Query Critique 29

Dear Miss Nelson,

“Be wary, my friend… death follows on swift wings when a Raven smiles.” I’d work a little on the hook. It doesn’t grab me as much as I would like. I like seeing something in the hook that is very specific to the character, plot, or setting of the novel discussed.

Shadows and darkness are home to The Raven, who kills without thought and takes pleasure in solitude. Hunting men for the sake of coin consumes his waking hours, but when the flood of requests for his services come inexplicably to a halt, the Hunter needs to know why. Is the Hunter the same as the Raven? And is the Raven a human or an actual Raven? Or something else? Seeking answers to unknown questions, This phrase confuses me a little, as I generally don’t seek answers to questions I don’t know I have. Raven becomes the unlikely savior to a girl who promises truth, in exchange for her life. Now, the black-hearted assassin finds himself caught in a torrent that carries him away from the comfort of death, and into the world where he is forced to fight to hold on to his edge of darkness. Rework the way this last sentence is phrased, as it’s a little confusing.

Torrent is a simple serving maid. Lowly and invisible in her castle home, the girl is ill prepared for the dangers that pursue her when she unwittingly witnesses the unfolding of a conspiracy which threatens the very existence of her beloved King. For some reason the “very existence of” is rubbing me wrong. Maybe just say it threatens the life of. Forced to run from men who will take her life to protect the intricate web of secrets which are poised to crumble an empire, Torrent escapes with the knowledge that only she can warn the monarch of his impending demise. Frightened and alone in a world that seems bent on her destruction, Torrent finds herself face to face with The Raven, a creature who most whisper is death itself.

Complete at 100,000 words The Raven, is the first novel in an epic fantasy series which will captivate readers of all ages. The Raven, will appeal to fans of, Game of Thrones, Villains By Necessity, and Pitch Black the Chronicles of Riddick.

My work, is dark, thick with character development, and (though it is in the genre of fantasy,) does not contain characters pertaining to zombies, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, witches, warlocks, or any other supernatural beings. I would say this paragraph is unnecessary. It’s better to focus on what the novel has rather than what it doesn’t. You don’t need to mention character development, because it should be apparent in the writing, and it’s expected that any author querying has adequately developed their characters (though many haven’t). And I think the query adequately portrays that the tone is dark.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


A note on capitalizing titles from a previous blog post.



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