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Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
PW2019 Adult #11: ILYA’S GAMBIT (Fantasy Romance)
Megan Van Dyke
Mentored by:
Maxym M. Martineau
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Fantasy Romance
Word Count:


Espionage and seduction—not skills Ilya honed to lead her people, but ones she'll need to free them. Held hostage by the emperor’s captain, Lucien, Ilya employs her wits and wiles to source information for a growing rebel movement. But Lucien isn’t the monster his fearsome helm depicts, and as Ilya unearths the truth about his beloved father-figure, the emperor, Lucien struggles with a reality more terrifying than the magical illusions he weaves. Each will have to determine where their hearts and loyalties lie—if the emperor doesn’t kill them first. A PROMISE OF FIRE meets THE BRIDGE KINGDOM.



Today, Mother would surrender the city-state of Sorrena to a tyrant. And me along with it.

The once salt-tinged breeze, turned putrid with the scent of smoke and death, ruffled my hair. Our city was burning. Our people, dying. Surrender was the only way to cease the carnage, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. Not when I’d be taken from the city I was born to lead.

My sandaled foot clicked against the marble floor, sharp staccato beats in time with the fury pumping through my veins.

“Stop that, Ilya,” Mother said from her high-backed seat at my side. She cut a hard glance up to me where I stood next to her on the dais, her dark eyes carefully devoid of emotion.

I pressed my lips together but nodded in return. The heir of Sorrena couldn’t appear nervous, furious, vengeful, or any of the other racing emotions churning within me. No, I had to be just as severe and resolute as my mother. Her back sat as straight and stiff as the cliffs that plunged into the sea. My fist tightened at my side, blocked from her view.

We’d lost, but I’d never let them conquer me.

6 responses to “PW2019 Adult #11: ILYA’S GAMBIT (Fantasy Romance)”

  1. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi, this sounds intriguing. Please submit query + first 3 chapters to QueryMe.online/evascalzo/PitchWars.

  2. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hey Megan!

    I’m so excited for this manuscript, and I know you and Maxym have done an amazing job (because you’re both phenomenal people and authors)! I’d love to see your full manuscript!

    Can you send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to Kelly@reesagency.com with the subject title: “Pitch Wars Requested Submission”. You can simply attached your full manuscript as a Word document.

    Looking forward to hearing from you, and wishing you all the best of luck! =)

    -Kelly Peterson

  3. Ginger Clark says:

    I would love to take a look at this. Can you email me the first fifty pages as either a PDF or DOCX or RTF? Put the words “Pitchwars 2020 request” in your subject line. Thank you so much!

  4. Kerstin Wolf says:

    Oh! I think I spot an enemies-to-lovers trope! My favorite! I would love to see the full manuscript of this. If you think I might be a good fit for what you’re looking for in an agent, please submit your full manuscript using this specific link: QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars

  5. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Love that ending line! I’m hooked. Please send the query + full manuscript to staitz@wmeagency.com – thank you! Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  6. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Megan,

    I like Ilya already! Please send the full manuscript with your bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. I look forward to read more.

    Sandy Lu
    L. Perkins Agency