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Azula Joins Team Avatar?! For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko's mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life. Written by Eisner winner and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Azula Joins Team Avatar?! For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko's mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life. Written by Eisner winner and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) in close collaboration with Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, this story will change the lives of Aang and his friends forever!


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Azula Joins Team Avatar?! For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko's mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life. Written by Eisner winner and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Azula Joins Team Avatar?! For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko's mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life. Written by Eisner winner and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) in close collaboration with Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, this story will change the lives of Aang and his friends forever!

30 review for Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search, Part 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    Okay, so first of all, GO WATCH THE SHOW IF YOU HAVEN'T BECAUSE YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON LIFE. It's literally the best thing out there. This graphic novel takes place after Aang defeats asshole Ozai and Zuko becomes Fire Lord. Basically the end of the show. During the show, Zuko visists Ozai and asks him about his mother (Ursa), who was always a mystery throughout the entire show. These three part books are about team boomeraang + Azula and - Toph (she's not in the books 😭) discovering why Ozai bani Okay, so first of all, GO WATCH THE SHOW IF YOU HAVEN'T BECAUSE YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON LIFE. It's literally the best thing out there. This graphic novel takes place after Aang defeats asshole Ozai and Zuko becomes Fire Lord. Basically the end of the show. During the show, Zuko visists Ozai and asks him about his mother (Ursa), who was always a mystery throughout the entire show. These three part books are about team boomeraang + Azula and - Toph (she's not in the books 😭) discovering why Ozai banished Ursa and searching for her. This was a fun, nostalgic, funny and emotional read for me. It's original with a mind blowing plot twist at the end that had me SHOOK. I really wasn't planning on reading this (mostly because I totally forgot this even existed atm) but I recently finished my rewatch of the series and couldn't let these kids go so I needed more. And this book was exactly what I needed. Anyways, if you're a huge fan of the show and watched it, then I totally recommend this!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    THAT CLIFFHANGER???? EXCUSE ME????????

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fatin

    Update: So, I've just finished it, and now I'm angry because I have to wait for the next one. Some pleasant, and not so pleasant surprises. Confirmed: Ozai is a dick It was nice to see the group acting like a bunch of kids again. The flashbacks in The Legend of Korra just depressed me, in a good way, but depressed me nonetheless. The secrets revealed only add to the list of questions I have. The revelation was a bit unnerving, and I'm hoping there is a better explanation because it undermines my Update: So, I've just finished it, and now I'm angry because I have to wait for the next one. Some pleasant, and not so pleasant surprises. Confirmed: Ozai is a dick It was nice to see the group acting like a bunch of kids again. The flashbacks in The Legend of Korra just depressed me, in a good way, but depressed me nonetheless. The secrets revealed only add to the list of questions I have. The revelation was a bit unnerving, and I'm hoping there is a better explanation because it undermines my favourite character's entire arc. But Avatar doesn't generally shy away from some dark stuff (view spoiler)[ so I'm hoping that Zuko is the Firelord's son because there is no way it's okay for him to be the Firelord otherwise. I don't care if he's the good guy, he didn't inherit the throne. (hide spoiler)] Ugh to wait till July now. Questions I really want answered: 1) What really happened the night Fire Lord Azulon died? What were the true circumstances behind his mysterious death? And moreover, what hand possibly did Azula play in all of this? 2) Was the relationship between Ozai and Ursa more than just the sad tale of a truly dysfunctional marriage or an extenuation of the spiritual struggle between Avatar Roku & Fire Lord Sozin of whom both were descended from? 3) Was there any special connection between Lady Ursa and Iroh? Did she make any prior arrangements with him to entrust Zuko to his care should anything happen to her? Was she the one that gave Iroh the ceremonial headpiece Avatar Roku lost during the volcanic eruption in the Season 3 episode "The Avatar And The Firelord"? 4) Did Ozai attempt to do away with Ursa following the death of Fire Lord Azulon? And if so, how was his plan thwarted? By spiritual means, perhaps? 5) Why can't Nyla smell Ursa? (questions found on Avatar Wiki.) I sincerely hope Azula's reasons for finding her mother do not include killing her so her hallucinations stop.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sen

