Is there a symbol on the cover? If so, what is it? If the symbol is a weird triangle that is good, if the symbol is written in fire that is better.
Someone on the the back cover should be described as darkly mysterious
It is best if the heroine has a magical power
It is non-negotiable that there is a heroine
The heroine’s magical power must be carefully judged. If everyone she knows is magic already, she is magic in a very specifically different way. If they cry bacon, she must laugh sausage.
On sausage: the heroine should probably hate her love interest at the beginning, but not so much that we can not forgive the love interest later.
The heroine should always find her love interest attractive, but she should find him attractive in spite of herself. She is irritated by her love interest’s fuckability. His cheekbones are a thorn in her side, his arse a brutal reminder of society’s wretched inequalities.
On society: there is a deep inequality within the heroine’s society, one that she is aware of but accepts it has always been this way and will always be this way.
If there is a second love interest, he may be attractive, but improbably so. He is both vaguely but quite specifically effeminate, leading me to believe that the book’s publisher forced the author to edit out a lesbian love interest by changing the character’s name.
If either of the love interests are older, they must be significantly older. A century is good, but if they are a wizard that is older than quantifiable time, that is much better.
An amulet, maybe? I don’t know. You figure it out.
I would like if there is a mess hall of some sort. Where everyone eats and throws things at each other? The mess hall should be a place of adolescent anxiety at the beginning of the book, but at the end of the book, should be on fire. This is a symbol.
Acceptable symbols: symbols that symbolise the end of innocence; the loss of virginity; the putting away of childish things; the futility of war.
When the war begins, I do not need to hear about the parts of the war that the heroine and her love interest are not directly involved. I do not want to hear about how some rando character who was introduced three pages ago was lost in the Battle, and I do not want to spend three pages mourning him. I do not care.
The heroine is different after the war, but not so different that I can no longer relate to her. I do not want her to be especially productive or a pillar of the community. I do not need her to have kids. She can just potter around if you like.
If you are lending me this book, I will probably not give it back, and if I do, I will have dropped it in the bath.
Posted by Caroline
Caroline is the creator of Work in Prowess