Hey everyone! Longtime lurker here. I've recently started querying a novel and wasn't having a lot of luck, aka no full or partial requests, even from agents who had requested from previous manuscripts (yeah this is not my first rodeo). So I re-wrote my query, and now I am hoping to get some helpful eyes on it before diving back into the trenches. Would appreciate any feedback, particularly to know if this is a) easy to follow, b) piques your interest in the story, and c) sounds too steampunky (I know that's the immediate association with airships, but this is more gaslamp than steampunk). Thanks!!
Life is a collection of roles to Imary Bright. Astute tea merchant, dutiful daughter and sister, selfless lover. Day in and day out, she plays them almost perfectly. It’s the things she can’t control that are the problem—and top of that list is the swaggering airship pilot Ferra Alwine. When Imary’s betrothed disappears on their wedding day, along with the legendary map that is Imary’s most prized possession, Imary knows that Ferra, former lover of the missing groom, is to blame.
To salve her bruised pride and get her adequate life back, Imary has to go after Ferra. Even if it involves traveling by airship herself (which makes her nauseous), stealing her impoverished family’s last remaining assets (she’ll give them back), accepting charity from a renowned poisoner (the poisoning was hopefully just a rumor), and consorting with sorceresses (very illegal).
If Imary can’t successfully confront Ferra, the Bright family will be ruined and Imary’s carefully constructed life will be a shambles. And that’s assuming Ferra hasn’t gotten up to anything worse than kidnapping and petty thievery in the meantime…
QUEENS OF SEA AND SKY is an 83,000-word fantasy novel that tells the tale of fierce female rivalry set against the backdrop of illicit magic, swooping airships, and endless cups of tea. Fans of Mary Robinette Kowal and Naomi Novik may enjoy QUEENS OF SEA AND SKY.
(In case you are curious, here is the previous query I was using that was 0/11:)
Imary Bright may not be thrilled about getting married in order to save her family’s tea business, but that doesn’t mean she’s not furious when her betrothed is kidnapped on their wedding day. Worse, the legendary map that is her most prized possession also vanishes. And Imary knows exactly who to blame for both disappearances—Ferra Alwine, swaggering airship pilot and former lover of the missing groom.
It’s not just that Imary’s pride is bruised and her adequate life upended by Ferra’s crimes. While Imary valued the map as an important historical specimen of cartography, Ferra believes that it truly shows the place where a legendary goddess will rise from the sea and grant one mortal a boon. Of course that’s nonsense, but Imary has to stop Ferra before her reckless greed threatens Imary’s livelihood, their nation, and the nature of their world itself.