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My off-the-cuff response is that it doesn't sound promising, but that it might work for some books. To me, the phrase has a sort of wild-west, fairy-tale feel to it -- willfully archaic, like we're settling around a gold rush camp fire to hear a story. It's sort of hard to judge it out of context. Maybe you should give us the whole draft blurb?

Other possibilities: listen up, now get this, settle in, turn your ear to, let me tell you ...

Dunno. They all sound sort of chatty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's for a book about a larger than life female warrior. Like Achilles/Beowulf larger than life:

Harken back to the epic legends of old with the tale of Rose, a mighty warrior torn between her desire to use her strength for good and her longing for a peaceful life.

A young woman with a considerate heart and extraordinary constitution, Rose becomes a warrior in hopes of bettering the world. Despite the wealth and fame she wins as one of the greatest champions of her time, the bloody reality of her new life is nothing like her ideal dream, and she yearns for a chance to escape the violence.

Unexpectedly, she finds it when she meets Ethan, the leader of an altruistic pacifist group. It - and Ethan - are exactly what her weary spirit needs. But when a barbarian horde invades their kingdom, Rose knows that she can make a difference by taking up her sword again. Yet doing so would put her relationship with Ethan at risk. Will her need to protect her homeland cost her the man she loves?
 

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I think the main thing here is to be consistent. If you're going to use archaic "old timey wimey" language, you have to be consistent and the rest of the blurb doesn't really use the same style.

Doesn't matter which style you use, but be consistent. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
David Adams said:
I think the main thing here is to be consistent. If you're going to use archaic "old timey wimey" language, you have to be consistent and the rest of the blurb doesn't really use the same style.

Doesn't matter which style you use, but be consistent. :)
Hi David. :) Cool, but any good alternatives to harken? Maybe 'Experience a throwback to'?
 

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You realize "harken/hearken" = "listen with attention" or "give ear to", right? So your opening line is telling the reader to listen to "to the epic legends of old"…indicating that your book contains the those tales being referred to.

Due to the "the" before "epic", you are also indicating that there are no other "epic legends of old" other than what are contained in your book.

Ergo, I suspect the actual problem is that you're saying something other than what you intend.
 

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Carradee said:
You realize "harken/hearken" = "listen with attention" or "give ear to", right? So your opening line is telling the reader to listen to "to the epic legends of old"…indicating that your book contains the those tales being referred to.

Due to the "the" before "epic", you are also indicating that there are no other "epic legends of old" other than what are contained in your book.

Ergo, I suspect the actual problem is that you're saying something other than what you intend.
It does seem that you're using the phrase more in the sense of "come back with me to an older style of story," whereas what it actually means is "listen up!" Maybe:

In a brutal world of ancient legend, a mighty warrior is torn between the power of the sword and her longing for a peaceful life.

A young woman with a kind heart and extraordinary constitution, Rose becomes a warrior to better the world. Despite the wealth and fame she wins as one of the greatest champions of her time, the bloody reality of her new life is nothing like her ideal dream. She yearns for a chance to escape the violence.

She finds that chance in Ethan, the leader of an altruistic pacifist group. But when a barbarian horde invades their kingdom, Rose knows that she can make a difference by taking up her sword again. Will her need to protect her homeland cost her the man she loves?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Becca Mills said:
In a brutal world of ancient legend, a mighty warrior is torn between the power of the sword and her longing for a peaceful life.

A young woman with a kind heart and extraordinary constitution, Rose becomes a warrior to better the world. Despite the wealth and fame she wins as one of the greatest champions of her time, the bloody reality of her new life is nothing like her ideal dream. She yearns for a chance to escape the violence.

She finds that chance in Ethan, the leader of an altruistic pacifist group. But when a barbarian horde invades their kingdom, Rose knows that she can make a difference by taking up her sword again. Will her need to protect her homeland cost her the man she loves?
Yeah, this sounds good, especially the new opening line. Thanks...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did just get another idea though, how about 'Journey back to a time of epic legends with' blah blah blah, would that work or would it imply too strongly that it's set in our world?
 

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I'd say that's too abstract to lead the blurb with. A reader wants specifics when browsing blurbs, and and that tells the reader nothing about this particular tale. If you include it, I'd throw it in at the end with something like "yadda, yadda, yadda,...an tale spun on the same looms of epic legends of old." or something like that, only better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
vrabinec said:
I'd say that's too abstract to lead the blurb with. A reader wants specifics when browsing blurbs, and and that tells the reader nothing about this particular tale. If you include it, I'd throw it in at the end with something like "yadda, yadda, yadda,...an tale spun on the same looms of epic legends of old." or something like that, only better.
You might have a point but I did see my (horrible) sales go up (barely) after adding similarly abstract opening lines to my shorts' blurbs (eg. 'Pure cathartic fantasy action featuring one butt-kicking heroine.') so I'm not sure... but would you think it strongly implies that it's set in our world, which it's not?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
vrabinec said:
My thoughts when I first read the line was of Beowulf. An epic war saga of ancient times.
Well, she is pretty Beowulf-like physically :D, I was wondering more if you'd feel ripped off if you opened it and realized it was set in a made up fantasy world and not in ancient Europe or whatnot.
 

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No, because you already get the departure from that traditional tale by the mere fact that she's a she and not a he.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
vrabinec said:
No, because you already get the departure from that traditional tale by the mere fact that she's a she and not a he.
Kind of like how the 'ultimate bar brawler/street fighter' described in my urban fantasy novelettes is a she. ;D
 
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