Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #31 - Bloom

YA Fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Finna Claremont can't get through the day without messing up even the simplest of her powers. So when she finds out she's guardian of her magically hidden kingdom, she knows they're all screwed.

Until now it hasn’t bothered Finna that she can't stun with any accuracy, form a strong command, or transport and end up anywhere near where she meant. She's happy with her mediocre life in the Enchanter kingdom. But now, increasing contact between her world and the outside is inflaming the tense relationship between the magical race of Enchanters and the humans who live among them. Qualified or not, as guardian it's Finna's job to keep the peace.

That means stopping Sileas Parlan, a powerful Enchanter politician, from stripping Enchanters of their powers bit by bit. Only Finna, her family, and a precious few others realize he's using the guise of equality to take control of the kingdom.

With her unexceptional powers, Finna can't expose Parlan as a fraud. She needs help, and her best chance is to accept it from the most powerful boy she knows, Liam Monroe. Using his unique Enchanter abilities and his family's position in the new government, he's poised to take it down from the inside. Trusting Liam isn't easy. Their families have hated each other for generations. But with him risking his life for Finna and the cause, she's forced to reevaluate his character -- and her feelings for him.

Finna can't defeat Parlan without Liam's help, even though choosing him is tantamount to betraying her family.


“You couldn’t swim it. There’s no way. It’s miles out there.” My cousin Ellie’s voice was incredulous, the only indication of a reaction to her brother Madden’s intended expedition. I looked up from my book to eye them both.

“People swim the English Channel, and it’s over 20 miles,” Mads said. He leaned back on his elbows, staring across the pristine blue water toward the jagged rocks that broke the surface in the distance. “It’s only fifteen to the protection border.”

Ellie lay on her back in the sand, trying to perfect her tan before we left the beach house that afternoon. She tipped up her over-large, white rimmed sunglasses, which had covered her expressions until now, and rolled her head over to scowl at Mads.

“How do you even know stuff like that?”

“First grade geography.”

She slipped the glasses back over her eyes and returned to her tanning position. “You would remember something stupid like that.”


Heather M Bryant said...

I think I've seen this query before but it's clearly changed a lot.

The first 150 words were really good, the only thing I'd suggest in your query is taking some of the names out. At the moment there are a lot of characters/places/things so it's kind of hard to keep track. Also, I couldn't helping ready 'Parlan' as 'Palan' lol.

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #31!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

- Hah! I love the voice.

- I would tighten the query. Condense whatever you can. Cut names that aren’t absolutely essential. :)

Best of luck!

Escape Artist said...

I am casting a vote for you.

Lone Star said...

I liked the dialog in your first 150, but your strong voice didn't translate into your query. Can you give your query more voice an character? Also, I read the query as high fantasy, but since you mention the English Channel, this must be set on Earth? If it is, you might clarify that in your query and possibly call it an urban fantasy or contemporary fantasy.