The Rise Of Kyoshi

Siria Fierro, Features Editor

Many students this summer with Netflix accounts either re-watched or watched Avatar: The Last Airbender. The 15-year-old show was watched by so many users that it made a new record of being the show with the most days on the top 10 list with 61 days.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an animated show about a world where people could bend water, earth, fire, and air, along with one person with the ability to bend all four elements: the Avatar. Audiences have praised this show endlessly and were left wanting more after the finale. Luckily, the world of Avatar was expanded even after the original show’s ending, with the new show: Legend of Korra (also on Netflix), comics, and novels.

In the show, they explain the avatar cycle, which is the avatar being reincarnated into a new life after the current avatar passes. This results in over hundreds of avatars., including Avatar Kyoshi. Although she was only mentioned in three episodes, the little information given about her captured viewers’ attention. The Rise Of Kyoshi, written by F.C Yee and co-creator of avat

ar, Michael Dante Dimartino, expands on the interesting life of the longest living avatar. The novel explores Kyoshi discovering that she’s the avatar and her escape from her mentors as she tries to realize what type of avatar she wanted to be.

This book fits perfectly within the Avatar universe. F.C Yee showed the incredible amount of worldbuilding just as the original had, showcasing the culture of the various people in the

world. One of my favorite things was learning more about the airbender culture and their customs regarding their pacifist beliefs. The collaboration with Dimartino was clearly shown with how well it went with the lore of the show.

Kyoshi became a fan favorite with her ruthless approach to decisions as an avatar, but this book helped make readers understand why Kyoshi makes her choices this way. Her life was brutal since she was young, and even as she discovers she’s the avatar, she’s battling between making hard decisions that will determine her fate. There is a great exploration of ethics, and the novel offers a slightly darker tone that many watchers of the show will enjoy. Kyoshi still shows the persistence of justice but allows more of a relatability that will make readers love her even more.

After seeing the censorship Nickelodeon put in the finale of The Legend of Korra, it was great seeing actual representation of a bisexual avatar that wasn’t subtle and was talked about frequently throughout the book. Because of this, Kyoshi’s and Rangi’s relationship was another of my favorite parts of the book. They worked so well together and were written so beautifully. The two girls had great chemistry as friends and as partners fighting against corrupt leaders.

F.C Yee did a remarkable job in adding to the Avatar lore, establishing Kyoshi’s story while also not having it feel like a completely different world from the beloved show. The Rise Of Kyoshi is an excellent addition to the Avatar universe that expands on Kyoshi’s life, making readers see how and why she became to be known as the powerful earthbending avatar, admired centuries after her lifetime.