Secret and Guardians: Devious Intentions

H Chambers

Book Cover

GENRE

FANTASY YOUNG ADULT

    Core Theme

    VENGEANCE

    TIME PERIOD

    17th Century or Earlier

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    GAME OF THRONES, THE QUEEN'S THIEF SERIES

    CHARACTER LIST

    SHADE: TEENS-30S, FEMALE, PASSIONATE, DETERMINED, COMPETENT, HEROIC, STRONG.

    ABERRLING: 50, MALE, LOGICAL, CUNNING, AMBITIOUS, SECRETIVE

    KING KERDRED: TEENS-30S, MALE, VOLATILE, AGGRESSIVE, VILLAINOUS, INTENSE

    RONA: ELDERLY, SHADE’S GREAT GRANDMOTHER WHO PROTECTS HER AND HER CHILDREN AS BEST SHE CAN, A CLEVER AND SKILLED WOMAN

    LOWE: TEENS, SHADE’S DAUGHTER WHO WAS GIVEN UP AS A CHILD FOR HER SAFETY. SHE HAS VISIONS AND TRAVELS WITH A CIRCUS TROUPE

    BELLA: SHADE’S DISTANT COUSIN. A FORTUNE TELLER IN THE CIRCUS WHO CARES FOR LOWE

    KING HYLAW: YOUNG ADULT, A NEW KING FORCED TO FLEE WHEN KERDRED INVADES HIS KINGDOM. MANY THINK HIM A FOOL BUT HE’S SMARTER THAN THEY BELIEVE.

    PRINCESS AMI: YOUNG ADULT, HYLAW’S SISTER. A PROUD, SOMETIMES DEFIANT YOUNG WOMAN UNHAPPY WITH HER STATUS IN LIFE. SHE IS KIDNAPPED BY KERDRED IN THE FINAL MOMENTS OF THE FIRST BOOK.

    Logline

    ‘Some consider me a wise woman, others a witch. Kerdred does not terrify me. I am his nightmare. He made the mistake of harming my family and forcing my great granddaughter into marriage. But, if you think I have vengeance issues, then you should meet Shade’.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    The country of Daranel

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-Published

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Shade's village is attacked and she is kidnapped by Kerdred. Beaten, demoralised and pregnant she decides to kill herself. Her great grandmother has other plans. When Kerdred invades Daranel the new king is advised to flee the capital as he stands no chance of victory.

    Ending Description

    King Hylaw manages to escape during the battle at Brinkton but Kerdred captures Princess Ami. Kerdred is lured into a trap in the forest. Shade paralyses him below the waist with her sword, considering this a greater punishment than killing him. This allows the story to continue in book 2.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist,Coming of Age

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Kerdred

    Age: 18 through to 36

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Power Hungry,Skillful,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Shade

    Age: 16 through to 34

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Empathetic,Heroic,Selfless,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Aberrling

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: logical

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Flexible,Educated,Power Hungry,Skillful,Secretive,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Having previously written and directed stage plays, my book writing style follows a similar pattern, that of chapters being scenes. The books are plot driven with no one central hero, where women play an equally important part to the men and non-humans. There are a number of story lines which seamlessly join then diverge affecting outcomes for both good and bad. Ordinary people are faced with extraordinary situations as their world is turned upside down. In Daranel, the new, naïve king is facing an invasion from Kerdred, a man with no moral compass. Aberrling, the king’s advisor knows that in battle, defeat would be inevitable, but he has a devious mind and many loyal spies. After making plans, back up plans and if all else fails plans, he tells the king to flee the capital. Unbeknown to him, others have been making their own plans, not least Shade who has her own reasons for despising Kerdred. There are twists, turns, plots and counter plots, but Kerdred is no fool. By book 2 the king is cornered in the north west of Daranel, where he discovers there is more than Kerdred to worry about. Not all of Aberrling’s schemes go to plan, by the end of book the king is dead. In the last book the relentless pace continues. Princess Ami becomes Queen. Tired and weak, hopelessly outnumbered by her enemy, few believe she has a chance. With so much deceit/treachery no one should be trusted but trusting someone is her only option. The final twist, hidden in plain view, changes everything.

