Query Critique 67

Memories.  They are one of the most important aspects of our very existence.  Memories shape our individuality, provide a roadmap as to how we should act, and serve as an aid as we travel through life, hopefully preventing us from making the same mistake twice.  Without our memories, we would walk the planet as emotionless husks, never evolving, stuck in one place in time.  It’s taking too long to really get to the meat of the story. I want the characters and world introduced as soon as possible. The discourse on memories isn’t enough to really grab me. When a man wakes up in the back of a merchant’s wagon driven by two goblins, without any idea who he is, he knows he’s in trouble. See, now this should be your hook.  He looks for clues to unlock his identity, but the task is difficult when no one else knows who he is either.

As the man struggles to learn who he is, a sinister Human by the name of Lutheras, leads a growing force of dark wizards and Minotaurs in the north. I’m a little curious why Human and Minotaurs are capitalized. If this is related to the world building, I think it needs to be a little more clear. He’s hell bent on gathering all seven of the orbs scattered throughout Askabar. The orbs seem to sort of come out of nowhere.  Lutheras has learned that the seven orbs are keys; keys imprisoning the worst wizard who ever lived.  Combining the orbs will provide Lutheras with unfathomable power, and unleash a darkness and evil the likes of which the planet has never seen. I’d maybe like a little more indication of how the memoryless man is at all involved with Lutheras.

The man without his memories arrives at the capital city of the region and arranges a meeting with the ruler.  Lord Brukahn of Havenbrook, intrigued by the stranger’s loss of memory, agrees to help him.  He sends the stranger on a journey to seek out an old and mysterious seer, who Brukahn believes can unlock his memories. This seems like a lot of and then he goes from here to there, and seems to detract from the main conflict.  The Lord knows he can’t send this man out alone, and offers his daughter, Liniana, as a guide. There are a lot of characters being introduced in this query. How many of them are really necessary? She’s a formidable soldier in her own right, and has learned how to harness her spark as a healer—an ability that comes in handy during their long and perilous journey.  As they head east, he feels a constant pull toward the seer—as if they are somehow connected. How important is this to the main plot?

Through his travels, the man learns his fate is tied to the peculiar events in the north. This seems a little vague to me.  Lutheras has already conquered one city, and has his sights set on the next as he marches on his ever-growing path of conquest. The fate of Askabar hangs in the balance and depends upon a man who doesn’t even remember who he is. I think these stakes could be made a little stronger. Overall, I think the query needs more of a focus. Stick to the main conflict, and don’t worry about sub plots. Make the logical flow a little more consistent, because right now the synopsis seems a little jumbled. Try not to jump from one idea to another. Make sure all the ideas are very clearly connected.

THE UKNOWN MAN is my debut novel, and is the first book of four in the high fantasy series, The Keepers of the Orbs.  It is complete at 114,000 words.  Thank you for your time and consideration.