Friday, April 27, 2007
Guess the Plot
A Faerie Dream
1. Having mint-green sparkly wings, curly pink hair, and a snub nose just isn't doing it for little Maybelle. Can she convince her godmother to make her dearest dream come true--to look just like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark?
2. Last night, I dreamed we were all on a boat, crossing the river -- you, me, Joe, my car. . . wait, a faerie dream? Sorry, can't help you.
3. After 100 years, Aileen escapes the land of Faerie and realizes her dream to live as a mortal on the Orkney Islands. Also, intolerant Christians.
4. Being promoted to faerie 1st class, Brock makes a few demands: a bigger garden to live in, a spare set of wings, and a year's supply of Pixy Stix. Hey, a faerie can dream, can’t he?
5. Jack, a faerie, dreams of becoming a man. Daniel, a man, dreams of becoming a faerie. A wizard agrees to switch them, but there's a catch. Jack and Daniel now must duel to the death.
6. Enter the mortal world, steal the baby, replace it with a changeling, collect the crown. Simple. Ysevre Bloodfeather's success will ensure his marriage to the Princess, and his dream of ruling Faerie. But when he realizes the baby he's stolen is in fact another cunning changeling, Ysevre is plunged into a Faerie nightmare. Also, an enchanted iron mine.
Lhiannan has discovered a dark secret: if mortals can't see her, she might stop existing. When a group of human children fail to spot her napping in the bracken, she realises the whole Sithein is at risk. [If she's asleep, how does she know they didn't spot her?] [Here's a picture of bracken. Do you really expect people to spot a fairy napping in that? I doubt I'd notice a rhinoceros napping in it.] Understanding why her Queen wants to flee still doesn't change her mind; [That clause would make more sense if you'd already established that the Queen wants to flee, and whatever it is Lhiannan doesn't change her mind about.] Lhiannan would rather fade away than forsake the Highlands. [If they leave the highlands, will mortals suddenly be able to see them?] Why won't Lhiannan leave and what does she have in common with a renegade scout and an evil island prince? Unravel the past to find out the future - or lack of it. [This sounds like back-of-the-book copy. Tell us why she won't leave, so we understand her conflict.]
Life in a small Scottish village can be confining for a young girl but Aileen soon learns that going away with the faeries is even worse. She's the only human within living memory to join them of her own free will but it takes her one hundred years to escape the Sithein - with a firm resolution to stick to the mortal realm. [If she's been gone 100 years, whose "living memory" are we talking about?] However, when she moves to the Orkney islands, it becomes clear she can't simply pretend that faeries don't exist. Aileen discovers the evil side of the "Good Folk" and learns the value of iron. But when a newborn is abandoned in the wild, she can't resist getting involved, especially as she suspects the dying fae is of royal heritage. Can she convince the prince to save his daughter? And if he does, will it mean the end of an already fading race? [We need a better connection between the last few sentences. They seem almost random. Who's this prince? Is the dying fae the newborn? What's she dying of? Is the prince mortal or fae? Why would saving his daughter mean the end of a race?]
A Faerie Dream is a historical fantasy set in the Scottish Highlands in the 17th and 18th century. The converging stories of different lives chronicles the legend of the fae leaving Scotland to escape the increasing intolerance of the Christian church.
What's the connection between Aileen and Lhiannan? The book won't feel unified without that information. This reads like queries for the first two books in a series (same setting, different main characters) complete with intriguing questions at the end of each query.
It also feels like a list of the highlights of the book. It might be more compelling if you concentrated on the main problem of each main character (or just one of them), and how their stories converge.
Perhaps I'm alone in this, but I found mention of intolerance of the Christian church a bit jarring. Presumably it's why the Queen wants to leave, but it feels like a heavier issue than I expect to deal with when I pick up a book called A Faerie Dream. It's like reading a Harry Potter book in which Muslim suicide bombers destroy Hogwarts. Just because it's in the book doesn't mean it has to be in the query.
Similarly, while I'm sure learning the value of iron is a crucial plot point, it sounds trivial unless you elaborate on it. I'd leave it out.