    2.8 I'M NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. Perhaps it's because I've expected too much prior to reading. Or perhaps the whole (view spoiler)[ Zuko-might-not-be-Ozai's-son (hide spoiler)] thing is...stupid. There, I said it. One thing is for certain though: I didn't fangirl as much as I expected to. Is it that "unfangirl" worthy? No... all in all, it was okay. But my inner ATLA fangirl made me feel obliged to rate it 3 stars. Ahem, is it me or do Sokka and Katara (even Aang) seem out of character? Sokka was s 2.8 I'M NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. Perhaps it's because I've expected too much prior to reading. Or perhaps the whole (view spoiler)[ Zuko-might-not-be-Ozai's-son (hide spoiler)] thing is...stupid. There, I said it. One thing is for certain though: I didn't fangirl as much as I expected to. Is it that "unfangirl" worthy? No... all in all, it was okay. But my inner ATLA fangirl made me feel obliged to rate it 3 stars. Ahem, is it me or do Sokka and Katara (even Aang) seem out of character? Sokka was snarky for sure, but his snarks didn't feel right. It felt like some of the witty comments were thrown in forcibly for the sake of making Sokka witty. Maybe it's just me... Katara... she was overly bossy. I expected her to react more maturely when Zuko suggested to let Azula join. The characterization of Aang and Katara reflected how they were in Book 1 (not the dynamic characters they were in Book 2 & 3). On the other hand, Zuko's character was quite spot on. I luv'd how he cared for Azula. And heheh, Azula in a straitjacket? Where did that come from? On to the rant about the *gasp* (view spoiler)[ Zuko-might-not-be-Ozai's-son (hide spoiler)] thing. (view spoiler)[ It's quite cliche, but that's alright. However, it kinda takes away from Zuko's symbolic inner struggle between good and evil, which carries the legacy of the struggle between Roku and Sozin. The whole ATLA series takes its time to develop the struggle within Zuko, esp. in Book 3 Episode 6 "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Now if Zuko is not Ozai's son, then... I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK ANYMORE! (hide spoiler)] And now, I shall wait for Part 2. Cross my fingers and hope it all goes well~! Looking forward to find out wazzup w/ the whole spirit thing. (view spoiler)[ And hope that Zuko is in fact Ozai's son (hide spoiler)] [Read on April 1, 2013] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - PRE-READ; JUNE 30, 2012 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2013??!! Must. Have. Patience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Books with Brittany

    Excuse me, what!?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Neeks

    I LOVE THIS! The dialogue sounds exactly as it does in the show and the artwork is great too! I need the next one immediately though because it ended on a cliffhanger :(

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    IS THIS REAL LIFE?! ARE WE REALLY GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ZUKO'S MOM??!!?? IS THIS REAL LIFE?! ARE WE REALLY GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ZUKO'S MOM??!!??

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Elend Wolf

    "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family. Do you understand? In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity." I missed these characters so much, their humor and dynamic always warms my heart and makes me have a great time. The Search is the reason I discovered that these Avatar comics even existed, so, you may realize that it makes immensely happy to get to read them. Azula has been a part of this issue makes everything m "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family. Do you understand? In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity." I missed these characters so much, their humor and dynamic always warms my heart and makes me have a great time. The Search is the reason I discovered that these Avatar comics even existed, so, you may realize that it makes immensely happy to get to read them. Azula has been a part of this issue makes everything more interesting. She's still crazy, sure, but we will get more of the insight into how she has been and her development. I've always found her eerie and intimidating, also crazy, but as a villain, she has always been really good, and now her arc is... interesting. The cliffhanger that was thrown out there was, well, unexpected. I don't know how I feel about it. I mean, it's interesting and makes sense, but... will it work? Personally, I'm not sure it's right but I suppose will see. As for the rest of the characters, well, they just kinda were there for support right now, I suppose they'll be more important later on as we progress in the story. Let's just make an important mention of my precious Iroh whose love of tea makes the world better. "Thank you for inviting us to your home, your fieriness! We've been out of touch for much too long! It's only been a weel." ________________________________ How didn't I saw that before? Seriously, it makes all the sense in the world. How?! RTC. ________________________________ I'm finally continuing with the Avatar comics and I can't be more excited! It was because of these particular ones that I started reading them, and finally be here is exhilarating. And if this will help me get back on track with my reading challenge, well, that's not my fault, right?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Not the best comic I have read, but it was not bad. It remind me of when I was younger and watch the TV show. My daughter really wants to read it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sophie_The_Jedi_Knight

