The Rise of Kyoshi
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.

The Rise of Kyoshi Details

TitleThe Rise of Kyoshi
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 16th, 2019
PublisherAmulet Books
ISBN-139781419735042
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

The Rise of Kyoshi Review

  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
    January 1, 1970
    If you think I'm not going to scream in excitement until I have this in my hands...you are wrong.
  • TheBookSmugglers
    January 1, 1970
    ONE MILLION STARSThis was so so good, it develops Avatar lore further, it shows the incredible arc of Kyoshi's beginnings as Avatar and it is so different to Aang and Korra, I can't even. She is so badass - and her love story with her bff Rangi (a female firebender and her bodyguard) is SO CUTE OMG. This is fucking dark too and full of personal loss. I cried MULTIPLE TIMES but this is par for the course with Avatar stories obvs, I cried pretty much in all episodes of The Last Airbender so this c ONE MILLION STARSThis was so so good, it develops Avatar lore further, it shows the incredible arc of Kyoshi's beginnings as Avatar and it is so different to Aang and Korra, I can't even. She is so badass - and her love story with her bff Rangi (a female firebender and her bodyguard) is SO CUTE OMG. This is fucking dark too and full of personal loss. I cried MULTIPLE TIMES but this is par for the course with Avatar stories obvs, I cried pretty much in all episodes of The Last Airbender so this carries on the mantle of the series REALLY WELL.It has: tons of politics (the Earth Kingdom is such a mess), SKY BISONS (one called PengPeng who becomes her friend omg criessob), AIR NOMADS LOT OF THEM (Kyoshi is HALF AIR NOMAD WHAT), CRIMINALS, REVENGE, DEATHS, Lots of amazing Earthbending feats (BEST BENDING), the action sequences are out of this world, lots of mention at how bad an Avatar Kuruk was LOL, the way that Kyoshi becomes almost immortal is seeded here, also her METAL FANS MY DEAR LORD, there is also abuse and hunger in her childhood (sobs more) and her being brought up by an Air Nomad surrogate dad (who used to be BFFs with Avatar Kuruk), and romance and and and THAT CLIFFHANGERGIVE ME MORE.
    more
  • ~vatana~
    January 1, 1970
    Guess who’s crying at 2 AM.
  • milou ☁️
    January 1, 1970
    Then let it be so, she thought. She would fight her ill fortune, her bad stars, and protect those who might despise her to the very end of her days. Kyoshi wasn’t always that Avatar who all the people adored. She was an ordinary servant once, not someone who was worth noticing. When the position of the current Avatar are being questioned some eyes turn their attention to Kyoshi. ─── ・ 。゚:☆. *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───Credit to the talented creatorFrom what we’ve seen of Kysohi on the Avatar the last Airb Then let it be so, she thought. She would fight her ill fortune, her bad stars, and protect those who might despise her to the very end of her days. Kyoshi wasn’t always that Avatar who all the people adored. She was an ordinary servant once, not someone who was worth noticing. When the position of the current Avatar are being questioned some eyes turn their attention to Kyoshi. ─── ・ 。゚:☆. *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───Credit to the talented creatorFrom what we’ve seen of Kysohi on the Avatar the last Airbender show we have a very little information about the Earthbending Avatar who ended up creating the Dai Lai and who lived to be a 230 years old! The oldest Avatar to have ever lived. I have often asked myself how it was possible that Kyoshi achieved the things that she did, and what made her into what she was?We are finally getting the answers now. 11 years after Avatar the last Airbender has ended we are getting introduced to Kyoshi her whole story and it sure is something. “What insult have I given you?”“Your existence,” Kyoshi spat. Kyoshi’s life is anything but a picnic on the beach. It wasn’t that she was given anything on a silver platter or something. She was left at a very young age by her parents and had to survive on her own for some time until Kelsang came into her life and provided for her. Kyoshi knew what it was like to founder alone in the dark, grasping for edges that were too far away, without a mother or father to extend a hand and pull you to safety. The pain of having no value to anyone, nothing to trade for food or warmth or a loving embrace. ⛰️ Kyoshi: A bisexual Earthbender. Even as an Earthbender she isn’t particularly skilled, and she is unaware of her true powers. Is incredibly tall and was an orphan in her younger years.⛰️ Kelsang: An Airbender. Owns a bison called Pengpeng. Raised Kyoshi as his own. He’d done all this, saved the life of a child stranger, for no reason other than that she needed someone. In a part of the Earth Kingdom where love was reserved solely for blood relations, the monk from a foreign land was the dearest person in the world to Kyoshi. ⛰️ Rangi: She’s one badass Firebender. Is a personal guard to the Avatar. Is in love with Kysohi.I just want to scream (view spoiler)[ “Come on,” she said. “Cheer up. I didn’t mean to send you into a spiral.”“I can’t cheer up. I’m in Horse Stance.”“I like your focus,” Ragni said. “But if you can withstand this.” She slid between Kysohi’s arms and gave her a head-tilting, knee-buckling kiss, as powerful and deep as the ocean after a storm. (hide spoiler)]Once Kysohi finds out the truth about her being the Avatar she is forced to flee from the mansion that she had been working at with Rangi when someone wants to use her powers for ill intends. Forced to hide her powers Kyoshi ends up with a band of renegades where she participates in a couple of schemes and takes her first practices in the other elements, and particularly struggles with Airbending.Still Kyoshi is far from being a fully established Avatar, and is still in hiding. Her bending doesn’t come naturally to her, and she does whatever is in her powers to train her bending.Kyoshi’s story has never been an easy one and she had to fight to get whatever she was entitled to. This book only followed Kyoshi during her younger years and we watched her being shaped into an Avatar into the race for something humongous. While I was reading this book I had kind of forgotten that this was going to be a two part series and when I read To be continued on the last pages I wanted to hurl my ereader across the room, but decided not to. Sure Kyoshi was only in her teens in this first book so it’s only logical that we get so read about the rest of her life whenever the next book comes out. When… I have enclosed Kyoshi inside my heart and she will remain there until I draw my final breath.↠ Genre: Fantasy, The Avatar The Last Airbender Universe↠ Reputation: Bisexual reputation↠ Pov: Third Person – Female ↠ Type: Book 1 out of 2 ↠ Rating: 5 starsTwitter | Instagram | Youtube | Last.fm
