Dear Query Shark,
In her youthful naivety, Ghuri, destroys her reputation by having an affair with a married man. She is on her way to becoming the worst sort of Indian woman, disgraced and penniless, when a naked man showed up on her doorstep. The man has been robbed and left for dead, he knocks on a dozen doors, but no one will help him because he is so shamefully, naked and seems drunk.
This is pretty clunky writing. Contrast "The man has been robbed and left for dead, he knocks on a dozen doors, but no one will help him because he is so shamefully, naked and seems drunk." with
"The man had been robbed and left for dead. He knocked on a dozen doors but no one would help him because he seemed to be drunk, and was shamefully naked"
Clunky writing in a query is always a bad sign. Even if I like the concept, I'm never enthusiastic about something that will clearly have to be heavily edited.
Only Ghuri opens her door to the stranger. She treats the man with as much respect and kindness as she would give a king. She nurses him back to health and later he returns, not as a king, but the Sultan.
Aren't a king and a sultan the same high-born, powerful kind of guys?
As a reward, the Sultan Abdul Rahim marries Ghuri and she becomes one of his 300 wives. The fairytale might have had a happy ending if it ended there, but Ghuri‘s story is just beginning.
Well, if this is the start of the story, this is where the query letter begins. Not the backstory.
In a palace full of princesses and prima donnas, the competition to become one of the Sultan‘s favorite wives is fierce. And as Ghuri discovers, even dangerous. When she becomes pregnant with the Sultan‘s son, Ghuri‘s life and the life of her unborn child are threatened by a group of scheming, powerful concubines who will do anything to bear an heir to the throne.
I don't understand why they are scheming against Ghuri if they want to bear an heir to the throne. Surely they should be scheming to leap into the sack with the Sultan. You've got two different kinds of conflict here and are not distinguishing them.
The Boy Who Had A Moon On His Forehead and A Star On His Chin, is complete at just over 45,000 words.
Whoa! The title of the book makes it sound like it's about the kid, not Ghuri at all. And 45,000 words? Is this a novel for adults? If so, it's WAY too short (75K is the norm). If it's a YA novel, it's still too short. And if it's a novel for middle grade kids, the focus on Ghuri, an adult, seems out of place.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is a form rejection.