Spirits of the Unknown
The author also asks a good question we can discuss in the comments (where I'm putting the advice I gave):
A writer suggested I change the names because long names like these slow the reader down. Should I start using 1 or 2 syllable names?
After an assassin kills his father and youngest brother, Tilvanau -- oldest son of the Family Government which rules three quarters of the planet Suvino -- faces a brutal civil war.
Tilvanau's second brother attempts to flee with his family, but the assassin hidden inside their ship kills everyone aboard, and escapes planet-side. Meanwhile, the ship, haunted by the ghosts of the murdered family, jumps to its programmed destination: Earth.
Amid rumors that he killed his own family to gain sole control of the government, and the rise of a powerful new dictator in the west, Tilvanau gets a grim reminder the assassin is still out there.
With conspiracies around every corner as the government crumbles, there's only one person Tilvanau might be able to trust to help: the secretary of state, who also happens to be the woman he loves. But she's now next in line to take command. She has motive and opportunity to see him dead, and Tilvanau is all too aware empires have fallen before because rulers trusted power-hungry lovers. She could well be his greatest enemy or his greatest ally.
Discovering the assassin's identity has become of paramount importance -- finding the killer may well be the key to suppressing the civil war and uniting the planet. Boarding his own ship, he follows his brother's ship to Earth where he'll either find the answers he needs -- or walk right into the assassin's trap.
I'm flattered you've riffed off my version. In this case, though, I think there might be a few missed cues and an opportunity for you to add the spice that will make it yours.
One of the previous commenters wanted clarity as to whether Til is human or alien. I think you inserted the planet's name to help clarify. But two things:
- The planet's name means nothing to the reader at this point. It's just another unfamiliar name to slow down our processing of the story, and by mentioning Earth later on, we know the most important point: the planet isn't Earth. (That Til's family rules 3/4 of the planet is a specific stat that also slows down the processing. If it bugs you, you could just say "dominant ruling family" with the objective to simplify as much as possible without tipping into the land of the truly vague.)
- We still don't know what the connection is between the inhabitants of Suvino and of Earth. Earlier versions mentioned Earth is the nearest inhabitable planet, but a civilization that has not just one but at least TWO available space-worthy ships gassed up and ready to take off for the nearest planet probably knows something about that planet. If not, why would the royal family risk escape? Just because a planet has a breathable atmosphere, moderate temperatures and appropriate gravity doesn't mean it's hospitable.
My version was a little light on the specifics and that's where the opportunity comes for you to add the necessary spice. The paragraph on Til's lover was essentially all hand-waving and mis-direction in my version because I don't know your story. I'm assuming there is something the sec of state does, even if it's misinterpreted, to earn Til's distrust. By leaving it as is, we're left with Til being rather paranoid and perhaps unwise in his choice of bedfellows. By using the space to show us a reason why he might think his lover is conspiring against him and how he reacts to that, we get a glimpse not only of Til's personality but of his lover's as well. The reader is invested to distrust her, too. More bang for the buck.
Now, I'm also going on faith that what's here in the query is not all setup that takes place in the first 50 pages of the novel and that the bulk of the story doesn't take place on Earth. What YOUR take-away is from my assumption is the fact that I'm not sure. If in fact the query takes us through most of the novel's stakes, then just finessing it a bit to be sure the logic of the story is intact and adding some specifics about Til's lover should be enough to whet the reader's appetite. If it's only setup, then a re-envisioning of how the query is structured is probably in order. But only YOU know the story well enough to know which way to go next.