    more
  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    29/3/19I AM LITERALLY SCREAMING YOU ALL! Avatar literally meant the world to me as a child and I have always wanted to know more about Kyoshi and her life, she was just such a freaking badass woman! I can't wait!! You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
    more
  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jakob AndreasenFans of the critically acclaimed television show Avatar: The Last Airbender will fall head over heels with The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee. Weaving the story of a much loved character, Avatar Kyoshi, Yee has conjured a unique perspective on an already well established world and takes what we know and love, from the source material, and adds new elements of interest.I should preface this review by saying that I am a fan of the sourc Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jakob AndreasenFans of the critically acclaimed television show Avatar: The Last Airbender will fall head over heels with The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee. Weaving the story of a much loved character, Avatar Kyoshi, Yee has conjured a unique perspective on an already well established world and takes what we know and love, from the source material, and adds new elements of interest.I should preface this review by saying that I am a fan of the source material myself and went into this story with high expectations. While these expectations were met in some aspects of the story, overall I felt it may have hindered my experience and enjoyment. Nonetheless, this story is a beautiful depiction of the origins of Avatar Kyoshi.Kyoshi has always been a compelling character for me. Her storyline in the show—being a more stern and deductive Avatar, and extremely powerful and unyielding—really captured my attention, so this was a treat to read. The ‘humble origins’ that are referenced in the blurb really are the most humble an Avatar could be as a servant to the incorrectly chosen Avatar. The dynamic of that really intrigued me as both a reader and a fan of the show because, as fans, we know her true destiny. Plus to see her in a position where her true identity was being overshadowed by an incorrectly chosen Avatar was quite interesting and it really commented on how people, mostly men, place boundaries on powerful women to put themselves in a position of power. It felt similar to the narrative of Captain Marvel as we watch her grow and accept her destiny. We see her become the Avatar we know, seeing her take on the position and responsibility of the Avatar, and seeing her trust and love others around her really hooked me into rooting for her character.The thing that has always interested me about the Avatar world is the impact, whether positive of negative, that each Avatar has on the next. For example, Avatar Yangchen created an era of peace and subsequently Kuruk brought about an era of chaos. As Kyoshi grows into her destiny, she develops a contrasting temperament to Kuruk—much like the element of Earth, she becomes stern and unyielding. Her character development throughout the novel really does stand out as a highlight.As mentioned earlier, the world is in chaos since Avatar Kuruk has died at a young age—younger than anyone could’ve expected. The rush to find the next Avatar really adds to the atmosphere of the story and to the complexity of the antagonist, which I found quite gripping because the world was without an Avatar for a longer period of time than the norm. This opened up new opportunities for there to be a more innovative sense of world building including the introduction of outlaws, the introduction of new groups that used an Avatarless world to plague on the weak, and the introduction of powerful people to take advantage of their positions. But, while this gave more opportunity for this dynamic, it saturated the story. I think the author tried to create a three part narrative, to almost structure the story in a way, but it felt overwhelming to the point that it did hinder the development, and sometimes even the relevance of aspects within the novel.It does take an incredible amount of creativity to dive deeper in the workings of a world, and Yee has done so by enveloping the story with nuances of political corruption and the seductive nature of power. While this conversation was evident throughout the story, the execution could have been stronger and more streamlined. I think that the intentions were there, and that there were several successful attempts at this, but it did become muddled as the story developed. This would also come down to the pacing of the story. I don’t want to compare this novel with Avatar: The Last Airbender, but the show naturally gave plenty of room for a natural progression of the themes and topics being discussed – friendship, war, power, etc. Also, the fact that this story takes a character from an already established and loved world, means that the story will flock lovers of that world. I feel that perhaps outsiders may find it a tad difficult at first, but as everything progresses, it becomes much easier to grasp.On another note, when an author gives the perspective of the antagonist to their readers, it should give a deeper insight into the motivations of the antagonist as a way for us readers to empathise with them. While I enjoyed reading the antagonist’s chapters for the dialogue and action it gave, they could’ve been omitted or merged with chapters that involved Kyoshi, even being added the final dialogue at the climax of the story.Overall, I quite enjoyed this story. Getting to know the origins of such an iconic character was quite a journey. Diving into the past of Avatar Kyoshi has definitely allowed my love of her to grow. Also, getting to understand her need to be the strong figure we know in the show was no doubt a treat. I believe, knowing now the secret of her character and the real origins of her story, has given me the opportunity to grow as a fan.
    more
  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY YES! I haven't even seen ATLA yet (for shame) and I already know that F.C. Yee is the perfect author for this.Also, not only are we getting this next year but also The Iron Will of Genie Lo. WHAT A GIFT
  • Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    I would go on a three year journey to regain my honor for this book
  • Janina
    January 1, 1970
    this is the best news i got all year pals
  • ;3
    January 1, 1970
    (john mulaney voice) THAT'S MY WIFE!!
  • Ryan Samarakoon
    January 1, 1970
    Buying this instantly. It's not over!
