Ravaged by Sara Knaus
Sabine’s body opened at the demon’s feet, her porcelain skin marred by blood that bubbled up from her throat. Tremors surged along the creature’s spine as it gorged itself on the meat.
Supple, Odile thought desperately. Supple, supple, that’s what you are. The word was a mantra, fixed in her brain like a failing prayer.
The hedonistic city of Hjarta blossomed on hallowed ground, and the god Seg’vora is set on retribution. Odile is one of many hapless libertines, has her indulgent ways brought to a halt when her lover and famed courtesan, Sabine Uzzolta, is slaughtered by the Hell-sent ravagers that prey upon harlots and panders.
Following Sabine’s death, Odile and her cousin Andrea can take on the shape of the demons at will, able to slay them. Hjarta’s leaders vie for their allegiance, the High Priestess seeking to appease the ravenous god; the Doge to destroy it.
Interested only in avenging Sabine, Odile lunges into a crusade against Hell. Casualties rise. Seg’vora speaks through Andrea’s sister Rozia, a priestess, ravening after her notorious cousin.
As she delves deeper into the mystic world that has oppressed her, Odile learns that her battle is one Sabine began long ago, one that she trusted Odile to win for her – even if she tears the world down to do it.
Inspired by Renaissance myth and seduction, Ravaged is a fantastical war against heaven, paved by the darkly intimate history of two corrupt women.
Enter the city, if you can evade its jaws.
The Book Doctors:
Your pitch is your audition to show us what a wonderful writer you are, and after reading your pitch we’re really convinced you know how to put words together. We love the log line at the end: “Enter the city, if you can evade its jaws.” We also enjoy the way you give us a little sample of the book right in the beginning so we see the tone and style of your book. Instead of telling us about it, you show us the action. And there’s so much at stake in the story, right from the beginning. But we do need more word pictures. Again, you have to build this world for us so that we can see it. You tell us that our heroine can take on the shape of the demon, but we don’t know what the demon looks like. How is it different than all the other demons to come before it? And we feel like there are too many characters in this pitch. We lose track, particularly because the names are unfamiliar. The pitch needs to be simpler. Also, we don’t quite get enough of a sense of who our heroine is; we don’t quite fall in love with her; we’re not quite rooting for her. For example, what exactly are her “indulgent ways”?