I'm currently working on my query package for my first novel, Skin Shedders, and was wondering if anyone could give me advice. It is a YA fantasy of 85,000 words. I also want to know if it sounds like a book anyone would want to read (and if you would like it).
I’m seeking representation for my first novel, Skin Shedders, a YA fantasy of 85,000 words, inspired by Brandon Mull’s Spirit Animals and Taran Matharu’s Summoner series.
The book opens in a small village, in the war-torn kingdom of Verius. It follows Drake, an orphan whose parents had been murdered when he was a toddler. He goes through the Skin Shedding Ceremony, and as his new position of nobility progresses, he is increasingly wrapped up in the dealings of Yiron, the noble who owned the estate before Drake. Yiron is intricately tied up with Drake’s past, and the secrets to who murdered his parents.
As the book progresses it hints at mysteries—mysteries about the past that Drake has become embroiled in. Why are assassins being sent after him? What’s the voice he hears?
I am fourteen and have wanted to write a book for some time. I look forward to writing more books in the series.
I enclose my three opening chapters and a synopsis. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
DRAKE (16) is an orphan living in Verius, a kingdom that’s been at war for thousands of years. His parents were murdered when he was a child, and Drake wants to find the man who killed them. Drake has a mysterious disease that has been slowly progressing, the medicine he stole not helping.
The disease is caused by the Skin Shedding Ceremony not being performed, and the absence of the Ceremony. Once the Ceremony is performed, Drake’s disease will disappear.
He is caught trying to steal bread, then subsequently thrown in jail. Drake knows that no one will find him, and he will stay in jail until he is killed by the disease. After a few days, a noble finds Drake in the cell, freeing him.
The noble knows of the disease Drake has and sends him with the other sixteen-year-old children in the village. They are going to have the Skin Shedding Ceremony performed, enabling the children to Skin Shed, a form of shapeshifting.
Drake’s disease progresses, so he is taken to the capital city of Farith to have the Ceremony performed before he dies. The Ceremony is performed, but when they try to reverse it, it goes wrong, and Drake runs away. Drake finds a Dar, a messenger for the king of Dirikan. He accidently kills the Dar, Skin Shedding into a giant boar in the process, which shouldn’t be possible.
Drake is found by CALLUM, next in line for the throne. Drake and Callum are brought to Farith by one of the King’s spies. Drake overhears the spy and one of the High Court conversing about Callum and him.
Drake is sent to his estate, an estate previously owned by YIRON, the noble that murdered Drake’s parents, and disappeared years ago. Drake accidentally finds a room hidden by Yiron, and slowly discovers more about what he was doing.
Drake is conscripted into the Verin army, as well as Callum. During a battle, Drake Skin Sheds into a boar again. Callum hides the evidence. They are ambushed by Dirikanians, and Drake shows the King’s spies what he can do.
Drake shows Callum the hidden room, and they discover that they need to go to Dirikan, the kingdom that they are at war with. While Drake stays in Farith, they are attacked by the Sun’s Shadows, a religious group of assassins sent by the King. Drake and Callum escape, Callum Skin Shedding into a giant harpy eagle.
They reach Dirikan after being attacked once again, trying to find out how to gain the files they need. Drake is pickpocketed by ARLEN, a Dirikanian. King Serden finds out that they are in Dirikan, and they are caught, but not before Drake finds out Callum is Dirikanian.
With the help of Arlen, they escape Dirikan with the files they need.
A couple weeks later, Callum brings the news that the King has cut off labor to his estate. It forces Drake to go to the proving grounds.
In the proving grounds, Drake kills General Dorasthen, knocked unconscious in the process. He has a vision of Yiron, showing Drake what he needs.
The King sends the Sun’s Shadows against Drake again, flooding his estate. They are beat back, but Drake and Arlen are forced to leave before Drake is given to the Sun’s Shadows. As they escape, Callum joining them, they are attacked again, the Sun’s Shadows capturing Callum.
Does it sound engaging? And, once again, would you like to read it?