  • Drew Salas
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY FUCKING GOD!!I NEED THIS!!GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME
  • Hesione
    January 1, 1970
    like this is literally the author combo of my dreams(still would rather have iron will of genie lo before getting this one, especially since I disagree with some of Kyoshi's decisions, but still)
  • Briana
    January 1, 1970
    The Rise of Kyoshi has big shoes to fill as a prequel novel to the beloved television series Avatar: The Last Airbender and as an origin story of one of the most popular Avatars. I looked forward to its publication with both immense excitement and pointed skepticism; members of any fandom know how difficult it can be for a creator to add work to an existing canonical world that lives up to the spirit of the original and stays within the bounds of that canon, expanding it in ways that are logical The Rise of Kyoshi has big shoes to fill as a prequel novel to the beloved television series Avatar: The Last Airbender and as an origin story of one of the most popular Avatars. I looked forward to its publication with both immense excitement and pointed skepticism; members of any fandom know how difficult it can be for a creator to add work to an existing canonical world that lives up to the spirit of the original and stays within the bounds of that canon, expanding it in ways that are logical. Yet F. C. Yee was more than equal to the task. The Rise of Kyoshi is not perfect, but it is as close to perfect a story of a teenage Avatar Kyoshi as I could have hoped, bringing life to the character and making me feel immersed in the world of Avatar almost as much as if I were watching the show.Writing a younger (or older) version of a character that readers already know and love is a difficult endeavor on its own, even in the case of Avatar Kyoshi where fans of the show admittedly don’t know all that much. (To be clear, I don’t think you actually need to have watched the show to have the novel make sense and be enjoyable.) There’s always a trick to portraying characters who grown up to mature, confident, maybe stern or grave as youths who are more light-hearted and carefree but who still have the personality markers of the people they will become. Yee does an admirable job with this, playing with Avatar Kyoshi’s brute strength and strong (potentially unusual) sense of morality while also representing her as a teenager with fears, misgivings, and a world of unexplored opportunities. How does Kyoshi become someone fiercely loyal to her people? Or someone who fails to see the difference between murdering a man and taking an action that indirectly leads to his death? Yee tackles these questions head-on, and for the most part, I enjoyed the answers.Writing a character who regenerates (like the Avatar, like the Doctor in Doctor Who) is another challenge, as the author must create a personality that fits the role but is not too similar to the previous incarnations of the character. In The Legend of Korra (the sequel show to Avatar: The Last Airbender), the writers took the extreme route of making an Avatar who was the complete opposite of Aang, and it felt heavy-handed. In The Rise of Kyoshi, Yee simply creates a character, one who fits what we know about Kyoshi from existing canon, and she doesn’t seem to fixate on whether she’s alike or different enough from Avatars Aang or Korra. She’s just herself, and I love that approach.I also felt immersed in the world building. Here, Yee needs to create a world that exists hundreds of years before the television show takes place but that still has familiar elements and fun allusions for Avatar fans to pick up on. Similar to the characterization of Kyoshi, it needs to be a world that readers believe will grow into the one that Aang inhabits, and Yee generally strikes the right balance. Yee puts her own stamp on the setting, but I believed that it’s the world of Avatar; there’s not too much that’s unique or anything that stood out to be as contradicting the existing canon. I just wanted to hop on an air bison and start exploring the Four Nations myself.Finally, the plot is gripping. There are similarities to Avatar: The Last Airbender that are likely difficult to get away from, especially if one wants to write a plot centered on a conflict related to the Avatar’s training. Kyoshi, like Aang, has people tracking her. She needs to find bending teachers. She needs friends to help her on her journey. However, the way this all plays out is distinctly different, definitely Kyoshi’s story rather than Aang’s, and I found myself glued to the pages, needing to know what would happen next.I was highly anticipating this novel, and my excitement was well-founded. I just finished it, and I already want the next installment.***Initial Thoughts: I was both excited and skeptical about this, but this book is amazing. I really felt immersed in the world of Avatar, and I enjoyed watching Kyoshi's journey as she begins to grow into the role of the Avatar.
    more
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    DON'T MIND IF I DOOOOOOO-
  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    I’m about to pee myself I’m so excited for this
  • ˗ˋˏ all my crooked spines ˎˊ˗
    January 1, 1970
    i hate people giving books five stars before they've even read them, but this is avatar honestly both buffy the vampire slayer and avatar the last airbender are both getting iconic revivals this year and honestly i'm like 100% this is how god intended the world to be when he moulded iti'm literally crying wig wig wig wig wIG WIG WIG WIG WIg wig
    more
  • Rosie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh I was literally just saying to my friend that I'd love to know more about Avatar Kyoshi and then I found this!!! I'm pretty late to finding out but oh my gosh am I so excited!!!
  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    I’m already planning on reading this again in a few months, that’s how much I loved it 🥺I loved the twists and turns in this book. I didn’t realize how gritty it was going to be compared to the show and I’m glad it was because MY EMOTIONS BIH!! I fell in love with Kyoshi almost immediately. She’s truly the best Avatar :’)We get to look into the world Kyoshi was brought into and the potential she showed everyone and herself before she became one of the greatest Avatars. I hope her turbulent past/ I’m already planning on reading this again in a few months, that’s how much I loved it 🥺I loved the twists and turns in this book. I didn’t realize how gritty it was going to be compared to the show and I’m glad it was because MY EMOTIONS BIH!! I fell in love with Kyoshi almost immediately. She’s truly the best Avatar :’)We get to look into the world Kyoshi was brought into and the potential she showed everyone and herself before she became one of the greatest Avatars. I hope her turbulent past/upbringing gets to be explored more with her parents and the Flying Opera Company. And I loved how she wasn’t as I was expecting to be in her youth compared to the Avatar she became since the beginning of the show. I can’t wait to explore more of her leadership. Alsoooo, even after Korra, I’m still not used to so many Air Nomads arounds just minding their business and doing Nomad (and not so Nomad) things and UgH!!! More pls 🥺🥺🥺There was enough action, worldbuilding (but those who already know the Avatar series will understand it better), and unending emotional ties and heartbreak that make this book GOLD 🌟Onto the kind of spoilers...WE B GAY IN THIS BIHHHHH!!! I was surprised but 100% in support of sapphic Kyoshi and her relationship with Rangi. I knew it since page 24 😭 I didn’t think they’d get together so soon but I’m in awe. And I loved how everyone went with it and she was like IDGAF I LUV MY GF. The death of two of the people who I thought were going to be major characters THREW ME TF OFF. I needed several moments, I was like... excuse tf outta me but did they just DIE? That was a curveball I wasn’t expecting but the mystery of one of them RETURNING in the end? I hope that gets explored in the next book. But then the last friend death in the book? ALSO UNEXPECTED but it made me mad instead of sad. Like—what was the purpose?? I don’t want Kyoshi’s friends to keep dying in order to fuel her rage to reach her assassination goals :(Also how the major enemy was written was scary, like he really truly believed he was in the right and I didn’t like reading through his few chapters because I hated him so much, but the book really framed his character well—they humanized a monster, which is the realist thing you could do to a villain. Anyway, this book was VERY well written and I was still able to get into the lore of the Avatar without any of the previous characters that I know from the show/comics. I’m so excited for the next one, I hate that I have to wait :(
    more
  • Mari
    January 1, 1970
    Me five minutes ago; sure.... I’m interested enough, I love Avatar, maybe someday I’ll read it. Me, four minutes ago, remembering Kyoshi was bisexual and (it seems, according to a review) in a relationship with a woman; hold my fucking beer and let me get my bisexual ass out of bed to get this. I need this now. What can I say? I’m trash for good LGBT rep.
