A better title than "A Wizard's Daughter"?

My YA fantasy novel has been called "A Wizard's Daughter" almost since I started it. The problem with the title is that it's a bit too generic - it tells you it's fantasy, and it tells you that the main character is female and (presumably) relatively young, but doesn't tell you anything of what the story is about. So I'm wondering if any of you lovely people have any better ideas. This is the nearest thing I have to a blurb right now:

"Apprentice wizard Adramal wants nothing more than to be a healer. But when she moves to a new school to complete her training, she discovers that several ritual murders have been committed by magic, threatening the fabric of the world. The evidence points to the killer being one of Adramal’s teachers, and the City Watch recruit her to go undercover to unmask the murderer.

"The task is more daunting than she anticipated – for apprentices are forbidden from using magic outside the classrooms. Hands tied, she turns to Perinar, the shy librarian whose dusty volumes might hold the secret of the reason for the killings. But can she find what she needs before the killer strikes again or – worse – without blowing her cover and putting her own life in danger?"

If I have to tell people what it's about, briefly, I describe it as a murder mystery set in a school for wizards, so it might be nice for the title to reflect that in some way.

A few alternatives I thought of already:

Deadly Magic

The Barefoot Healer (this is a nickname that Adramal acquires in the course of the book)

The Barefoot Detective (a play on The Barefoot Healer)

Harriet Potter and the Serial Killer of Camelot (this is if I ever have to pitch it to a Hollywood executive)

Or is it fine as it is?

(OMG - Y!A put this in the right category!)


The other reason I'm thinking of changing it is that some people think it's called THE Wizard's Daughter, which annoys me. Adramal's father is not the only person in the story who can do magic. Very petty, I know...

Update 2:

The Barefoot Healer seems to be favourite so far... this was actually the first alternative I thought of.

I also like Barefoot Magic/The Barefoot Magician/The Barefoot Wizard, as it fits with how the magic works - no wands, no magic words, no expensive ingredients, you just think the right thoughts in the right order and the magic happens.

The Seventh Victim could work too, as the attentive reader would work out that this refers to Adramal - or to what the murderer has planned for her.

Update 3:

I like "Blood and Books: A Barefoot Healer Mystery". It's planned as book 1 of a series, so I was thinking I need a title for the series as a whole. Since Adramal is the main character throughout, "The Barefoot Healer" or "The Barefoot Healer Mysteries" might make a good series title. I like "Blood and Books" as the title of this book, though it doesn't quite fit with the killer's modus operandi - there's very little blood spilled.

15 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favourite answer

    How about "Blood and Books: A Barefoot Healer Mystery"

    I actually like the title that I came up with (it may however be too much of a mouthful), but out of yours I felt like the "The Barefoot Healer" stuck out the most, in a good way. If you feel that you really want to convey that it's a mystery book, then I would go with "Deadly Magic"

    "A Wizard's Daughter" sounds OK, but I feel like your other options are better.

  • Joss
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Deadly Magic [Yawn. Generic. But, could work if you had a really good hook that sets it apart from other books in the genre. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing a standout hook.]

    The Barefoot Healer (this is a nickname that Adramal acquires in the course of the book) [I wouldn't give it the time of day if I saw it on the spin when I'm browsing the shelves]

    The Barefoot Detective (a play on The Barefoot Healer) [Hate the word "barefoot, but that's just me.]

    Harriet Potter and the Serial Killer of Camelot (this is if I ever have to pitch it to a Hollywood executive) [Sound good. :p]

    Eh, Off the top of my head, and I'm not saying they're any good, just brainstorming:

    Rituals of Death

    Deadly Ritual (still kind of generic)

  • 10 years ago

    I think 'Deadly Magic' is better than 'A Wizard's Daughter', which I don't think does your book justice (I read some of it on Authonomy - it's excellent).

    Since the key thing about the plot is presumably the murder mystery, I think perhaps focusing on that rather than the fact that she's a healer might work best for the title, so I'm not so keen on The Barefoot Healer as a title, and The Barefoot Detective doesn't say 'fantasy' to me.

