Because I want the best for you, here’s the short version: scroll to the bottom of this review and click the link to buy it.
Buy a copy for everyone you know who is a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. (If you have friends who are not fans, have you shared the good news of the Avatar with them?)
F.C. Yee teams up with Michael Dante DiMartino (one of the creators of ATLA) to tell the story of Kyoshi, the most recent Earthbending Avatar to precede Aang. Fans of the cartoon will remember Avatar Kyoshi as the namesake of the Kyoshi Warriors.
Avatar Kyoshi was fierce, completely unafraid to be ruthless with her enemies, as Avatar Aang discovered when he sought her advice in the series finale. Yee spins a wonderful tale that leaves the reader wanting to know more about Avatar Kyoshi and her adventures. (Good thing there’s a sequel on the way.)
Kyoshi begins her life as a orphan, struggling to survive in a community that is sufficiently poor that it has no use for orphans. They have nothing to spare themselves and mistreat her. She eventually finds kindness and safety in the household of the new Avatar. Or, rather, the young man believed to be the new Avatar. (Y’all, it’s not a spoiler if you already know that he’s a Pretender.)
When her true identity as the Avatar is revealed, Kyoshi loses loved ones in the chaos. She spends much of the book on a quest for revenge against those who would try to control her, and learns a little bending along the way.
You guys. This book is everything you could ask for as a fan of this universe. Kyoshi is angry and scared. She’s been dealt a bad hand along with great power, a dangerous combination for anyone. I’m excited to see what she makes of it.
F. C. Yee’s debut novel, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, was one of my favorite reads of last year. I’m delighted to say that he works his magic for a second time in this volume. I look forward to seeing what he does next.