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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
When her education fund runs out, student Abigail Cross temporarily works as Queen Rebekah’s servant to raise some money for her studies. One night, as she accompanies the Queen back to her quarters from a celebration party, they are attacked by terrifying creatures known as The Swallowers, and her brother Paul is killed instantly. Abigail finds herself tasked with protecting the Queen and a quest to summon the legendary Avant Champion to fight an ancient enemy. Roaming the continent to find the necessary means and items to do the summoning, Abigail learns more about the land’s dark history, and discovers love and new friends, as well as learning her family’s secret role in the kingdom.
I like the world-building of The Avant Champion: Rising by C.B. Samet. It’s not as complex and different as most fantasy writers tend to create, but it’s just as fascinating and detailed. There’s the Caballus Clans, people who bred the finest horses in the land and the holy tribe of Gunthi monks that secluded themselves in the remote canyon, and many more interesting communities. Samet used familiar aspects from both the real world and fantasy world, cleverly blending them together. I find the concept of how the evil beings came to be quite ingenious. The illustrations at the start of each chapter are eye-catching and complement the story well. The pace of the plot is moderate; fast enough to keep the plot flowing in an engaging manner, but appropriately slow enough to let readers get to know the characters, their antagonists, backstory, and the world-building. Overall, this is a solid fantasy from Samet.