    This series is so freaking weird. I mean, bringing back Azula is one thing, but come on, that ending? I predicted it a mile away, but still. That's just... dumb. And the character moments were pretty good with Sokka and Katara, but for the most part they're not all there. Zuko's really cool, as always, but there's really something missing in these comics. The TV show is just always going to be better. 2/5 stars. This series is so freaking weird. I mean, bringing back Azula is one thing, but come on, that ending? I predicted it a mile away, but still. That's just... dumb. And the character moments were pretty good with Sokka and Katara, but for the most part they're not all there. Zuko's really cool, as always, but there's really something missing in these comics. The TV show is just always going to be better. 2/5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia

    I'm not really sure what I expected going into this, but I was still disappointed to say the least. The characters seem like caricatures of their former selves. E.G. Sokka is overly funny, Katara is overly serious, etc. The backstory for Ursa was interesting, as well as the relationship dynamic with Ozai, but the bombshell, cliffhanger ending COMPLETELY invalidates one of the best character arcs/developments of any show I've ever seen, let alone an animated one. I advise A:TLA fans to proceed with I'm not really sure what I expected going into this, but I was still disappointed to say the least. The characters seem like caricatures of their former selves. E.G. Sokka is overly funny, Katara is overly serious, etc. The backstory for Ursa was interesting, as well as the relationship dynamic with Ozai, but the bombshell, cliffhanger ending COMPLETELY invalidates one of the best character arcs/developments of any show I've ever seen, let alone an animated one. I advise A:TLA fans to proceed with caution. On a more nitpick-y note, I didn't care for the panels where the characters are set against the white page background. It looks unfinished and out of place given that it only occurs on pages 20, 35, and 37.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

    Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Aang was a massive hit for Nickelodeon TV in the mid-noughties, and was followed by a graphic novel The Promise detailing life after the three season TV show, and the followed by a spin-off series, The Legend of Korra. There is also a live action film, but it’s directed by M Night Shyamalan and is pretty fucking terrible – the actors don’t even pronounce the character names correctly. I’ve read the first part of The Search, watched the entire Legend of Aan Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Aang was a massive hit for Nickelodeon TV in the mid-noughties, and was followed by a graphic novel The Promise detailing life after the three season TV show, and the followed by a spin-off series, The Legend of Korra. There is also a live action film, but it’s directed by M Night Shyamalan and is pretty fucking terrible – the actors don’t even pronounce the character names correctly. I’ve read the first part of The Search, watched the entire Legend of Aang show multiple times and am currently in my second viewing of Korra. I am a massive fan of Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.I love Gene Luen Yang’s artwork. It really makes me feel immersed in the novel, like I’m watching the TV shows all over again. The use of background action really adds to the immersion experience, and the character voices are spot on to the way the characters speak in the TV show. Well, except for Katara and Aang calling each other ‘sweetie’ but let’s face it, their relationship is mostly in our heads. We only got to see the very beginning, the awkward kisses, in Aang’s show, and by Korra’s he was (necessarily) dead. Seeing Katara and Aang in an established relationship on the page will always be a little strange – also considering they’re so young yet mature. I estimate by the changes in the character models that Aang might be around fourteen or fifteen in The Search. I also love the relationship between the softer Zuko (I have a thing for reformed bad guys) and his certified insane sister Azula, whom I love to hate. It was really cool seeing cameos from Suki and Tai Lee, although I wonder if Zuko and Mai are still together (I was never a Zutara shipper). Toph isn’t in the novel because she’s establishing her metalbending school, but Sokka is and come on, he’s my favourite character. YAY SOKKA! Overall this novel is fantastic for fans of Avatar. I can’t wait to read the next part! I am dying to know what really happened to Ursa, and if the hints dropped in this novel are really true. Thanks to Dark Horse and Netgalley for providing this advanced reader copy for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    OMG SCANDALOUS!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    Some of the lines were a bit cringy, but the ending tho.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Iryna *Book and Sword*

