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Hi folks.

This is a blurb for book one of an epic fantasy series. It's been through the rounds here some time ago. Any comments or suggestions are welcome - no need to hold back.

****​

Talon has one duty - protect the king. But all the bodyguards before him are dead.

A horde of mankind's ancient enemies lays siege to Faldir City. During the day, the clang of blades, the mad shrieks of the foe and the hiss of swift-flighted arrows cuts the air. At night, the sorcerous chanting begins. Talon ignores it all.

His pledge is to shield the king from traitors who plot his death. But fate forces him down another path. The only way to help the man he swore to guard is to leave him in peril, for the king chooses him to attempt a last-chance quest to save the realm.

Men track him across strange lands. Beasts of foul magic stalk him. A mysterious girl aids him, and she reveals that more is at play than the fate of kings, cities or realms. Ancient forces, drenched in the blood of ages past, seek to plunge the world into the dark. The odds pile against him, but he is Talon, and not for nothing did he earn the king's trust.
 

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Great first line!

A few notes:

Talon has one duty - protect the king. But all the bodyguards before him are dead.

[feel like we need something else here for a transition, e.g. "In Talon's first/whatever year as a bodyguard], a horde of mankind's ancient enemies lays siege to Faldir City. During the day, the clang of blades, the mad shrieks of the foe and the hiss of swift-flighted arrows cuts the air. At night, the sorcerous chanting begins.
[maybe another paragraph space space]
Talon ignores it all.

His pledge is to shield the king from traitors who plot his death. But fate forces him down another path when the king chooses him to attempt sends him on a last-chance quest to save the realm.

Men track himTalon across strange lands. Beasts of foul magic stalk him. A mysterious girl aids him, and she reveals that more is at play than the fate of kings, cities or realms. Ancient forces, drenched in the blood of ages past, seek to plunge the world into the dark. The odds pile against him, but he is Talon, and not for nothing did he earn the king's trust.

It's good! I have a personal aversion to all the double negatives in epic fantasy ("not for nothing,") but then again I'm not an epic fantasy reader.
 

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My take, hope any or all of it helps:
Talon has one duty - protect the king. But all the bodyguards before him are dead.
I like the premise but the language needs work. How about "Talon has one duty-protect the king. but this is no easy task; every bodyguard who served before him has died."

A horde of mankind's ancient enemies lays siege to Faldir City. During the day, the clang of blades, the mad shrieks of the foe and the hiss of swift-flighted arrows cuts the air. At night, the sorcerous chanting begins. Talon ignores it all.
how about: He must survive swift-flighted arrows and sorceress chants to do his sworn duty while a horde of mankind's ancient enemies lays siege to Faldir City, where the king resides.

His pledge is to shield the king from traitors who plot his death. But fate forces him down another path. The only way to help the man he swore to guard is to leave him in peril, for the king chooses him to attempt a last-chance quest to save the realm.

how about: To save the realm, the king asks him to undertake a quest- which will leave the king defenseless as Talon must enter strange lands and overcome beasts of foul magic, ancient forces, and a mysterious girl in order to do the duty he promised the king- to protect the kingdom at all costs.

Good luck.
 

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In my opinion this blurb needs a complete rewrite. I would start by doing a search on the message board for "blurb" or find LummoxJR's profile, and click where it says posts by user. Read his blog in his signature and find a dozen or so blurb help requests where he replies. Take note of what he focuses in on and then give you're blurb another go.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=61393
 

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I agree with a complete rewrite. As it stands, it's not very coherent.

I suggest something with this structure. Please note that this is a suggestion for a STRUCTURE, not the precise wording. The wording should reflect the style of the novel.

Line 1: The kingdom [name] is under threat from [creatures], because [reason]
line 2: The same [reason] is cause for some people inside the kingdom to plot against the king.
line 3: It is Talon's task to protect the king [because reason, like the king is good, or else the kingdom will fall to his evil cousin]. Problem is that none of his predecessors have survived.
 

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Hey Jack! I'm no blurb Doc, but there's definitely a flow issue here. I'd tear this one up and start fresh--I know, super frustrating, but it'll pay dividends in the long run :)
 

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The suggestions you received are fantastic. I'll add regarding the fourth line - it sounds a bit like a checklist for all the things that plague your protagonist. It could do with a bit more dramatizing, and maybe even additional vagueness...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
CN_Crawford said:
Great first line!

A few notes:

Talon has one duty - protect the king. But all the bodyguards before him are dead.

[feel like we need something else here for a transition, e.g. "In Talon's first/whatever year as a bodyguard], a horde of mankind's ancient enemies lays siege to Faldir City. During the day, the clang of blades, the mad shrieks of the foe and the hiss of swift-flighted arrows cuts the air. At night, the sorcerous chanting begins.
[maybe another paragraph space space]
Talon ignores it all.

His pledge is to shield the king from traitors who plot his death. But fate forces him down another path when the king chooses him to attempt sends him on a last-chance quest to save the realm.

Men track himTalon across strange lands. Beasts of foul magic stalk him. A mysterious girl aids him, and she reveals that more is at play than the fate of kings, cities or realms. Ancient forces, drenched in the blood of ages past, seek to plunge the world into the dark. The odds pile against him, but he is Talon, and not for nothing did he earn the king's trust.

It's good! I have a personal aversion to all the double negatives in epic fantasy ("not for nothing,") but then again I'm not an epic fantasy reader.
Thanks for that. The flip over from paragraph one to two always disturbed me a little, but you put your finger on exactly what was wrong. Cheers!
 
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