The query letter
I am seeking representation for my historical epic, An Ordeal of Faith,
complete at 140,000 words.
A heresy of Gnostic origins rages in the county of Toulouse in the year 1243. It endures by drawing strength from a subversive ancient gospel that challenges the legitimacy of the established Church. In the war between faiths, the Catholic knight William de Gameville and his family have mysteriously been invested with the gospel’s guardianship. William’s heretic brother has rescued it once, and William’s daughter is called through a dream to save it again. An Ordeal of Faith
is the intricately woven tale of the family’s epic struggles to fulfill its destiny.
Initially unaware of such a book, let alone his family’s connection to it, William views his personal battle as ensuring his wife and children’s welfare while remaining loyal to a heretic brother. He quickly realizes the two objectives are at variance when, to prevent the inquisitors at Toulouse from using his children against their uncle, he whisks his family away to temporary asylum at the heretics’ stronghold, only to learn that he has all but delivered them into the hands of crusaders moving on the fortress.
He has made the wrong choice, but his efforts thereafter to rectify matters meet with obstacle after obstacle. It takes his own incarceration by the Inquisition, his daughter’s brave journey to carry out her dream, and a heartbreaking loss for him to recognize that his choice was scarcely one at all—that an invisible hand has been guiding him and his loved ones all along.
In a subgenre that is saturated with stories of large historical figures, this novel will satisfy the reader seeking quieter characters who heroically step up to challenges regarding faith, loyalty and destiny. In scope it can be compared to Zoe Oldenbourg’s historical novels set in the Middle Ages and Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth
I hold a Ph.D. from the University of [Blank] and am a former university professor. I became passionate about the Middle Ages when I had a dream one night about it. The dream is that of William’s daughter, mentioned above and expanded in the novel.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have my work considered by your agency, and I thank you for your time.