Here is the latest, trimmed down version of the query letter. Ack!
Sometimes, the aftermath of peace is war.
Things are back to normal in Belhanor after a violent civil war... or are they? The traitors were beheaded and their families dispossessed, but now some of those same families are plotting to seize back their land. They call themselves the Restorationists, and are working throughout the kingdom in a surprisingly organized fashion. Who is directing them? Could it be the King’s own son, who disappeared five years ago? Or could the King’s nemesis, Lord Synedd, be using them to try to seize the throne a second time?
It’s up to Faldur, a captain of the Rangers, to find out. When he and the remaining Prince discover a Restorationist plot which threatens the Prince’s bride-to-be, Faldur is given the task of escorting her safely to the capital. Accompanying them is the bride’s cousin Marenya. Her father, Faldur’s mentor, was killed in the course of duty and his death made Faldur vow never to leave anyone behind. In spite of this (or perhaps because of it) he is drawn to her, and she to him.
After narrowly escaping a surprise attack, Marenya takes her cousin's place as decoy. One of Faldur’s own men then betrays them and she is taken hostage. Soon both Faldur and Marenya realize that someone is using the Restorationists as a front for the real plot to murder the prince and overthrow the king. Marenya must navigate through a series of dangers for which she is completely unprepared, while Faldur is obliged to complete his mission before he can attempt to find her. In the process, he battles not only their enemies, but his own ideas about love and loss.
THE GOLDEN GRYPHON is a fantasy in 100,000 words aimed at the same teen/adult audience that enjoys other traditional fantasy. One reader has described it as having a "bottom of the forest floor, Tolkein-like feeling." The story explores how love and loyalty can pull us apart as well as draw us together, and how truth is essential in combating evil.
Christine Hardy is a writer and college math instructor. This will (hopefully) be her first published work.