    more
  • Amanda Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    <3 <3 <3please please please please PLEASE live up to ATLA standards, because I so need this in my life!
  • Ali
    January 1, 1970
    I’m so sorry this review is so long. Honestly, it’s more of a discussion for others who love Avatar as much as I do. I should probably just start a very nerdy YouTube channel at this point. Good luck getting through it if you so choose!The most I can say about this book without spoilers is that it’s a perfect addition to the Avatar universe. It fits in with the series and comics like a puzzle piece you never knew the franchise actually needed. The book has everything the other components of the I’m so sorry this review is so long. Honestly, it’s more of a discussion for others who love Avatar as much as I do. I should probably just start a very nerdy YouTube channel at this point. Good luck getting through it if you so choose!The most I can say about this book without spoilers is that it’s a perfect addition to the Avatar universe. It fits in with the series and comics like a puzzle piece you never knew the franchise actually needed. The book has everything the other components of the Avatar stories have: dynamic characters, intense themes of war and justice, complex villains, and world-building that outshines all others. The author takes what you already know about the Avatar universe and builds off of that to expand your knowledge of the world. He uses the unique opportunity of telling Kyoshi’s story to answer questions about Earth Avatars we never got before. You can tell this story was crafted with care for the original cannon and attention to detail. That is all the fandom could have asked for this book, and we got so much more! Plot and CharactersSomething that the Avatar writers do that makes their stories so memorable is they pay equal attention to plot and characters. It’s very rare that you walk away from an epic high fantasy series thinking, “Wow, those were some great characters!” But the Avatar writers for the TV series, comics, and now books are all excellent at weaving together plots that are action-packed with high stakes while also developing characters who are uniquely their own, drive the plot forward, and are emotionally connected to the grander scheme of the plot. It’s so much fun to experience an Avatar story because 1) the action, world and plot are just that cool and epic! You never know where the story will turn next. But 2) you care so much about these characters and what they’re going through that you want to see them succeed. Ultimately, you’re never in an Avatar story just for the plot or the characters: you always get both. The novel starts out right off the bat with a forward stating that the writers are aware of how difficult it is to write a prequel with the reader already knowing how things are going to end up. Ironically, when done with care, I think this is one of the most effective ways of storytelling. Seeing the end in sight, knowing how your characters will eventually end up and be known as in the world hundreds of years later, and building those characters up to that point is a difficult task but an amazingly fulfilling story to read in the hands of gifted writers. This story was crafted in all of the right ways, keeping true to what we know and adding onto it.I loved how unique the villains were in Kyoshi. These writers know how to make several convincing villains who are wholly different from all of the other villains they’ve previously created. We see what happens when the world lives without an Avatar (or even the hope of an avatar in training) for over a decade: people forget their status in the grand scheme of things and seek power they’ve convinced themselves is rightfully theirs. Be it warlords, holier-than-thou governments, corrupt businessmen, or the Avatar version of the mob we get in this book. This book truly is the story of the rise of Kyoshi. It sounds weird, but what I mean is that the book’s true point is to tell the story of how Kyoshi comes to accept her role as the Avatar and form her core beliefs on justice, violence and leadership. After Kyoshi experiences a traumatic loss, she will risk anything to hone her bending and get revenge against the person who caused her so much loss and pain. She uses her grief and the image of her enemy’s dead body as a guiding light through her physical weaknesses and mental blocks. But when Kyoshi is confronted with the power and responsibility she actually has in the presence of a tried-and-true, no-doubts-about-it, evil villain, she has to rethink her philosophy and her place in the world as Avatar even though the world doesn’t know she’s the Avatar yet. It’s the same lessons our previous two Avatars (Aang and Korra) have to learn and think on, but it’s a wholly unique story of how Kyoshi comes to her own conclusions and learns her own lessons. [Topic TBC under Theme discussion].What else can I say about the characters besides what I’ve already said? I absolutely loved the characters we got to meet in this book. Kyoshi’s story is heartbreaking but raw and turns her into a moral yet layered character. Rangi makes her arc from fiercely respecting the law to recognizing that the the law isn’t always in people’s best interest. The entire gang of benders was just another great group to get to know in the Avatar universe.Avatar Kyoshi: Yet another example of how being the Avatar doesn’t hurt your chances with the ladies! I was really wondering how the writers were going to approach Kyoshi’s story in this regard. We know canonically from the comics that Kyoshi is bi. I wasn’t sure if the writers were going to pull a JK Rowling where they state a character is LGBT without ever making the effort to write an LGBT person’s story. It wouldn’t have made the book bad if they hadn’t, but I do think it would have been a wasted opportunity; since the one thing they couldn’t do with regards to Korra was develop her relationship with Asami/go through the process of her coming to terms with her sexuality, telling the origin story of Kyoshi (a known LGBT characters in the Avatar universe) is the literal perfect opportunity to explore that side of the identity. Wow, did these writers take that opportunity and run with it. Of course, they didn’t have to “make up” for what they couldn’t accomplish with Korra, but it feels like they were trying to. And of course, they succeeded. Being in Kyoshi’s third-person POV for the most part, we get the perfect balance between Kyoshi’s interest in both men and women as friends and romances. Her emotions are subtle and never in-your-face until they consume the characters in brief but perfectly balanced moments. This isn’t the story of Kyoshi and Rangi getting together or even the story of Kyoshi fighting a war; this is the story of Kyoshi realizing who she is (both in the sense of her personal identity/morals to herself and