    I'm afraid I suck at titles so I can't be more helpful than that at the moment - I'll come back and edit if inspiration suddenly strikes. But I do think 'Deadly Magic' is good.

  • Seal
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Well, a little hooray, I *was* thinking the title could live up more to the story XD

    A Wizard's Daughter isn't particularly interesting - it sounds, well, somewhat plain and ordinary.

    Deadly Magic - all right, but it seems a bit over dramatic and slightly reminiscent of sci fi (without the magic part). I don't think it's quite right for the age group.

    The Barefoot Healer - I like this one the most, but it may be because I'm partial to the whole subject of magical healing. Though it does seem to fit Adramal in her being the actual healer and trying to, eh, how do I word this without killing it all, find the murderer and help out... like a healer... I killed it anyways, but you get my meaning.

    -The Barefoot Detective - makes me think mystery right away; I read mostly fantasy and little mystery and it doesn't really seem to be the type of book I would pick up.

    Harriet Potter and the Serial Killer of Camelot - would probably do well, I'm sure they'd like it.

    I'm terrible at coming up with names myself, so that's all I can do. I'll check back if something spontaneous springs to mind.

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  • 10 years ago

    O_O I'm so used to thinking of your story as "A Wizard's Daughter"...

    "A Wizard's Daughter" is a generic title, but so is "Deadly Magic" when you get down to it. And the main character being the daughter of a wizard has some significance, so I still like A Wizard's Daughter.

    I'm not the greatest with titles, but an idea that strikes me--seeing as she's a healer, perhaps in some way she's "healing" the wounds or damage that the murderer is doing? Perhaps some sort of magical metaphor can come out of this that fits the story better.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Deadly Magic sounds the best.


    The Healer Ritual

    The City Watch

    Book of Secrets

    The Book of Secrets

    Killer Strike

    The Death Toll

    Die Today, Live Tomorrow


    Restricted Alliances

    Secret Sorcery

    Shower of Blood

    Detecting Death

    Deceitful Deaths

    Secret Intentions

  • 10 years ago

    Another question? Dang, this is amazing. :)

    Anyways, I kind of like Deadly Magic as a title. I think it gives a better idea of what your story is about and clearly says "fantasy and death contained in this book." The Barefoot Healer or The Barefoot Detective are both interesting, but without knowing much about the book, they also strike me as being rather odd, and not something I'm sure I'd like to read. If you did decide to use either of those as the title, you might want to mention the barefoot healer thing in your blurb. Maybe. I don't know. Those titles just sounded strange to me. Interesting and attention grabbing, but strange.

    I must say, I'm becoming rather curious about this story now. Maybe I'll go read it.

  • Out of your titles, I like The Barefoot Healer best, especially if it's Adramal's nickname.

    Another thing to think about might be naming it after the killings in some way. Perhaps there's a spell that would make a good title, or if the killings were done by a specific sect or order, you could fashion a title after them.

    PS: Harriet Potter ~ LMAO!!

  • 10 years ago

    I agree that 'The Wizard's Daughter' Is too generic, you want a name that will jump out at you on the shelf. Likewise, I hate books that have pointless names that do not link with the book and were clearly created to make it look interesting!

    Anyway, here are my ideas:

    Barefoot Tracks -- I dunno, this could be to do with her trying to hide her tracks for she is undercover? But I don't feel it focuses on magic enough

    The Magician Hunter - I like Magician, instead of wizard, it sounds more adult.. but that's just me.

    A Barefoot Magician - Maybe? No idea, i'm playing on this magician idea that you may not like..

    A Game of Cat and Mouse - if it's about hunting a killer, maybe?

    Killer Magic - I quite like this, i'd pick it up on a shelf

    Daughter of Magic - Maybe? If they're all kind of related by magic..

    Witch's Hunt - This kind of plays on the typical 'witch hunt'

    Hope that helps :)

  • 10 years ago

    I do like the title you have "A Wizard's Daughter", but I do agree with you that it is a bit generic...

    I do like Barefoot Healer since that's a nickname and it's not... as noticeable as far as what it'll be. I also like Deadly Magic as well...

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