Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Query #9: "Spirits of the Unknown" by Orlando

This query is from Orlando for the novel Spirits of the Unknown. Thank you Orlando for the honour of allowing me to work on and post this!


After an assassin kills his father and youngest brother, Tilvanau -- oldest son of his planet's ruling family -- faces a brutal civil war. Amid rumors that he killed his own kin to gain sole control of the government, and the rise of a powerful new dictator in the west, Tilvanau gets a grim reminder the assassin is still out there.

Tilvanau's second brother attempts to flee with his family, but the assassin hidden inside their ship kills everyone aboard, escaping planet-side. Meanwhile, the ship, haunted by the ghosts of the murdered family, jumps to its programmed destination: Earth.

The American government has possession of the ship, and is contacted by Tilvanau, and the new dictator. They must make an alliance to capitalize from the scientific knowledge the ship contains. Not knowing who to trust, they realize the wrong choice can begin an interplanetary war involving Earth. The ghosts of his family attempt to disclose the killer, to no avail. Now they want revenge.

With conspiracies around every corner as the government crumbles, there's only one person Tilvanau might be able to trust to help: the secretary of state, who also happens to be the woman he loves. But she's now next in line to take command. She has motive and opportunity to see him dead. She warned him of such an attack, frustrated she was excluded from secret meetings. She could well be his greatest enemy or his greatest ally.

Discovering the assassin's identity has become of paramount importance -- finding the killer may be the key to suppressing the civil war, uniting the planet. He follows his brother's ship to Earth where he'll either find the answers he needs -- or walk right into the assassin's trap.

SPIRITS OF THE UNKNOWN is complete at 95,250 words.


When his father and brother are assassinated, it leaves Tilvanau the contested ruler of the planet Suvino. Unfortunately, most of his population now considers Tilvanau a murderer, and the upstart dictator who really ordered the attacks is using their anger to destabilize Tilvanau's government.

When Tilvanau's remaining brother is also assassinated, it turns the conflict interplanetary. The brother's ship arrives at Earth with its occupants slaughtered, but Earth's authorities are more hungry to exploit the ship's technology than to find the killer. The problem is, they can't unlock that technology without the help of Suvino's government--and there are two governments. If Earth sides with the wrong one, it will provoke civil war on Suvino.

Discovering the assassin's identity is the only way Tilvanau can prevent the bloodshed and avenge his family. But as conspiracies ensnare his advisors, Tilvanau is forced to place most of his trust in the woman next in line to seize his power. When she suggests he follow his brother's ship to Earth, Tilvanau knows he will either find the answers he needs there--or walk right into an assassin's trap.

SPIRITS OF THE UNKNOWN is complete at 95,000 words. Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.

Have any thoughts about either the original or the re-written query? Please join the discussion in the comment thread!