her place in the world as the Avatar), and her journey in realizing who she loves is another piece of the puzzle. It fits in perfectly with the story just as well as the other aspects of the plot do: it isn’t thrown in your face as a representation token begging for praise nor does it sit so far off in the sidelines that you have to squint your eyes to see the rep. It’s handled with grace, respect, and portrayed in an organic manner that’s refreshing both to the Avatar universe and YA media in general these days. Writing and World-BuildingThe Avatar franchise is obviously known for its amazing world-building, and this book is no different. It artfully takes what you already know about the Avatar world into consideration and adds information you never even thought you wanted to know. The writers used Kyoshi/an Earth Avatar’s story as a unique opportunity to fill in gaps that can only be told in this circumstance: how do the different nations discover who the Avatar is? How is an Earth Avatar trained, given what we know about how Roku, Aang and Korra trained? What happens to the world when the Avatar isn’t discovered for over a decade, short of a hundred years war? As much time as we spend in the Earth Kingdom in the series and comics, we never get the true culture of the Earth Kingdom, it’s culture, corruption and politics, as much as we do in this book. Another bit of world-building that I didn’t expect but was pleasantly surprised to see is how religion plays into the world of Avatar. We know the spirits exist and are regarded, but we mainly follow children and teens in the series; they aren’t exactly known as being the most…spiritual and religious groups, even when surrounded by the Avatar. It was shockingly nice to see how the society of the Earth Kingdom (and other nations) as a whole regard religious belief and faith in the Avatar world (the only bits I can think of from the shows are how the Northern Water Tribe respect the spirits while the South has turned more secular in Korra, even causing a civil war). Little bits of world-building, such as how people use “Yang Chen!” and “Spirits” as an expletive in a similar way to how people in our world would say “God!” is a twist on one of my favorite bits of world-building that fantasies throw in. It was also interesting to see people praying to the spirits and going to full-on spiritual services in dedication to the spirits, something that was unneeded in the series when our characters are conveniently traveling with the bridge between the human and spirit worlds. It’s also so interesting to have a story told in a world where the people have lived knowing three Avatars. Avatar Kuruk was only 33 when he died, so there are many people in this world who were alive for Yangchen, Kuruk’s short life, the 16-year wait for the discovery of Avatar Yun, and now the reveal of Kyoshi as the true Avatar. It’s fascinating to hear people talk about how much they regarded and revered Avatar Yangchen while disregarding the irresponsible Avatar Kuruk…because, well, they lived to see both of them. That’s quite an interesting take on the story!The writing is just beautiful. I never thought I would want to underline my favorite passages to refer to later when I first started reading it, and I want to go back and reread it so I can rediscover the philosophical and inspiring quotes that are right up-to-par with Iroh’s or Tenzin’s words of wisdom.I also love how the writers took the unique opportunity of writing a young adult novel, as opposed to children’s cartoons, to make the world feel real, bloody, and dangerous. As much as Avatar pushes the boundaries of war and violence in its media, there’s only so much you can do on a show run by Nickelodeon. In real life, war is messy: governments are corrupt, people die, and not everyone gets their happy ending. Not every Firelord who destroys the world lives out the rest of his happy life in a jail cell. This book takes every opportunity to explore the pure darkness that is the Earth Kingdom of Kyoshi’s time. The author describes in detail the way bones break, blood spills, how bodies are impaled with blades, mob violence, child abuse, and the darkly twisted things people will do for power. Again, I will discuss this so much more in the Theme section, but this book feels like what a feature-length film of The Southern Raiders episode would feel like: there are no perfectly moral people in the world, even the Avatar. Sometimes, the world is just full of awful people who meet awful ends. No amount of morality or justice or inspirational speeches will fix that.As Katara said: “I didn’t forgive him. I’ll never forgive him.”-> this book takes that sentiment and expands on it amazingly.ThemeIn the final episodes of Avatar “Sozin’s Comet”, Kyoshi’s spirit says this:"Aang: But you didn't really kill Chin. Technically he fell to his own doom because he was too stubborn to get out of the way.Kyoshi: Personally, I don't really see the difference. But I assure you, I would have done whatever it took to stop Chin. I offer you this wisdom, Aang - only justice will bring peace."The themes of justice, punishment, justified murder, and who has the right to dole out judgment and punishment are explored in this book. I was reminded of ^that quote from ATLA, and it’s fascinating to read this book of Kyoshi growing up and becoming the Avatar with the knowledge that ^this is how she eventually will come to view justice and punishment.“Judging by its start, the era of Kyoshi would be marred by uncertainty, fear, and death, the only gifts she seemed capable of producing for the world.” (439)Kyoshi is extremely self-critical and lacking in confidence, brought on by her abandonment as a child, homelessness, and subsequent abuse by both her employers and other children in her hometown. One of the biggest challenges she faces in accepting her role as the Avatar is coming to terms with the responsibility and respect that comes with such a title. She struggles most when her morals are challenged. She sets out to get revenge and eventually kill someone who wronged her; others challenge her, asking what gives her the right to judge others and dole out such punishments. Both her own self-doubt and the realization she is the Avatar (who technically does have this power) make her question how she will ever gauge her morals with such sway. When faced with, not just challenges to her judgment, but the realization that people respect her judgment, she panics and has to go through the journey of accepting her role as an eventual public figure. I’d just love to re-watch both series and reread this book and discuss how the entire franchise approaches this theme.Personal EnjoymentI don’t think anyone is reading this at this point, but please give this book a read. It has everything you’d expect from an Avatar product while also being uniquely its own. I can’t think of a box it doesn’t check. You won’t regret it.
