I started querying about a month ago and I've gotten seven rejections so far. I've only been querying agents who I thought suited the genre, but I feel discouraged now that only one agent was willing to request sample pages. Before I send out any more queries, I was hoping you could dissect my letter, publicly and harshly if you so wish. I wonder if agents are discouraged by my saying it's the first of a series....Ok. So this is what people are talking about when they use "fantasy" like it's a bad word. Some fantasies do the hard word of world-building in a way that invites the reader in and gives them action and character development to keep them interested while the many ways in which this world is different are revealed, gradually, at a pace that makes sense to the reader.
Kai Kirin is just like any other student at the Academy, a school from a parallel universe that trains lost and abandoned children in the ancient art of cylo. Like the others, Kai has been sheltered from the tribal warfare that has devastated his world since the fall of the last Demon Empress, Ubella. But unlike the others, Kai has been sent on an unusual assignment that will bring him to our world to find Kanna Burke, a young girl who possesses the legendary power to undo all of Ubella's black magic. Kai must retrieve Kanna and her family, to protect them from those who would use Kanna as a weapon. However, Kai will soon find that Kanna Burke is very reluctant to come under his protection.
And other fantasies drop a half-ton of unfamiliar details on the reader like a piano onto a cartoon coyote. I have a suspicion this may be one of those fantasies.
Also, I would ask you to consider whether it's really, truly important that the main character come from another dimension. Because if she could just come from another area of that dimension, you wouldn't need the idea of parallel dimensions in a story that's already heavy on unfamiliar ideas.
For her own good, Kai forces the obstinate girl back across the portal into his world along with her father and stepbrother. But when the remote to bring him home snaps in half, he finds himself not at the Academy, but in a dangerous territory far to the south. The small group of unhappy travelers must make their way north through warring states and cursed territories, avoiding dangerous militias, assassins, and the dreaded creatures known as Changelings. The long journey back to the Academy will soon change everything he believes.a. "Fantasy adventure novel" is about two words too long.
Amaranth Guardian is a character-driven fantasy adventure novel centered on a group of teenagers who must put aside their differences and collaborate in order to survive in a world of chaos. Each character is an unlikely hero, full of fear and cockiness but also full of power that they don't yet understand. Kai, in particular, lives with the knowledge that he himself may be part Demon.
b. You know there was a recent YA fantasy published called The Amaranth Enchantment, right?
c. Move or cut that last sentence.
The story does not talk down to teens, but rather reflects their unique experiences: the feeling of suspended identity, the fear of responsibility, and the exciting sense of discovery that are central to the transition to adulthood.This query is giving the impression that your manuscript may be overly dense and difficult to follow, and written with a great deal more tell than show. If you know how to fix that in the query, then your manuscript is probably ok.
Amaranth Guardian is complete at 142,700 words and I am now seeking representation for it. It is the first in a series and I am currently in the process of writing its sequel, Amaranth Prison. In addition to the above synopsis, I have included the first two chapters of my manuscript in the body of this e-mail. If you would like to request further materials, please e-mail me back. Thank you for your time!
If you're not sure how your query is giving those impressions, though, I would recommend taking a hard look at your manuscript for revisions, too.