Experimenting with Back Cover Blurbs


Diane Tibert’s very helpful post, Writing a Back Cover Blurb, got me thinking…and curious. Could I write one? Just to try it? I might need one in the future…maybe I should practise. And besides, when I mention my manuscript (Arden: the Girl from the Mountains), you have no idea what sort of deal I’m talking about. Maybe it’ll do us all some good. Or maybe it’ll just give us all headaches.

Well, I have nothing to lose. Here I go.

Eight years ago, a stranger crept through the halls of North Ferin’s capital, torturing the king’s eldest daughter and brutally murdering the king, queen, and four of their six children. Seventeen-year-old Ilex took his father’s throne with reluctance and grief, and under his careful and unexceptional rule, North Ferin prospered. Nearing the age of six-and-twenty, Ilex’s council urges him to marry and procure an heir, and his cousin Tristan is sent out all over the country to find the woman who would be queen.

Arden Falconer, the headstrong and defiant falconer of Faeleigh Mountain, has no love for her king, far off in his palace, while she raises her brother Derrin and takes care of her elderly godfather Teddy. She is content to be invisible, just a part of the mountain, until she catches the eye of Tristan.

Suddenly Arden finds herself coerced into leaving everything she loves and coached into being the king’s queen-to-be. Thrown into the heart of the land’s politics and of the royal family, Arden grows into someone worthy of being queen, someone worthy of saving North Ferin from the ugly magic that stirs in the south.

Too long? I think so.

*Ah-hem* Take two. Marker, eeehnd, action!

Eight years after the brutal murders of the royal family, North Ferin is in need of an heir for their young King Ilex. The king’s troubled cousin Tristan is used as a queen-scout, and he travels the country searching for a woman suitable to be consort.

Arden Falconer is the last woman anyone thought worthy of being queen. She’s stubborn, headstrong, and cares for no one, save her brother, godfather, and the falcons she breathes life into. Coerced into accompanying Tristan back to the capital city, Naphiring, Arden finds herself thrown into a deceptively beautiful world of mad princesses, mysterious princes, personable kings, and mistrusting nobles.

The falconer realizes that, as she struggles for her heart in the midst of pending war, North Ferin would benefit from her marriage to Ilex. But is she willing to choose duty over love? With a dark magic stirring in the south, Arden might not have a choice.

Haha, this is harder than I thought. It’s difficult putting 330 pages into three paragraphs.

Okay. Take three. Marker, eeehnd, action!

North Ferin is queen-less and heirless. King Ilex is nigh on six-and-twenty, and of his two remaining relatives, his sister Tamsin is mad and his cousin Tristan is illegitimate and hated by the king’s council. He needs a wife and child, and soon. Tristan becomes responsible for scouting the country for the woman who would be queen and finds her, quite by accident.

Arden Falconer does not care for the domestic woes of the king. In fact, she is barely aware of them. Only returning to civilization once a year for the annual market in Galisle, the falconer lives in the isolation of Faeleigh Mountain with her brother and godfather — she lives and breathes for her family, her birds. After the deaths of her parents and infant sister, Arden’s guarded heart is destined to never love another again, until she is coerced into accompanying Tristan to the capital city.

Thrust into a colourful world of politics, mistrust, and education, Arden struggles to find herself and her place at court. She comes to understand the sacrifice Ilex and Tristan have made for their country — duty over love, good over evil, trust over betrayal. Will her inner strength be enough to prevent war and procure the king’s heir? Or will the kingdom crumble and fall for her decisions?

Well, that was fun. Sort of. I’m glad that was just as an exercise, and not for an actual back cover blurb! It’s quite taxing, trying to compress nearly 85 000 words into less than 300. It makes one think about the important, inner workings of the story. I wish I had done this before I wrote the manuscript, after I finished the outline (yeah, I’m an outline girl).

Maybe I’ll cook up a back blurb for the sequel (of which the outline is remaining stubbornly unfinished)… Or maybe not.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite of the three? Or a combination of them? Do I have a future destined in back cover blurbs, or should I send out an apology to everyone who suffered to read that? 😉

3 thoughts on “Experimenting with Back Cover Blurbs

  1. I liked take two.

    I can sympathize with you. I thought it was easy, too, then I had to write one.

    Would you believe me if I told you it does get easier the more you write? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Libby.

    • Mm, I like that one the best, too. It was a good exercise, one that got me thinking and one that kept my mind off the looming acceptance/rejection date.
      I might believe you, over time. 😉

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