    more
  • thi
    January 1, 1970
    5 (hundred? thousand? million)/5Quite possibly the most I’ve ever written about a book so ... have at it First of all, kyoshi, legend, I love you; Second of all, I’m in pain; Thirdly, this is much more brutal than I thought and am so happy about thatWe begin with 3 best friends: the (prospected) avatar, the avatar’s guard, the avatar’s aid ... but is the avatar .. really the avatar; don’t worry this unknowing aspect isnt the entirety of the book; We been knew but it’s still nerve racking on top 5 (hundred? thousand? million)/5Quite possibly the most I’ve ever written about a book so ... have at it First of all, kyoshi, legend, I love you; Second of all, I’m in pain; Thirdly, this is much more brutal than I thought and am so happy about thatWe begin with 3 best friends: the (prospected) avatar, the avatar’s guard, the avatar’s aid ... but is the avatar .. really the avatar; don’t worry this unknowing aspect isnt the entirety of the book; We been knew but it’s still nerve racking on top of that FEELINGS and POLITICS are thrown in Kyoshi; the legend, in her younger years, we see her transform from weathered orphan, a loyal selfless friend, to eventually the no-nonsense avatar we love Yun; one of kyoshi’s oldest friends, charming and politically savvy through rigorous preparation, the prospected avatar before the truth was revealedRangi; the third closest friend of their pillar, gracefully serious and guard to the avatar: “Rangi was so beautiful, illuminated by moon and fire, that it hurt. She was strength and skill and determination wrapped around an unshakable heart.” 👀The other characters of arguably even more intrigue being the avatar’s bending masters who were also companions to the previous avatar; and skilled outlaws that join and help kyoshi further along her journey who will have an immeasurable impact on her final self If you werent already sold by the established character dynamics, the tone of the overall story is honestly perfect to both supplement and compliment the little information we already know and infer from the series about kyoshi ... we follow her self discovery, growth, train, love, loss, and seek vengeance it’s darker even vaguely graphic (seriously there’s some jaw dropping moments) and more realistic than atla especially in terms of political focus .. In this world and timeline we see the nations actually working together, doing missions of goodwill, trading, meetings, treaties .. its so interesting At the same time it has more light hearted, wholesome moments between the friendships, mentorships, and of course a found family dynamic very reminiscent of how atla masterfully balances these themes too I particularly loved these scenes: 1) “Wong picked up Lao Ge and threw the drunkard bodily at the captain like a rag doll. Lao Ge’s warlike screech as he flew through the air was the only sign that he’d agreed to the act. The two of them must have done it before.”2) “Gotta look like you’re ready to take someone’s head off at any moment, for any reason,” Wong said. “Or else you’ll get challenged.” He followed Kirima with angry stomps, abandoning the agility Kyoshi knew he possessed. His feet sent seismic thuds through the ground.“Topknot’s got it,” Lek said, pointing at Rangi. “Look at her, boiling away with Firebender rage. See if you can pull that off.” “I’m not doing anything,” Rangi protested. “This is my normal face.”3) “Whatever remorse Kyoshi felt vanished. “You snot-nosed little—”He raised a finger patiently like an enlightened guru. “Bup-bup. That’s Sifu Snotnose to you.”Exploring the dynamics of the earth kingdom specifically, the largest more diverse kingdom was so fascinating especially because even though it’s was widely explored, it was arguably the least developed in the series; Also every mention of the air nomads .. I weep We see what happens in the interim of discovering the new avatar, how even without a comically evil lord wrecking havoc, there’s still much to consider about the logistics of peacekeeping in this worldOf the nations, in the show they’re considered more separate entities with characteristic goals and mannerisms where here because of the element of peace and communication the borders are much less apparent and people’s blending together against the archetype of the type of person we’d believe them to be because of the background Kyoshi herself goes through such a slow (in a gradual sense), heart wrenching transformation through her training towards becoming a ruthless version of herself and eventually accepting herself as the avatar; of course only made harder through the complications of her discovery and how it affects everyone closest to her “This was the sorry state of Kyoshi’s Avatarhood. Heartlessness the new enlightenment. Murder the means to self-discovery.”Also I feel like with this medium, in written words, I’m truly seeing the potential brutality behind bending, the brutality we all know is there but for obvious could not be shown on a kid friendly network .. and it’s so damn cool, BRUTAL, but cool 1) “That was all he could get out before Tagaka covered his head completely in ice.”2) “[He] shaved off a razor of flint no longer than an inch, sharp and thin enough to pass through the wind without resistance and slice at where his victim was exposed and vulnerable ... [he] collapsed to the ground, his head bouncing lifelessly off the hard-packed earth.”All of the bending itself with the forms, techniques and artistry are just delightful, it’s described not only by it’s physically but in motivations and movements so unique to character established1) “He did one of the most amazing things she had ever seen. He stepped up into the thin air ... higher and higher on invisible stairs ... the thinnest columns of earth she’d seen anyone earthbend shot up from the ground with each of his steps, anticipating where his foot would land next.”2) “She stepped higher into nothingness much as [he] had, only her stairs were powerful, thin little jets that provided the same resistance as earth. If the timing was more difficult for her, or the water less stable, she compensated with supreme grace.”3) “It looked less like bending and more like spiritual chicanery .... The whole show had happened in less than seconds. It was a mind-blowing stunt. And highly unfortunate. Because no one had taken into consideration that Kyoshi could not do that.” Ajsjsjakak I love her so much LASTLY, THE ROMANCE (it’s a relatively small portion but quality over quantity ok) ARE YOU KIDDING MEEEEEE KYOSHI BICON LEGEND IT’S WHAT YOU DESERVE!!; “That side of my face is busted up, stupid,” she whispered in the darkness. “Kiss me where I’m not hurt.” 🗣💕💕Overall everything from the development of all the characters, the dynamic action sequences, the underlying political intrigue leading up to the stunning end is all paced so well and flawlessly interwoven; its a constant flow without lulls I have some strong feelings about prequels in general .. I usually find them unnecessary when theyre about characters whose fates we already know but I’m convinced that there’s absolutely no aspect of atla that cannot be expanded upon (when in the right hands) that won’t be enjoyable This is a absolute treat for atla fans, and I even think it stands well on its own if for some reason someone hadn’t seen atla, it’s just absolutely phenomenal and I can’t wait for the next/last instalment!!!!
