I’m drafting my pitch for traditional publishing and I’m trying to pull together a 1-page synopsis. Any support greatly appreciated!
Particually it’s the ending that’s giving me greif…
The first of five fantasy novels, The Fool focuses on the internal struggle of Clarence O’Leary the Leprechaun. Clarence is intentionally avoiding his past, but he can only avoid the barrage of letters from somebody back at home for so long. Every letter he receives sends Clarence spiraling into a pattern of destructive risk taking, leading to him bringing home an illegal immigrant from the banned world Earth.
Throughout Clarence’s narrative, the world expands in the interactions he has with others. Fred the kind, gentle landlord who is unable to read acts as Clarence’s moral compass and anchor, and with his death, Clarence is set adrift. Beatrix, who came from a world which destroyed itself, is quick to criticise justice and morality because her view of such notions is thoroughly jaded but her own internal pessimism leads to her exploitation. Bobbin a Humanist and a Pirate has dreams of Human Equality that lead to extremism and genoside, and Rosa, a Witch who suffers from premonitions and lives under her brother Bobbins shadow, longs to learn to use her powers and is eventually destroyed by them. Injustice, inequality and social hierarchy form a narrative backdrop in The Fool which is later expanded into the thematic plot points of the later books.
Our story opens following the receipt one of the dreaded letters which spurs Clarence into an adventure to visit a banned world known as Earth. Earth is very similar to his own world Joining Earth, being once so closely linked, but for over two thousand years it has been punishable by death to visit it. Very few people remember it exists at all, but of those who do they say it is a barbaric world devoid of magic. When Clarence is given the opportunity to visit, he does it knowing that they are facing self destruction, though he has little comprehension of what this means.
The horrors he experiences on Earth leave a deep and resounding mark on Clarence, and when he manages to return to his world, Joining Earth, he finds he has brought back an immigrant, Beatrix. Unable to kill her he saves her and finds that through her he is able to craft the mirage of a life he has always wanted, one where he is happy and feels he has a version of ‘family’ he always desired.
But the letters continue to come, and his allowance is restricted as his past tries to reclaim him. A year after his journey to Earth his distant ‘real’ family is assassinated and people come for him. Clarence runs, his life shattered and his illusion of happiness torn apart. Now the very person who made him happiest causes him the most pain as he reluctantly journeys back to his family home, knowing that he must face a tyrant who made his childhood unbearable. He goes because he feels he must honour his dead friend Fred, but in doing so he spirals into a depression so dark he attempts to end his life on more than one occasion. Each time he tries he is prevented from it, first by hounds belonging to the aloof and secretive mercenary known as Sausage and later by his mother’s Elemental blood. But Clarence is crippled by fear, knowing what he will face when he returns makes death a pleasant option, but nobody apart from Beatrix really seems to care, in fact many believe he is selfish. Clarences suffering is a private thing, he shuts out his friends and his erratic behaviours force them away from him right up to the point that he’s standing at the gates to his home, at which point he has to make a choice. Can he face his fear and can he allow his friends to help him?