Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi: The Kyoshi Novels, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi: The Kyoshi Novels, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Mystical hero propels intense Asian martial arts fantasy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Shadow of Kyoshi offers opportunities to discuss loyalty, perseverance, and revenge. The magical setting is based on Asian folklore.

Positive Messages

People with power should use it for good and not prey upon the weak. Friendships are to be cherished, even across great distances.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kyoshi takes her role as Avatar very seriously. She supports her allies and tries to live a moral life. Strong, brave, and resolute, she's a born leader. She's in love with Rangi, a female character.

Violence

Many violent scenes, but they are mostly magical in nature. Bloodshed is threatened but often avoided.

Sex

Kyoshi and Rangi flirt in a barely perceptible fashion. It's clear that they love each other.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that F.C. Yee's Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi: The Kyoshi Novels, Book 2 focuses on the backstory of a supporting character from the fantasy TV series. It continues the chronicles of the early years of the longest-lived Avatar and her search for mastery over her powers. Kyoshi and her allies and enemies engage in semi-mystical martial arts, which are sometimes fatal, but not generally bloody. There's some barely perceptible flirting, although it's clear that two female characters love each other. No strong language.

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What's the story?

As THE SHADOW OF KYOSHI opens, the new Avatar finds herself in a deadly political game. She's used to dealing with criminal lowlifes, but the rules of etiquette at the court of the Fire Lord prove even more difficult and treacherous. Luckily, she's reunited with her companion Rangi -- unfortunately, with Rangi's devious mother in tow. Can Kyoshi use her earth-bending powers to solidify her advantage as she endeavors to unite allies and enemies alike?

Is it any good?

Rich world-building can envelope a reader, and this exciting extension of the mystical fantasy provides lots of new details of the setting. In this second sequel, F.C. Lee chronicles the adventures of one of the most fascinating Avatars. There's plenty of martial arts action, but the characters get their chance to develop. Kyoshi is queer, and her burgeoning relationship with Rangi is developed with sensitivity.

The Shadow of Kyoshi is not a recommended entry point to the series, however. Even longtime fans may feel overwhelmed by the huge supporting cast and sometimes cryptic plotting. Those with the mental stamina will be rewarded with tantalizing hints and revealing character interactions. Newcomers should perhaps start with the TV series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Shadow of Kyoshi depicts a feudal society. How do people in a restrictive society gain and use power?

  • The Shadow of Kyoshi mixes Asian traditions and fantasy elements. How do artists use myth and folklore to shape the stories they tell?

  • How do different cultures treat people in the LGBTQ+ community? Why are some societies more restrictive than others?

  • What makes a good leader? Should subjects fear their leaders, or respect them?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and stories with Asian characters

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