    more
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    This is a monumental task in itself- taking a protagonist from a popular medium whose history has only been hinted at and bringing them to life within their own story.  Literally building them from the ground up based upon a set of cornerstones.  F.C. Yee does a very fine job of presenting the tale of Kyoshi- one of the most prominent Avatars in the storyline.  Previously the only one we'd really gotten into was Roku, the Firebender who stood beside Tozin up until the Great War began.  With so m This is a monumental task in itself- taking a protagonist from a popular medium whose history has only been hinted at and bringing them to life within their own story.  Literally building them from the ground up based upon a set of cornerstones.  F.C. Yee does a very fine job of presenting the tale of Kyoshi- one of the most prominent Avatars in the storyline.  Previously the only one we'd really gotten into was Roku, the Firebender who stood beside Tozin up until the Great War began.  With so much history to deal with, the real problem comes with pigeonholing the story into a limited timeframe... ok- a 230 year lifespan ain't so limited, but key events do have to happen at certain points in time, so there's always that to deal with. Kyoshi's journey is hardly straightforward- which seems like a prerequisite for this universe.  The twists, turns & detours that fill her path are both surprising and ordinary- some you can see coming while others will have you rereading paragraphs (whoa- did that just happen?).  And there's plenty of twists to keep you on your toes about what comes next.  Not bad.The tone's a lot darker than I expected for a YA Avatar- also a welcome surprise.  While AtLA didn't delve into deeper issues until the end of the series, this one remains a hazy shade of deep gray all the way through, especially when it comes to villians and other shady folks.  Like all good stories, it's the villian who drives the plot and the best villains are the ones who never see themselves as such but also have a strong case to make.  Or at least think they have one.  Author Yee does a good job of balancing all the characters he introduces.  Like all Avatars, the masters of each discipline figure prominently in their lives and Kyoshi's circuitous path leads her towards a intriguingly diverse group of teachers.  One of whom felt like a red herring; I'm not entirely certain what's going on with this individual.   Only real complaint is the LGBT aspect of the story.  Not really being into the Korra series, I've missed a lot- like her relationship with Asami- but before this I never saw anything that indicated Kyoshi was bisexual, so to me it comes off as kinda forced and trendy- like when we used to always have the token Black Friend or Sassy Gay Male.  Plus the utter convenience of her Love Interest also came across as lame.The ending's kinda anti-climatic; even though the plot of the next book is pretty much laid out you're left wondering why this one wrapped up so quickly when there seemed like there was so much more to do with it.  But I guess we'll see.
    more
  • Kyle Kerr
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. Had a bit of a slow start, but really picked up quickly. Having watched both series, and knowing the world so intimately (I've watched both of them more than a few times each!), it was extremely easy to slip into this world and visualize all of the action taking place. I love both Aang and Korra, and Kyoshi is completely different from both of them. It's crazy to think that they could ever misidentify the Avatar, or that one would have such a volatile upbringing, but I really enjoyed this book. Had a bit of a slow start, but really picked up quickly. Having watched both series, and knowing the world so intimately (I've watched both of them more than a few times each!), it was extremely easy to slip into this world and visualize all of the action taking place. I love both Aang and Korra, and Kyoshi is completely different from both of them. It's crazy to think that they could ever misidentify the Avatar, or that one would have such a volatile upbringing, but it worked well for this story. I also have to note that this story felt a lot more brutal than the shows. Most death happened off-screen, and while there was plenty of violence, it was more cartoon violence and the characters were rarely affected for long. Here, there was a lot of death and murder, and real pain and blood. It was a little jarring, but way more realistic with how things would play out in the real world.Kyoshi being a lesbian was a surprise. There was no mention of it in the shows, and after Korra and Asami got together at the end of LoK, it felt a little forced. But apparently her orientation was introduced in one of the graphic novels I haven't read, so was canon before this book was written. I'm 100% for diversity (I'm gay too), and the reason I say it felt forced is because Korra was a complete surprise, and something that was shoehorned into the narrative. So it almost seemed like having a full blown lesbian in this book was overcompensating for it being so lackluster in the show. But Kyoshi's relationship is much more fleshed out and I enjoyed seeing it grow.The book is part of a duology, and definitely ends with things being unresolved. I can't find any information on the second book aside from a title, so don't know when I can expect it to be out, but I am looking forward to its release so that I can get closure for this storyline. Hopefully the books sell well and we can get more novels for other Avatars throughout the line!
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Every avatar has their own story, and while we fans are pretty familiar with Aang's and Korra's, we can't really say that about the ones who came before them; particularly Avatar Kyoshi. She was admired yet feared and pursued justice by any means necessary. That's why I give mad props to F.C. Yee for taking on both daunting tasks of 1. writing the first novel set in this universe and 2. crafting her origin story. I think it's fair to say that while "Avatar: The Last Airbender" had its dark momen Every avatar has their own story, and while we fans are pretty familiar with Aang's and Korra's, we can't really say that about the ones who came before them; particularly Avatar Kyoshi. She was admired yet feared and pursued justice by any means necessary. That's why I give mad props to F.C. Yee for taking on both daunting tasks of 1. writing the first novel set in this universe and 2. crafting her origin story. I think it's fair to say that while "Avatar: The Last Airbender" had its dark moments, "Legend of Korra" most certainly went darker, and now it's fair to say that "The Rise of Kyoshi" was the darkest of them all. A novel provides that kind of liberation that animation doesn't have. Also, knowing that Yee is an Avatar fan himself, I think it helps knowing that he was writing for the audience that originally grew up with the show. We're adults now, and so how the stories from this world are told must adhere to its audience's evolved maturity.While it's understandable for one to not have to agree with the decisions Kyoshi makes throughout the book, it is fair to say that you can't really blame her, given the circumstances she finds herself in. Just from the bits of information that were already out there about Kyoshi, it's clear that she has a complex persona. I believe that Yee did her justice by deepening the "why." The other characters proved to be just as layered and complex as her, and judging by how the novel ends, I can already tell that there's so much more to look forward to in the next novel.Flameo F.C. Yee for deepening the backstory of a character the fans have so desperately been wanting to learn more about. You went with the limited information and took the Avatar universe to new heights. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeves next.
