Series: The Kyoshi Novels #2
Authors: F.C. Yee and Michael Dante Di
Publisher: Amulet Books
Released: July 21, 2020
A few weeks ago, I finally sat down to read The Rise of Kyoshi – and boy, did I learn about EVERYTHING that I had been missing out on! Not willing to make that mistake again, I quickly picked up The Shadow of Kyoshi to dive into.
For those unaware, this series is based on Avatar: The Last Airbender. It follows Kyoshi, an Avatar that came before Aang and arguably one of my favorite Avatars of all time. By the way, now is an excellent time to pick up her novels, as rumor has it that one of the new Avatar movies will be centered on her.
Kyoshi’s place in the world has always been a little…fragile. First, she was left alone and neglected. Then she was not correctly identified as the Avatar, letting another take her place. Now that she’s come into power, it seems like her struggles continue in different ways.
Perhaps a trip to the Fire Nation is precisely what Kyoshi and her reign require. She must find a balance and maintain it, or she will risk falling into the same errors as those before her.
“She had the obligation to be more than the sum of her grievances with the world.”
The Shadow of Kyoshi is everything. Full stop. Okay, so I knew going into this series that I would love it because my love of Kyoshi is that strong. And yet it still managed to blow me out of the water.
The truth is that part of me is a little sad to be done with The Shadow of Kyoshi. I’m assuming that this is the last novel in Kyoshi’s series, especially considering the next book will be moving on to Yangchen, which will be amazing).
There is a lot to love and appreciate about these books. Starting with the fact that we learn a little bit more about Kyoshi, alongside the Avatar that came before her (Kuruk). His story raised many questions for me until it was finally explained at the end. It actually makes me wish we’d see a novel from his perspective (though I am not going to complain about going right to Yangchen).
My one complaint (if you can call it that) is that we didn’t see many of the Flying Opera Company. They were a massive part of the previous book, so I hoped to see more of them this time. However, I agree that it made more sense for them to be doing their own thing, especially in what Kyoshi is trying to accomplish.
There were moments in this book that were heartbreaking, tense, or highly satisfying. That balance was perfection, making me love the series all the more. For me, though, it was the ending that brought everything together. Well done.