The whole thing had to be a cruel joke.
This isn't working for me. Without the context of something that's come before it, this line has no real meaning. It certainly takes some on later, but I don't think that works at the opening for a query. Keep in mind though, this kind of feedback is all very subjective, so don't listen to me unless it resonates with your vision (or if pretty much everyone else agrees).
Growing up the prince of a small island, everyone always told Andren how lucky he was,
Then Eiva, a canny sorceress who wears robes instead of frippery, because robes are so much more efficient than long, flowing ... er, wait. lifts the curse on Andren. Is this still backstory? What is the main conflict in this manuscript? You've got a lot of cool elements here, but I need to start getting a sense of the main conflict by this point. Still he feels (see what I mean about tense? This is present. Which I get the feeling means, that this is the beginning of the actual story, and the rest is/was backstory) choked by the evil acts he
FROM HALVMANE'S SHORE is a fantasy novel with series potential complete at 80,000 words.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Okay. So let's summarize. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, Laura, I don't intend it to be. I've nit picked it a bit, because I think you have a cool story underneath this ... sort of a Beauty and the Beast without the Beauty. The problem here is that you really have to dig, and infer a lot of things to get a sense of the story.
The main issue for me is, when does the story actually begin? When his parents die? When he's changed hack into a human? When he leaves his island kingdom for the mainland? There's nothing wrong with including backstory in a query, in fact, the best ones have it, and weave it in seamlessly, but you need to make it clear where the backstory ends, and the tale actually begins.
Other than that, you have some standard query issues that I think we all suffer from, because queries are damn hard. First, we have no real sense of Andren's character. We know a lot of stuff that happens to him, but we don't really know what kind of person he is. It seems at the end here, that maybe he starts to fight for what is right, and that makes him a little sympathetic, but the problem is you need him to be very sympathetic, right from the beginning. I mean you open with a prince, who everyone tells is lucky, but they're all jealous of him. Then, it turns out he spent some time as a monster. I mean that's not the most sympathetic character ever. I'm sure he's compelling in the book, but you need to work on getting that across in the query.
Second, I have no real sense of what your main conflict is. I mean, I can only assume it's this war that's mentioned right at the end, but if it is, you need to bring it up sooner, and make it much clearer. If the war comes later, and the main conflict is the struggle of becoming human again, you'll need to focus more on that.
Finally, I want a better sense of your world. There are some very cool elements: a prince, an emperor, an island, and especially a canny sorceress, but I don't really have a clear sense of the world. You know, the culture, the level of technology, whether there are fantastic creatures and so on. I'm sure you've woven all that in to the manuscript wonderfully, and you certainly can't fit it all in a query, but just a few more hints would help.
I really hope this helps. I think you've got the start of something cool here, it just needs a little work.
What do you all think? Is there anything I missed? Anything you disagree with? Please share your thoughts in the comments, and have a great weekend!