    more
  • Avrelia
    January 1, 1970
    As any tie-in novel The Rise of Kyoshi is basically a fanfiction. I am not sure whether a person unfamiliar with the series Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra would enjoy it. But it’s a really good book, and I, as a fan enjoyed it very much. Beside the story itself, there is a wealth of information about the world of Avatar, some confirming what fans were discussing, some new and unexpected, there are some easter eggs – hints and in-jokes that makes one smile.The story obviously c As any tie-in novel The Rise of Kyoshi is basically a fanfiction. I am not sure whether a person unfamiliar with the series Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra would enjoy it. But it’s a really good book, and I, as a fan enjoyed it very much. Beside the story itself, there is a wealth of information about the world of Avatar, some confirming what fans were discussing, some new and unexpected, there are some easter eggs – hints and in-jokes that makes one smile.The story obviously concerns Avatar Kyoshi and her becoming the Avatar we know and love. She is sixteen, she is… not who you expect. She has her friends, enemies, people who want to use her for their ends, as usual. Her physical attributes became meaningful in her character development. She is a very tall girl, who is used to “minimize herself” to fit in. At the end of the novel she stands proudly in her full height and more, having stopped denying any part of herself.I loved the description of bending in the book – that’s something we never got before, not in any official way, because of the Overall, it had a lot more in common in tone with The Legend of Korra, with a lot of Earth Kingdom politics being a large part of the story and older heroine, but the themes circle back to some important themes of The Last Airbender about the duties of the Avatar and their role in the world.After all, the most important thing Kyoshi had to say to Aang was “Only justice will bring piece.” How did she get there? Well, but the end of the book she didn’t. But there will be the second one in a year, and I already can’t wait.
    more
  • Sabrina
    January 1, 1970
    For those who are Avatar the Last Airbender fans, this book is definitely for you! We have finally returned to the Avatar World and let me tell you, Yee does an excellent job diving into that world and doing it justice to what Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko created. He brings us back to the beginning of Avatar Kyoshi's life. The world believed the next Avatar was someone else, but the truth is revealed and it a shocker for Kyoshi. Kyoshi has always been this strong and scary figure For those who are Avatar the Last Airbender fans, this book is definitely for you! We have finally returned to the Avatar World and let me tell you, Yee does an excellent job diving into that world and doing it justice to what Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko created. He brings us back to the beginning of Avatar Kyoshi's life. The world believed the next Avatar was someone else, but the truth is revealed and it a shocker for Kyoshi. Kyoshi has always been this strong and scary figure when it comes to being the Avatar. We had seen her on the show and my first thought was always she was just pure strength and steel. We get to see how that begins. How her sense of justice is created and how certain events have shaped her life. It's fun to see the world of Avatar so early on. We know Kyoshi lived to be over 200 years old. Then there was Avatar Roku, who lived to be somewhere in his 70s I believe. Then there was Aang's birth and he was 12 before entering the ice for another century. The time gap is pretty big between Aang and Kyoshi. Still, you'll laugh and reminisce on the familiar places and names that appear in the story. To see how important they are in history. We also learn for about Avatar Kuruk, how his actions have shaped the world and who shaped him. A truly great story that is only just beginning. Yee has truly done an excellent job of preserving what we love about the Avatar World and I am glad he had DiMartino to guide him and back him up.
    more
  • Sara Saif
    January 1, 1970
    As per usual, I started reading this as soon as I found out that it existed, without checking it out on Goodreads or reading the synopsis. If I had bothered I would have known that this was to be a two-part series and not a standalone. I read the entire book so sure in my mind that it would be a heart-breaking tale of her rise and would span years and years of Kyoshi's life until the day she died. It was a bit of a shock when I realized that wasn't going to happen.Eh.I only remembered her vague As per usual, I started reading this as soon as I found out that it existed, without checking it out on Goodreads or reading the synopsis. If I had bothered I would have known that this was to be a two-part series and not a standalone. I read the entire book so sure in my mind that it would be a heart-breaking tale of her rise and would span years and years of Kyoshi's life until the day she died. It was a bit of a shock when I realized that wasn't going to happen.Eh.I only remembered her vaguely from the show but then again, she didn't have a huge part seeing she was dead and all. The book's tone was similar to that of the show despite being darker and serious if that makes sense? Every single character I found adorable in the book died, so there's that.I found the story intriguing. The writer built everything around her from scratch it seems and it was fun to see all of these different gears working to push her forward.Enjoyed it a lot!
    more
  • Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    F. C. Yee manages to write a new entry into the Avatar universe in a way that is both familiar and fresh. When we first meet Kyoshi she is nowhere near what we know her to be from the TV show, but by the end you sure know how she got there. This book is darker than Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra, which makes sense because it’s Avatar Kyoshi we’re talking about, and she faces different challenges than Aang or Korra, as the Avatar, as a bender, and as a person.Yet it still has a F. C. Yee manages to write a new entry into the Avatar universe in a way that is both familiar and fresh. When we first meet Kyoshi she is nowhere near what we know her to be from the TV show, but by the end you sure know how she got there. This book is darker than Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra, which makes sense because it’s Avatar Kyoshi we’re talking about, and she faces different challenges than Aang or Korra, as the Avatar, as a bender, and as a person.Yet it still has all the aspects you would expect from an Avatar story. It has its own Team Avatar, which is very different from Aang’s or Korra’s. It has unique bending styles, and action sequences so crisply written than you can visualize them as if you were watching another animated show. Also, as mentioned in the Korra comics, Kyoshi is bisexual and it’s not glossed over. Near the end of the book something happens that has never happened before in the Avatar universe and I am very excited to read the second book so I can find out what the hell is going on.
    more
Write a review