Book blurb reveal for Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix!

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the first draft of the synopsis for Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix (especially Jake and Mike!). After a great deal of writing and re-writing, the blurb is now ready to go for the release on Tuesday.

Here it is:

Harbinger - NewThe masquerade is over and the masks have been removed. But not everyone’s true face has been revealed…

King Casimer of Marise has assassinated the Royal Family of Chiyo and usurped the throne. What he doesn’t know is that the Heiress, Nerissa, is still alive and has joined the Ohanzee, a group of guardians who have secretly protected the country for generations. Disguising herself as a young man named Caeneus, Nerissa seeks a way to depose Casimer and restore Chiyo’s independence. An uncanny stroke of luck leads her to the mysterious seer Shae, who has discovered a fragment of an ancient prophecy warning of events that will bring about the end of civilization. And Casimer has already set some of those events into motion.

With the future of not only Chiyo, but all of Renatus at stake, Nerissa and her six Ohanzee companions set out on a journey to find the remaining fragments, where surprising new allies and unexpected enemies lie in wait.

What do you think?

5 Comments

  1. well done!

    as someone approaching your story completely unfamiliar with it, here are a few thoughts i had reading it:

    1. when a masquerade ends, it is typically understood that the masks are removed. it might be more effective to avoid the redundancy of including the fact that the masks have been removed. and just go straight into”But not everyone’s true face has been revealed.”

    it may also be stronger to end with a full stop, instead of an ellipses. ellipses at the end of sentences are typically are used to indicate indecision and uncertainty. so perhaps something like this:

    “The masquerade is over, but not everyone’s true face has been revealed.”

    2. usurpers aren’t typically outsiders who have claimed a right to a throne through conquest. usurpers are typically insiders who seize the throne through subterfuge and sabotage (think of the russian revolution, the bolsheviks seized power by assassinating the royal family, but it was not referred to as usurpation, but revolution).

    was there an existing rivalry between marise and chiyo? has casimer coveted chiyo for a long time?

    if so, you might want to say something along the lines of:

    casimer, king of marise, has siezed the throne of neighboring chiyo.

    2. what is narissa’s title? how far was she down the line of succession? instead of heiress, it might be more effective indicate her title instead. also, it isn’t really necessary the include “named” before caeneus, it’s assumed:

    believed dead, the last of chiyo’s ruling family, the princess marissa, disguised as the young man caeneus, flees to the ancient guardians of the realm, the Ohanzee.

    3. you might want to avoid using “with a stoke of luck” in the blurb. it’s a fairly over used cliche and weakens the impact of the sentence. also, the reveal of the propheyc may be more powerful at the beginning of the blurb, then in the middle:

    casimer, king of marise, has siezed the throne of neighboring chiyo, setting in motion events of that could bring about the end of civilization.

    4. the sudden introduction of renatus at the end is a little confusing, it might be a more clear to mention it first at the beginning of the blurb and then merge shea and the prophesy with the last sentence. it might also be more powerful to avoid the cliche, “lying in wait.” like this:

    With the future of not only Chiyo, but all of Renatus at stake, Nerissa and her six Ohanzee companions set out on a journey to find the remaining fragments of a prophecy revealed by the mysterious seer shea– a journey that will lead them to surprising new allies and reveal unexpected enemies.

    altogether, maybe something like this:

    The masquerade is over, but not everyone’s true face has been revealed.

    In the land of Renatus, Casimer, king of Marise, has seized the throne of neighboring Chiyo, setting in motion events of that could bring about the end of civilization.

    Believed dead, the last of Chiyo’s ruling family, the princess Marissa, disguised as the young man Caeneus, flees to the Ohanzee, the ancient guardians of the realm. With the future of not only Chiyo, but all of Renatus at stake, Nerissa and her six Ohanzee companions set out on a journey to find the remaining fragments of the prophecy revealed by the mysterious seer Shea– a journey that will reveal unexpected enemies, while leading them to surprising, new allies.

    =)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts on the blurb! I really value every bit of feedback that I get. Since this blurb is for Book #2 in a series, many of the questions that you brought up are actually things that were part of the main plot line in Book #1.
      For instance, if you had read book 1, you would know that Nerissa’s actual title *is* Heiress. Likewise, Shae is a significant character in Book #1, where her role in the discovery of the prophecy is part of the main plot line.

      However, there will certainly be people who come across this book before Book #1 (like you), so I want the blurb to be written in a way that will appeal to readers who are familiar with the series *and* those who are not. My beta reviews are almost all people who have read the first book, so getting an outside perspective is really valuable! I’m going to look at integrating some of your suggestions into the final revision.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wanted to follow up and let you know that I did take use some of your advice to reword the blurb. I reworded “Disguising herself as a young man named Caeneus, Nerissa seeks a way to depose Casimer and restore Chiyo’s independence.” to now say “Disguising herself as a young man, Nerissa seeks a way to depose Casimer and restore Chiyo’s independence.”

      I also reworded the last sentence to remove the phrase “lie in wait”. It now reads: “With the future of not only Chiyo, but all of Renatus at stake, Nerissa and her six Ohanzee companions set out on a journey to find the remaining fragments, where they will find unlikely allies and uncover new enemies.”

      Thanks once again for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

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