Untitled by Katya Dove
Seventeen-year-old Aine, a bastard daughter of a powerful warlord Jarle, has resigned to her lot of servitude and obedience. But when the King orders Jarle to wed his beloved daughter Pia to a kinless, but valiant young warrior Yngvar, the warlord plans a deception, forcing Aine to take her sister’s place.
Suddenly, she finds herself dripping with jewels and wed to a beautiful, gentle warrior. But Yngvar, though dashing and wealthy, guards a secret of his own – he’s not a nobleman or a knight, but a runaway slave with no memory of his past, haunted by visions of carnage and a mysterious affliction – a warrior’s madness.
During the wedding ritual, threads of Aine and Yngvar’s destinies are twined together, but torn apart when Jarle viciously slaughters Yngvar’s men. Enraged, the warrior succumbs to momentary madness, savagely scarring his bride. Aine flees from him and in her despair begs the demon goddess Sigrund for help. But gods are tricky, and the gifts they bestow on humans are also curses. Aine becomes a ghoul – an unliving thing, thirsting for human blood. Yet, she refuses to give in to her hunger.
Seeing her torment, the goddess makes her a deal: If Aine can go a full year without killing, she shall regain her humanity, if not – her soul is forfeit.
Soon, Yngvar finds his bride, winning her trust and even love. But an evil from Yngvar’s past is coming to claim him, and Aine is the only thing that stands in its way.
The Book Doctors: I like how much danger there is in this story. And how people keep deceiving each other. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. Love how the gods give gifts that are also curses, and how Aine has a ticking time clock for regaining her humanity or losing her soul. And in the end: evil is coming! But I would like to know more about this cool world. Show me how it’s different from our world. There is very little world-building here, which is absolutely necessary for a fantasy pitch. And I’ve seen so many pitches with unloving bloodthirsty ghouls. What’s different about yours? And it seems too easy that the couple get back together after he’s scarred her and she’s become a ghoul. Plus I’d love to know what kinds of books are similar to yours in the broadest sense. Finally, always include your title when you send in your pitch.