    Genre

    FANTASY

    Brief

    Shade, a young witch, is attacked and kidnapped by King Kerdred and forced to marry him. She runs away with the help of her great grandmother, has twin children, sends the children away where they will be safe, and vows to take revenge on the king. King Hylaw, a rival king, fights alongside political allies and Shade and her great grandmother in order to stop King Kerdred’s takeover of the kingdom. Shade paralyzes King Kerdred and King Hylaw escapes the battle with his life, but Kerdred captures Hylaw’s sister, Princess Ami.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The first-person style of the logline is misleading, as the book itself is not written with a first person point of view. Describing this book as a young adult novel also feels a bit limiting, as this book could easily by enjoyed by audiences of all ages. There are also a number of major characters omitted on the Book Profile. Including Princess Ami, Rona, and King Hylaw, for example, would make it clear that there are a number of important key players in this story.

    Draw of Story

    The strong female protagonist immediately drew me to this story. Shade is described in great detail and her character voice comes through clearly from the very first page.

    Possible Drawbacks

    This story features an overwhelming number of characters at times, and many of them have very similar names. At times, I had a difficult time remembering each individual character and keeping them apart in my mind. Changing some of the similar names would help limit reader confusion. It would also help to make sure each portion of the book features a clear character point of view and character motivation. The ensemble nature of this book is one of its major strengths, but I felt that certain chapters lacked clear focus when it came to character perspective. Establishing the focus and key character or characters of each chapter more clearly in the first few paragraphs could help mitigate that issue.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The pure depth of Shade's rage and emotional strength would make me want to watch this movie. This movie would rely on its strong characters, and this novel features many of them. Shade is a brilliant standout character though and it's easy to imagine a talented actress portraying her with grace and power. A film adaptation of this book would also surely feature incredible battle scenes. The fight sequences in this book are written in a visually compelling way, and those scenes would attract me from an action standpoint.

    Fanbase Potential

    If adapted, this film would likely have a large fanbase; it features the kind of strong characters and intricate fantasy storylines that Game of Thrones viewers would appreciate, as well as the young adult slant thanks to its younger characters that would attract younger audiences as well. The violent scenes of battle would attract viewers who enjoy war and action films.

    Awards Potential

    Because this film would likely be more of a big-budget summer release, it probably wouldn't have much potential during awards season, apart from fan/voter-based awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    GAME OF THRONES, LUNA NERA, THE LAST KINGDOM, BARBARIANS

    What’s New About the Story

    This story features unique and distinct characters, as well as some cool original creatures, such as Nefkins. The magic in this world feels pretty original as well and trancing is particularly intriguing and unique. The political dealings in this story feel familiar at times though and King Kerdred in particular doesn't feel as original as other characters. His motivations feel fairly surface level. Diving deeper into some of the more stereotypical characters such as Kerdred could help make this story feel more original. Adding more depth and detail to the world overall would help as well. Describing the plant life in the forests or the kinds of food these characters eat that might be unique to their world, for example, could help this story feel more unique overall.

    Lead Characters

    These characters have unique and vivid ways of seeing the world, which make them stand out. This book does a nice job of diving into its characters' emotional arcs. Shade and Rona are driven by vengeance and the need for independence. Ami stands out because of how desperately she wants to be taken seriously and seen as more than a princess. Aberrling is driven by his own needs and wants. He's clever and crafty in a fun way. He stands out because he's always one step ahead of everyone else. Hylaw stands out because he's surprising, both to other characters in the story and to readers. Lowe stands out because of how cryptic she can be in one moment, and how she becomes a naive child again in the next.

    Uniqueness of Story

    While this book has many positive qualities, I wouldn't yet describe it as a rare gem. The main female characters are quite strong, but some of the book's supporting characters could benefit from further character development. The world could benefit from more detail, description, and originality as well, and some chapters are in need of clearer character perspectives.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    While this project might attract some interest as is due to its commercial prospects, fun plot twists, and strong main characters, it will stand a far better chance of being adapted with further development to the supporting characters and the world as a whole.

