Champion’s Rising by S.F. Claymore

The Synopsis:

Prince Snarmis is a giant of a man, one of the strongest in the kingdom of the Psykoria. But although he towers above his peers, Snarmis’ skill at fighting fails to impress his father, whose approval he seeks. His close friend Celtor, leader of a mysterious and hermetic group of forest-dwellers, advises him to seek help from werewolves. Before he sets off, a young, enthusiastic and naïve member of the tribe, Serenity pleads with him to take her with him to give her a taste of life beyond the forest.

He is giving Serenity a tour of Psykoria’s capital, when the country is invaded by the daemons – terrifying, blood-thirsty monsters set only on death and destruction. Snarmis realises he must become a great warrior or die in the attempt, and accept help from anyone willing to offer it – including Serenity.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


Champion's RisingCreatures of horror have attacked the kingdom of Psykoria, and even those who are untrained to fight have found themselves in the midst of battle. How many will die before Snarmis is able to step into his destiny and destroy the monsters? 

Champion’s Rising is a fast paced, action-packed adventure with an unlikely hero. Snarmis may appear to be an ideal protagonist, with unnatural height and strength, but the poor boy has zero skills on the battlefield, no matter how hard he desperately tries. This sets him up for a wonderful display of character development throughout the story and readers will find themselves easily rooting for his success.

The foes are powerful and intimidating, even more so than in typical fantasy novels, but they are not so powerful that they can’t be defeated, which provides a good balance. However, I did find it a little unrealistic that Snarmis, being as horrible as his training sessions at the beginning of the book led us to believe, could so easily defend himself when he first encountered the monsters. It just seemed like as long as he was up against foes who were easily killing well seasoned warriors, he had hardly an limitations, but when training with other beginners, he couldn’t even throw a wooden sword from his opponent’s hand. It was just a bit inconsistent.

The action is very intense and the war against the monsters is graphic. The sounds and sights are very well described, so readers who aren’t fond of lots of action may not like this book. There is also some mild cursing and sexual comments throughout the book.

Overall, I liked the story in general, but I think there could have been some improvements in the consistency of Snarmis’ abilities. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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3 stars


Rayleigh is a Freshman in college with a major in Accounting and long-term goal of being a CPA. She is an avid reader of all genres, and just as much of her time is spent writing as it is reading. She is the Associate Editor and Web Manager for PURSUE Magazine, in addition to posting her monthly articles on their blog. Rayleigh interns for Hartline Literary Agency where she advises authors in the best way to market their books. She is also a Social Media Manager for various businesses.

Her writing pseudonym is Rae Leigh and she is in the process of seeking publication for her Dystopian novella, Program MIRA.