I’m just about to finish up chapter seven– six more to go, but I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to finish the last thousand words before I get to the fun, violent part of the book.
So instead, I took a break to write a new query letter (minus the boring title-genre parts). I think they’re getting better; feel free to tell me if I’m completely deluded.
In Marla, wars are fought with assassins, not armies.
The duke of Marla’s northern providence had been in the king’s disfavor since the duke married the king’s sister. The king’s opinion worsened when the duchess died suddenly and without explanation.
Duchess-to-be Wyrren Jadis is the king’s niece, but very much her father’s daughter: honorable, unsubtle, and with a firm sense of duty. Twelve years after her mother’s death, the king uses a mounting revolt on Jadis lands as an excuse to have his niece kidnapped and brought to his underground city of Vastii, which struggles to recover from plague, famine, and violent objections to their unfair monarch. Armed with a formal education, a specialty in a non-combative magic, three talented maids, and a high-ranking slave, Wyrren isn’t quite prepared to be her father’s assassin. But the king means to use Wyrren to accuse the duke of murder regardless of guilt, and he isn’t above making examples of her maids, or her slave, the man she secretly loves.
In the deepest tunnels of Vastii, far from the palace gentry, red crosses are drawn in chalk where effects of the plague have been seen. Wyrren’s slave is also a doctor, accustomed to slums, and has evidence to support a friend’s theory that this plague might have been started intentionally months before their arrival, and not by the king.