Title: The Shadow of Kyoshi
Author: F.C. Yee
Rating: Five stars
“Kyoshi’s place as the true Avatar has finally been cemented—but at a heavy cost. With her mentors gone, Kyoshi voyages across the Four Nations, struggling to keep the peace. But while her reputation grows, a mysterious threat emerges from the Spirit World. To stop it, Kyoshi, Rangi, and their reluctant allies must join forces before the Four Nations are destroyed irreparably. This thrilling follow-up continues Kyoshi’s journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice still feared and admired centuries after becoming the Avatar.”
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How long have I waited for this sequel? 14 months. 14 gruelling, Kyoshi-less months. Oh boy, was it worth the wait though!
Kyoshi is embracing her role as the Avatar and flies from place to place around the world trying to right every wrong she comes across. Because that’s what the Avatar’s supposed to do, right? With all her mentors long gone and her friends scattered around the world, Kyoshi tries to fulfil her destiny as best she can.
When she is summoned to the Fire Nation by the Fire Lord himself, Kyoshi is more than happy to go. In no small part because her lifelong friend and lover Rangi is there, in her home country helping her mother recover from the ordeals of The Rise of Kyoshi.
Kyoshi arrives to unrest in the Fire Nation. Old family clans are prepared to go to war over who should be the rightful Fire Lord; the current Fire Lord Zoryu or his older half-brother Chaejin.
Worse still, Kyoshi and Rangi’s old friend Yun, who the world once believed was the Avatar, has been infected by the spirit Father Glowworm and poses a real threat to the entire world. With the help of her friends, Kyoshi must prevent civil war within the Fire Nation and stop Yun before the conflict spirals out of control.
Kyoshi was a bit of a wallflower in book one, The Rise of Kyoshi and while she is still a bit socially awkward and introverted, her character is beautifully complex. She struggles a lot to discover what kind of Avatar she really is and makes plenty of mistakes working out which ways are the wrong ways.
I love Kyoshi and Rangi’s romance. Rangi is super fiery and super loving which is an odd combination but it works so well. My favourite moment is when Rangi is angry with Kyoshi (for reasons which would totally be spoilers!) and yet she still storms up to her room with a bowl of noodles and screams at her that she hasn’t eaten all day. It’s such a pure moment of absolute rage and absolute love.
In The Shadow of Kyoshi, we also get to learn all about Kuruk, the last Avatar, and the adventures he had. The impression I got of Kuruk from The Rise of Kyoshi was that he was a bit of a laid back Avatar who didn’t really take his responsibilities seriously. As it turns out, he perhaps made a greater difference to the world than any of the other Avatars before him.
The climax was action-packed, heart-breaking and unstoppable. There was no putting this book down for the last three chapters. A few characters at the end of this book arrive right at the end from The Rise of Kyoshi so you do have to make sure you’ve read it recently to put the whole ending into perspective.
I absolutely loved this book and although I have heard through the grapevine that this is the last book in the series, the epilogue is very open ended. It gives me hope that actually there might be a third book in the pipeline but F.C. Yee and the gang want to keep it a surprise? I mean, they keep pumping out awesome graphic novels even after they said they were going to stop so what’s to say there won’t be a third Kyoshi novel?
Without a doubt, The Shadow of Kyoshi has earned The Secret Library Recommended Reads seal!
If you want to read my impressions of book one, The Rise of Kyoshi, you can find my review right here!
If you’ve already read it and want to move on to The Shadow of Kyoshi, you can get your hardback copy a-right here too!
Thanks for reading!