Today we have one of my oldest and bestest friend's query: Sarah Ahiers, AKA Falen. Please go visit her blog, and make sure you're following. I especially love Wednesday Weird, and Friday Fun.
Now, you'll see tomorrow, when I give my actual critique, that it's going to kind of suck. That's because I've read this manuscript. Much like writing our own queries, critiquing a query for a story in which you already know everything that happens is really hard. I know that may sound counter-intuitive, but trust me, I read a lot of queries.
Anyway, here's her letter:
In the country of Lovero where families of assassins lawfully kill people for the right price, sixteen-year-old Oleander “Lea” Saldana sets out on a path of vengeance against the most powerful assassin family of all.
The list of things Lea can count on in her life has never been long: her mother will try to poison her to make Lea a better assassin, she can beat her boyfriend Val in a fight and her bone mask will keep her safe from the angry ghosts as she kills someone in the night. But when she trusts Val, a member of the powerful Da Vias, and reveals the location of her home, she is betrayed and her family is slaughtered while Lea barely escapes as the sole survivor.
Now there’s only one thing left to do: make the Da Vias pay.
The only problem is, the Da Vias have gone to ground and the one person who can find them is her missing uncle, banished from the Saldanas years ago. Even if he can be found before the Da Vias realize Lea escaped their knives, Lea can’t trust him. Hells, she can’t trust anyone ever again, and definitely not her uncle’s too-attractive-for-his-own-good apprentice, Alessio, no matter what her heart and body tell her. How can she trust Alessio when the last boy she loved destroyed everything? How can she fall for Alessio when revenge is all she should care about?
But when the Da Vias kidnap her uncle, Lea has a choice: use him as a distraction to finally kill the Da Vias, or trust Alessio and save all that remains of her family.
ALL THAT REMAINS is a YA fantasy novel complete at 102,000 words. It would appeal to fans of Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING trilogy and Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE. I have a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, served as the fiction editor for 2003 Wayfarer, the literary magazine of the U of MN, am a SCBWI member and have been accepted into the Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (January 2014). My young adult horror short story “Smothered” appears in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT #1.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Please thank Sarah for being awesome, and like me, save your feedback for tomorrow!