    Tips for Improvement

    In order for me to recommend or consider this project, the supporting characters would need more general depth and nuance of personality, the world would need to feel more vibrant and original, and the ensemble cast would need to be simplified.

    Brief

    When a young witch is kidnapped and forced to marry a king and carry his child, she escapes his clutches and vows to get revenge on him, both personally and politically. "Devious Intentions" is the first book in the "Secrets & Guardians" series, featuring magic and circus troupes, emotional and political manipulation, intense battles of life and death, and clashes between kings over leadership of the country of Daranel.

    What We Liked

    This fantasy novel features strong, empathetic characters with clear motivations and vibrant personalities. The female characters at the core of this story make it stand out and shine. Intricate storylines come together in surprising and satisfying ways to deliver a tight, fast-paced plot that's filled with unexpected twists and turns. The overall message of strength and perseverance makes this a story that readers of all ages will enjoy, and magic, political gameplay, and fantastical creatures in a vast and interesting world offer something for every kind of reader.

    Film: This is a story with excellent franchise potential. The first novel is explosive and exciting, and it ends with a twist that adds the perfect amount of intrigue for future films. Young adult viewers would surely connect with Shade, Lowe, and Princess Ami, and talented young actors could bring these characters to life in extremely memorable ways. With a large film budget, this novel would sparkle on screen as an adaptation and thrill both national and international audiences alike. This could be the perfect big-budget summer theatrical release.

    TV: With countless interesting characters and a vast original world, this novel offers endless story and episode opportunities as a TV series. It has natural drama, tension, and intrigue, and the characters are primed for excellent actors to bring them to life with intense performances. The plot is strong as is and would set up multiple seasons of a show, but a writers' room would also have plenty of room to play with these characters and explore the world in brand new, unexpected ways. This show could feature action, magic, romance, friendship, parenthood, and strong characters with emotional arcs. It would offer something for any viewer.

    Key points: This film features strong, nuanced main characters, great plot twists, a vast and exciting fictional world, political intrigue and action, and emotionally charged themes.

    Synopsis

    When Shade, a young woman with magical abilities, is kidnapped by a king and forced to give birth to his child, she escapes with the help of her great grandmother and both women vow vengeance on the king. For her own safety, Shade's daughter Lowe is sent to live with her distant cousin and her traveling circus troupe.

    Now years later, Lowe is a teenger who lives happily with the troupe, but she has visions of the future that sometimes deeply disturb her. The troupe follows Lowe’s lead. When she tells them it’s time to leave a place, they leave without questioning her.

    Meanwhile, King Kerdred, who kidnapped Shade when she was young, is slowly taking over the kingdom by invading and attacking other political leaders. He's gone mad with power and with his disturbed love of Shade. Though he was abusive to her, he misses her and wishes to find her.

    The young rival political leader, King Hylaw, must rely on his political allies if he’s to have any chance of maintaining power. Many think King Hylaw a fool, but in reality, he’s far more clever than he seems to be. He sends his sister, Princess Ami, away to her uncle’s home before he plans to marry her off in a move that seems cruel and evil to Ami but is actually politically calculated.

    When her uncle’s home is attacked, Ami flees into the forest with a few trusted allies. There she meets Lowe and the traveling circus troupe.

    The tide begins to turn in the country when Aberrling, a trusted political advisor to King Kerdred, turns on the king and trances one of his men into murdering King Kerdred’s brother and his soldiers in an unexpected bloodbath.

    The circus troupe, as well as a number of powerful allies in the country of Daranel, such as magical Tree Guardians from the forest, come together to fight alongside King Hylaw, Princess Ami, and the circus troupe against King Kerdred and his allies. King Kerdred has a powerful army filled with Nefkins, powerful and skilled creatures, and many soldiers are killed on both sides of battle, but in the end Shade is able to attack and paralyze King Kerdred in the woods. He survives and learns that not only did Shade give birth to his daughter, Lowe, but she also gave birth to a son. The story ends in an open way that sets up the second book in the series.

    About The Author

    Helen Chambers grew up in the North East of England and developed a love for fantasy fiction as a teenager. Chambers has written and directed a number of stage plays and her knowledge of the stage and unique writing style makes her novel the perfect subject for film or television adaptation.