Jun 7, 2017

QK Agent Round - Kaza

Title: The Tsar's Heir
Nickname: Kaza
Word count: 110K
Genre: YA fantasy


The Willed shall rule the Unwilled. This is the first law of Kaza; an empire where Will is the coveted magic that gives one man the strength of twenty.

Sixteen-year-old Olesya, the tsar’s strong-Willed only child, has spent her life trying to get her father to acknowledge her existence. When the tsar hosts a tournament to determine his successor, Olesya dares to hope he will revoke the ridiculous law that forbids women from ruling and choose her as his competitor. Instead he picks Russ, a talented beggar, as his champion.

Russ walks into the court with nothing but the clothes on his back . . . and a secret; he’s not the beggar he pretends. He has been trained since birth by an underground organisation to win the tournament, assassinate the tsar, and abolish the laws of Kaza, that have enslaved Unwilled people for centuries. To survive among the scheming nobles, Russ clings to one rule: Don’t form any attachments. Everything goes according to plan as Russ wins one match after another, until he breaks his own rule and falls in love with the tsar’s defiant daughter.

Olesya has plans of her own. Blind with jealousy at Russ, she does what no woman has ever dared: challenge the tsar’s champion to a battle of Wills. But Russ may be more than a match for her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can’t deny the growing attraction between them.

When the tsar is murdered before the tournament ends, he leaves behind an empty throne and an empire on the brink of civil war. Caught at the heart of the conflict, Russ and Olesya are forced to pick sides and ultimately choose between love, loyalty, and ambition.

This is a dual narrative.

First 250:


The sunset reflected off the snow and white limestone, making the open-pit mine look like a great basin of blood.

An apt resemblance, I thought as the gong echoed through the quarry, signalling the end of the working day.

I let the brick slip from my frostbitten hands and crouched for a moment, savouring the strain leaving my arms. The ache in my back dulled as I took slow, deep breaths, a cloud of vapour forming before my face. The snow blanketing the stone beckoned me to lie down, close my eyes . . .

Snow is a grave, not a bed,” A voice whispered in the back of my mind. The memory of a frozen corpse made me surge to my feet and I bit my tongue not to scream as movement brought life back to my limbs.

I lurched down the staired walls and found Alexei on a ledge near the centre of the pit, curled up beside a rusted shovel.

“Wake up,” I whispered, turning him over and disentangling the scrawny ball of knees and elbows.

His mismatched eyes fluttered open, never failing to startle me. There was something unnatural about the proportions of his face. His eyes were too large, slanted at the corners, and the contrast between the ice-blue and black-brown of his irises made even the Kazich look twice. His mouth and nose were thin and small, as if he wasn’t meant to speak or smell, only to see.

“Is it morning?” he murmured.


  1. I'll play the Wildcard. What an exciting sample! Would you please send the query and full manuscript via my submission form?

    Here is my submission form:

  2. Wildcard time! I want to see the full ms and a synopsis at crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT com. Thank you!

  3. Sounds like a great story. Would be happy to check out the query, synopsis, and first 3 chapters over at acquisitions@curiosityquills.com Good luck and congrats on making it this far!

  4. I too want the full. Can we do three wildcards on this one since no one actually requested the full yet? I hope so. My full plus synopsis would be sent to laurie (at) fuseliterary (dot) com. Wheee!

  5. I would love to see more of this! Please send a query + requested materials to submissions@pagestreetpublishing.com with YA QUERY KOMBAT in the subject line!

    -Ashley Hearn

  6. I asked for a wildcard yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have been posted. Does this mean I cannot see the entire manuscript? How sad.

  7. I'd like to see pages. Please send as a word attachment to querycaitie AT lizadawson DOT com

  8. Ooo this sounds amazing! I'd love to use a Wildcard, but not sure I can as it's been used twice here. Anyway, please send pages, a synopsis and query to: chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com

  9. I'll throw my WILD CARD in as well. I'd love to see the full ms + synopsis. Please send to Jordy @ thebookeralbertagency.com. Thanks!

  10. I'd like to read more! querydanielle@nelsonagency.com

  11. I'd love to see this one! Please send the pages and synopsis to jennifer@theseymouragency.com with subject line Query Kombat.

  12. Very nice start! I'd love to read more. Please send your pages and a one-page synopsis to me at Lisa at (@) kimberleycameron dot (.)com. Looking forward to reading!

  13. I'd love to see pages! Please send me a query in the body of an email, and attach your synopsis and first 50 pages. Be sure to include QUERY KOMBAT in the subj line. I look forward to reading! - Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS Literary Agency. lauren@triadaus.com

  14. Alas too late to use a wild card, but I'll look forward to reading this when we are able to. :^) Please upload the manuscript along with the synopsis to QueryMe.online/1005/QK2017. Looking forward to reading!