This is a contest where the community selects the next book to publish. We will traditionally publish the winning story, which includes cover design, editing, and distribution. The contest ended and will reopen when we are ready to consider a new title.

Protect the Prince

Protect the Prince is like The Chronicles of Narnia in reverse: instead of the Pevensies touring through a magical land where they become kings and queens over the charming talking animal indigenes, the heroes of Protect the Prince were the rightful heirs to Alsantian thrones, kidnapped from Alsantia, and raised in a cult-like commune in a brownstone on our world. Their cult teachers, the Elderliches, are talking animals in Alsantia that have taken human form in our world. Though they are fighting a great injustice—one of the human kingdoms has conspired with contingents of talking carnivores and brought certain talking prey animals back onto the menu—the Elderliches have become nearly as wicked as those they are fighting. Their main goal is the protection of the rightful crown prince, Oji, who is concealed in plain sight as a housecat, the pet of the child heroes. Though there are hints throughout the book, his true identity is not revealed until the last chapter.

Protect the Prince bubbled up from my feelings that the talking animals in Narnia never really had a proponent of THEIR views, which no doubt emerged from the intersection of my many readings of Lewis and other colonial fantasies, my veganism, and my desire to write an urban fantasy, while at the same time presenting the (implicit) argument that urban fantasy is not only a decadent genre, but a decaying one, colonized by the tropes of the social order. Fantasy should transform the estranged world for its readers and make its own meanings rather than reproduce the overexposed lessons of this world.

Protect the Prince is copyrighted and being simultaneously submitted. In many ways, this is my best work, and I'm aggressively seeking a publisher and/or representation first. The word count is 26555. I was shooting for around the length of The Bad Beginning for the first book. While I am sending this series mainly to Middle Grade publishers and agents currently, I think that adult fantasy readers will also like my book, and am prepared to package it with its sequel, Pretender’s Reign. The total word count of the two novels is 66528. As the violence and language are right on the edge of what middle grade fantasy allows—I’m thinking of the bloody Wings of Fire novels specifically—it could just as easily find its home on the adult fantasy or shonen-styled light novel shelf.

Discussion (1)

  1. Tarl

    I am curious as to why you are simultaneously submitting your novella as this is generally a huge warning sign/automatically rejection for potential publishers.
    The reason is that no one wants to put a lot of work into a story only to have them jump ship for a ‘better’ contract that may come down the pipes later on. (or to find out that you’ve already been accepted elsewhere when the publisher goes to accept the novel, thus losing the publisher valuable time with having read your story) I know you are aggressively promoting your story, but you may be shooting yourself in the foot in regards to other publishers. (as I don’t know what Vic’s policy on simultaneous submittals is) Just a thought when I saw that in your novella’s blurb.