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Review: Avatar the Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee

Hey all, Dani here.

I can’t believe that I haven’t reviewed this book yet. It’s been a couple weeks since I finished it, and lately I’ve been doing pretty decent about getting the reviews up within a few days of reading it. Ooops. I guess I’ve been a bit preoccupied with other stuff.

Anyway, today’s review will especially appeal to fans of the wonderful television show “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” I know I was super excited when they announced this series focusing on Avatar Kyoshi. Of course I was sad to hear that it’s only supposed to be two books, because considering that Kyoshi was the oldest living Avatar, there is so much story to uncover.

Okay, let’s jump into the review.

Summary

F. C. Yee’s The Rise of Kyoshi delves into the story of Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom–born Avatar. The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Okay, so I’ll just start off by saying that this book will appeal most to fans of the show “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” Frankly, I don’t think I would recommend this to people who are not familiar with the basics of the world of Avatar. It doesn’t do particularly well at setting up the world or explaining the magic system or anything.

However, that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I just figured I had to mention it in order to make a fair and honest review.

Kyoshi is a deeply fascinating character, and we get to see the beginnings of her origin story in this book. Her tale is similar to that of Aang and Korra, while also being unique, which I appreciated. Aang was already a capable airbender when he really started his Avatar training, and Korra had been training in multiple forms of bending and combat since her youth. From the beginning of the story it is clear that Kyoshi very rarely uses her earthbending.

This is for a good reason, but I’m not going to go into detail on that here, because I feel like it is better to just enjoy the experience. But there were a couple very cool moments of Kyoshi’s super powerful bending. The first time she firebends was really cool. Also, the first time she enters the Avatar state. Oh, and her training sessions with all of her bending masters, none of whom are the ones selected to train the Avatar.

Oh, and this novel definitely explains why Kyoshi always appears wearing the outfit and makeup that she does, and why she is associated with the fans. It was cool to see how her backstory and her current adventures helped to shape who she would be known as in the future (which you know, is the past for those of us who are fans of “Avatar” and “Korra”).

It was such fun to get to adventure back into this world, and it absolutely made me want to re-watch both of the TV series.

Where to Get a Copy

You can pick up your own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

You can also check with your local library.

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