Authors: F.C. Lee and Michael Dante Di
Publisher: Amulet Books
Released: July 16, 2019
I’ll be the first to admit that it has taken me FAR too long to get around to reading The Rise of Kyoshi. As a massive fan of Kyoshi, I honestly don’t know why it took me this long. But now that I have, I must go on and read the second! Credit to F.C. Lee and Michael Dante DiMartino for bringing Kyoshi’s story to life.
Kyoshi wasn’t always the powerful Avatar portrayed in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Once, she was just a girl, alone and uncertain of her fate. She was overlooked when the hunt for the new Avatar began, setting her origin story on a path unlike any of those that came before her.
Events forced Kyoshi to make bold decisions, all while coming to terms with the ghosts of her past. All of these help explain how Kyoshi became the warrior that fans know and love.
“The Avatar can be reborn. But you can’t, Kyoshi. I don’t want to give you up to the next generation. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
Where has this book been all my life? (Please ignore the fact that it took me three years to read it). The Rise of Kyoshi is everything that fans could have hoped for, and I’d argue a lot more.
This is the origin story of Kyoshi. Obviously, we all know a bit of how her story ends, at least in terms of where her fame ended up. What we didn’t know was how she got to that point or what grounded her, leading her to become such a warrior for justice. The Rise of Kyoshi gives readers a better idea of that and much more.
Best of all? It’s sapphic. I did NOT realize that going in, but I adore this. The romantic subplot in The Rise of Kyoshi is so perfect and endearing. It’s nice knowing there was something so sweet in Kyoshi’s life. So I’m going to repeat it: Rangi is perfect, and I hope to see her in The Shadow of Kyoshi.
So, I already knew a bit of Kyoshi’s backstory (I think primarily due to spoilers?), but I was certainly unaware of the depth of it all. It made my heart hurt, but I’ve got to admit that it is the making of a powerful origin story. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Thankfully I have The Shadow of Kyoshi sitting right next to me, so you can guess what I’ll be doing tonight.