh island castle for a week of Medieval fun and romance, but things turn strange when a mysterious body is found in the tower, the bridge to the mainland collapses, and the only "rescue" ship has a crew of pirates led by two prankster Mages.
3. Young Mary-Annette's delusions of grandeur seem harmless until the mages of nearby Triannis start wearing sheep's clothing to get under her pretty shepherdess skirt. When her little brother posts the resulting action on YouTube, the mages are caught looking sheepish.
4. Icelandic geothermal engineer Tommy Thorsen is surprised to find a crowd of medieval looking eccentrics in his kitchen. The Mages have arrived to announce he must help defeat the Wizards of Woe, seal the mid-Atlantic rift, and reset the global thermostat or the Earth will soon be drier than Mars. Having been spurned by Roxanne, Tom is in a bitter mood and says . . . No.
5. Timothy becomes one of the galaxy's greatest economic theorists despite a rare learning disorder in which he sees the beginnings of words upside-down. This explains why, when he volunteered to handle the wage negotiations on the coal-mining planet of Triannis, he was surprised to find fireballs being hurled at him.
6. Dublin's best Goth-rock punk band is known as the MAGES OF TRIANNIS. They do everything to flaunt the supernatural shtick: paint runes on stuff, put Tarot cards in their promo kits, perform stage magic at all their concerts -- until a real wizard takes offense and decides to destroy them.
Dear Agent X,
I learned on your agency’s website that you are currently interested in fantasy manuscripts. I think that you may be interested in my novel, The Mages of Triannis, complete at 108,000 words. I would like to invite you to review the manuscript and consider it for possible representation.
When Corina is married off to Lord Raul of Berentel she is thrust into a world of political intrigue that neither her training as a courtesan nor her psychic talents could have ever prepared her for. [A guy with the title of Lord shouldn't have any trouble finding a wife from the ranks of nobility, and maintaining a side relationship with his courtesan. Appearances are everything.] [Plus, being married to someone who can read minds is just asking for trouble.] After the Emperor is magically assassinated Rual [That's two different spellings of the guy's name in two sentences. I predict later spellings of Raoul, Rollo, Ricardo, and Borgo the Disemboweler.] and Corina are charged with finding the murderer, all the while being hunted themselves by an old enemy determined to destroy their bloodline and usurp Rual’s inheritance. In a society where magic is commonplace they are among the last telepaths, condemned to death by the crimes of their ancient forbears should they be discovered. [Discovered to exist? The guy's a Lord, people must know he's alive. Discovered to be telepaths? If it's not known that they're telepaths, why are they charged with finding the assassins? A Lord and a courtesan are the best investigators available?] As the palace descends into mourning tensions mount, relationships shatter, and a desperate killer stalks both Rual and the widowed Empress. Soon Corina and Rual find themselves in the middle of a political war of magic and deception, fighting for their lives with nothing less than the throne of the Empire at stake.
The Mages of Triannis is my second novel, the first being Arcadia which is currently on submission to Luna Books. I am a professional horseback riding instructor in upstate New York and presently working on the sequel to Arcadia as well as a new novel. Enclosed is an SASE for your reply. I would be more than happy to send you a partial or complete copy of my manuscript for you to review if you should wish it. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
[For GTP purposes: the title The Mages of Triannis refers to the rogue mages responsible for killing the emperor/hunting Duke Rual.] [I know that sentence isn't part of the query, but I hope you have it straight in the book whether it's Duke Rual or Lord Rual.] [For those minions wondering who are more powerful: rogue mages or ruthless vigilante sorcerers, I provide power rankings for our favorite characters.
1. Ruthless vigilante sorcerer
3. Kohrlach, god of the dark realm
5. Obsessed serial killer
6. Miss Snark
7. Zombie cow
9. Miss Pettipants
10. Rogue mage
11. Brutal Eunuch
12. Crazed midwife]
I wouldn't mind a little more information, even if it means dropping most of your credits paragraph. What relationships shatter, for instance? What's Triannis? What is this inheritance the enemy is after? What kind of magic can the mages do? Seems like in a world where magic is commonplace, you wouldn't need to usurp someone else's inheritance.
The note after the query indicates that it's the mages who killed the emperor, and the mages who are hunting Rual. The query said Rual was being hunted by an old enemy determined to destroy their bloodline and usurp Rual’s inheritance. Is that the mages? If not, who is it, and if so, maybe the mages should get some mention in the query, as they seem to be involved in everything.
Maybe we don't need to say that after her marriage Corina was thrust into a world of political intrigue, and later say after the emperor's death they find themselves in a political war of magic and deception. The latter sounds a lot like the former. When do they actually enter the world of political intrigue? Marriage or assassination? Nitpicky maybe, but both phrases are cliché-ish, so getting rid of one can't hurt.