Author: F.C. Yee
Trigger Warnings: mass murder, graphic violence, death of a loved one
If you have watched Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon then you must know that the Avatar is the only person who could bend all four elements and is the sole bridge between the physical and spiritual world. An Avatar’s main role is to maintain peace, harmony and balance in the world.
The book starts from the search for the Avatar within the Earth kingdom followed by how a boy is falsely claimed to be the new Avatar. However, Kyoshi, an orphan and servant in Yokoya, secretly finds out that she is the true Avatar and must master all four elements to defeat the person who hurt the people close to her. After that it is all about the different challenges and enemies she faces as she sets out to seek revenge while keeping her identity hidden from the entire world. During all this, she also learns about her parents’ true past and gets mixed with daofei, an organized group of outlaws in the Earth Kingdom.
What I liked about the book
Okay, I might be pretty biased because I am a MASSIVE fan of the Last Airbender cartoon (NOT THE MOVIE). Setting that aside, this book is still an absolute beauty.
This book has SO MANY similarities to the show(obviously lol) like in terms of having an Avatar gang, the places they visit and the people they meet. Once you start the book, you can instantly identify so many names and creatures that were either in The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra. This will definitely give you the warmth and familiar feeling that you would be looking for when re-visiting the Avatar universe.
But apart from that, this book is also vastly different from the show. This has a more dark and serious tone as compared to The Last Airbender. While the story occurs during Kyoshi’s teenage years, it is definitely aimed towards a slightly older audience than The Last Airbender. The murder scenes are quite graphic which were pretty much non-existent in the shows. It also tackles serious issues related to feminism, outlaws, growing up as an orphan, politics, LGBTQ community which I am so proud and happy about. Also, in the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra, we never get to see the search of Avatar much but this book explores the different ways that each nation adopts to search for the Avatar and how they are trained.
Further, the mysteries of Avtar Kyoshi’s face paint and fans are unraveled as well which was truly exciting to read about.
I partly listened to the audiobook while physically reading it as well, so I would HIGHLY recommend trying out the audiobook. The narrator does an amazing job of expressing the emotions felt by each character and the voice differentiation for each character based on their gender, age and role was impeccable.
Overall, I think the author did an absolutely amazing job of upholding the legacy of the Avatar Universe.
What I disliked about the book
While I absolutely adored the story and the characters, in the start of the book I struggled a lot with visualizing the story, scenes and the characters as well. Maybe it is because I am used to watching the show but the descriptions were still hard to follow. Apart from that, I have ZERO complaints.
Recommended for anyone who:
- has previously watched the Last Airbender cartoon NOT the movie
- wants to re-visit the Avatar universe
- wants to read a book about friendship, family, politics and love
Comment down below your thoughts on the book or if you are going to be picking it up soon.