F.C. Yee – “The Rise of Kyoshi”

May be an image of 2 people, including Matt Brent, book and text

“But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked…” I never watched Avatar when it first aired (16 years ago, yesterday!) because I thought it was a kids’ show. When I caught it on Netflix a few months back, I was amazed at how rich the story was. It was chock full of themes a kid might enjoy, but an adult certainly would as well. After binging the show and tracking down its sequel series about Korra on DVD, I discovered there were books about Kyoshi, one of the previous avatars. F.C. Yee’s “The Rise of Kyoshi” was a delightful read. Full of avatar lore, the book traces the origin of Kyoshi. As an abandoned child, she ended up as a servant of the new avatar, who happened to be mentored by the three former companions of Kuruk, the previous avatar. Kyoshi’s journey rapidly changes as she falls in with a new crowd following a tragedy. Despite the setback, she rises! Like the show it’s based on, the book has lots of adventure. We see Kyoshi’s relationships grow. We see her maneuver through political conflicts. And like Aang, she has to face moral challenges. I think Yee has done a tremendous job crafting this prequel. Kyoshi was worthy of her own show, for sure, but at least we get her story in text! And to make things better, there’s a second novel I’ll be reading soon! This one, however, is a definite “must read” for any fan of “Avatar: the Last Airbender” or “The Legend of Korra.”

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