Hope of the Mirra
by Tiffany Tackett
As a young knight of Ariku, BIERREZ can be naïve to a fault. He believes in the goodness of others, and most importantly, in the Church and the Ether which governs it. When his childhood best friend washes up half-dead, supposedly attacked the ynkedra—who were contained by the Great Seal centuries before—Bierrez is catapulted away from the safety of duty and service, where he must face the dark past of the Church and decide whether or not to turn a blind eye in the name of faith, or stand up against everything he has ever believed in.
The slumber of ALKAVIA, the last surviving Mirra, is disrupted by the destruction of the Great Seal. He wakes to find himself in a world he does not recognize—except for the fact it is still ruled by the Church. At the Church’s command, he accompanies a group of knights on their quest to stop the ynkedra, only to discover the mission itself was a ruse to bring him back to the Ether, where he has to decide whether to blindly follow his hatred down the path of another genocide or overcome it, to destroy the Ether once and for all.
Arielle: You’ve hit on a wonderful, universal theme: a church/religion with a dark past and the struggle of believers to deal with this past. The difficulty with this pitch is that it is not written with the perspective of someone who does not already know your book. After reading the pitch several times, I’m still confused as to who is who and what is what. Because you have created a new world, it’s easier for your prospective reader to be introduced to a new name/place or two or three tops. I count five here. The brain just can’t take this all in.
David: The themes of confronting one’s own hatred, of standing up to bullies on a local and global level, of valuing human life and doing the right and moral thing, give this story a universality, while you have clearly, at the same time, created your own unique world. However, again, we see too much telling and not enough showing. Don’t tell me that he’s naïve to a fault. Show him doing something that demonstrates his naïveté. Show me a word picture of him believing in the goodness of others and in the church, etc. But the biggest problem of this pitch is that you’re speaking a language we don’t understand. You’re giving us ideas that have no meaning in our world. The Great Seal for example. Is that a performing animal from the circus? I have no idea. And what is a ynkedra? Why is ALKAVIA spell with all capital letters, and why was he slumbering? I don’t have answers to any of these questions, and at a certain point, I just become so confused my brain turns off. You have to show me your world so I can see it, feel it, and understand what’s cool and unique about it. Also, that second sentence in the first paragraph, is way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way too long. I get lost about a third of the way through, and the time I get to the end I can’t remember where I started.