The Avant Champion: Rising by C.B. Samet

The Avant Champion: Rising by C.B. Samet
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full (280 Pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Dryas

All things considered, it was a good day to die . .

When Marrington Castle is overtaken by a dark and ancient evil, Abigail Cross finds herself in the precarious situation of protecting Queen Rachel the Fourth. Her journey to safety quickly transforms into a quest to save Queen and country. Charged with finding the artifacts to raise The Champion to defeat the world’s most powerful enemy, Abigail finds herself traversing the perilous continent—from the roaring waterfalls of Aithos to the scorching heat of the Optato Desert to the freezing fog of Mount Karn… Will Abigail succeed in uniting the kingdom and summoning the Avant Champion to save them all?

Meet Abigail Cross, a University student studying for a geology major. She was forced to take a leave from her studies because she didn’t have enough money to finisShe becomes one of Queen Rebecca’s assistants until she has enough money.

As her parents had been killed in a shipwreck when she was young, her older brother Paul was the one who took care of her. What she doesn’t know is that her brother and the queen have hidden important information from her that will change her life forever.
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Things change quickly for Abby and the rest of the world on a summer night where everyone is celebrating an important holiday. As the queen is leaving the ball, she commands Abby to ride in her carriage back to Marrington Castle. As they are on their way Abby watches in horror as her brother is taken out of his carriage and eaten by a creature called a Swallower. As Abby learns, these are not the only evil creatures released into the world to attack and kill humanity. Their leader and enslaver is Malos, a creature created from all the evil in the world. Malos arises every 1,000 years and a champion is chosen to destroy him and send him back to his island. If this tradition does not take place, evil overtakes humanity and chaos reigns.

Abby reluctantly takes on the responsibility for the quest to retrieve the items needed to summon the champion.  She is also in charge of the queen’s safety. Along the way Abby gathers friends around her. The first is Joshua, her brother’s roommate.

Each of the cultures of the different countries of the realm are extremely well done. The author’s skill in world-building brings me into the environment like I was there. Standing in the pastures of the horses, the cold and snowy beauty of the Mountain and the heat of the desert. Also, each country has a different culture, with their own values and greetings. Abby had been in most of the cultures during her studies, which made the gathering of an army and the objects easier then it could have been.

Abby does manage to shoulder the burdens placed against her will with aplomb most of the times. Her love for queen and country is a driving force for her.

I believe the trope is a bit overdone. There many books where a female character goes on a quest to save lives. If there had been a twist, I would have enjoyed the book more. The characters are well developed even though Abby does seem to go out of character at times. This has the unfortunate ability to bring me out of the story. I can see what the author is doing, trying to show Abby’s development from a child to a strong woman. Joshua is a wonderful character who balances her. He is a steadying influence and the author made a great choice by making him a healer. His personality is suited to it, as he doesn’t panic in emergencies.

The battle between good and evil was too quickly done. With all the lead up I would have thought the battle would have gone on longer. There were only a few pages of the battle and the end somewhat predictable. Although the after battle action was much better.

This was a light novel with periods of suspense and intriguing characters. The scenery is well done and Abby’s growth as a person and her relationship with Joshua is the main focus. I hope to read more about this world.

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