    No, it's cool, it's cool. Not like I need my heart or anything. I am either being overly emotional today, OR, this was just that good?? This IS Avatar, so I'm going to go with the second option. The first pages were amazing. Ursa and Ikem? My little heart couldn't handle them! The rest of the pages were just as amazing. I am just blabbing now. To put it simply - read this. Read this NOW. It's quick. It's funny. It has amazing art. It has an amazing storyline. It's phenomenal. __________________________ No, it's cool, it's cool. Not like I need my heart or anything. I am either being overly emotional today, OR, this was just that good?? This IS Avatar, so I'm going to go with the second option. The first pages were amazing. Ursa and Ikem? My little heart couldn't handle them! The rest of the pages were just as amazing. I am just blabbing now. To put it simply - read this. Read this NOW. It's quick. It's funny. It has amazing art. It has an amazing storyline. It's phenomenal. _______________________________________________ I checked this one out from the library, but I am definitely buying it now to keep in my collection forever. And ever. My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jahanzaib Asim

    BRILLIANT. PERFECT. AMAZING. THAT CLIFFHANGER. OHMYGOD ONTO THE NEXT ONE

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    The Search for the truth about Zuko's mother is on! Zuko wants to find out what has happened to his mother and will do anything to get the truth. He enlists the help of his sister, who has been been locked up in an institute of some sort but can she be trusted? She's Azula so the answer is usually no! I really enjoyed the flashbacks into Ursa's life and the big mystery that revolves around her! Plus it is so interesting to see how each of the characters react to the new addition to their group. The Search for the truth about Zuko's mother is on! Zuko wants to find out what has happened to his mother and will do anything to get the truth. He enlists the help of his sister, who has been been locked up in an institute of some sort but can she be trusted? She's Azula so the answer is usually no! I really enjoyed the flashbacks into Ursa's life and the big mystery that revolves around her! Plus it is so interesting to see how each of the characters react to the new addition to their group. This part left us with a cliff hanger ending and its made me so excited (and confused)! I can't wait to delve deeper and find out what is really going on!

  18. 4 out of 5

    (inactive)

    I AM YELLING

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anton

    Love the art as always, and the characters (that's a given)! So excited to be starting the next Avatar comic book series after reading The Promise! I am glad I found out that there is an order to read the graphic novel series in, otherwise I would have not understood some of the references this volume made to the events in The Promise trilogy. Was interesting to have Azula back in action, and to see the new way in which her mind has been twisted. I feel like this series is going to make her a mu Love the art as always, and the characters (that's a given)! So excited to be starting the next Avatar comic book series after reading The Promise! I am glad I found out that there is an order to read the graphic novel series in, otherwise I would have not understood some of the references this volume made to the events in The Promise trilogy. Was interesting to have Azula back in action, and to see the new way in which her mind has been twisted. I feel like this series is going to make her a much more complex character than we are led to believe she is from the animated series. Looking forward to it! Also: THAT ENDING!!! I really wanna read the next part in Avatar The Last Airbender: The Search series! 4th read for the TBR Takedown 3.0

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessamyn Leigh

    Daang these really don't hold back. Daang these really don't hold back.

  21. 5 out of 5

    SJ

    ARE. YOU. FREAKING. KIDDING. ME?! We have waited SO long to find out what happened to Zuko's mother, and this book just feels like someone is trolling the ATLA fandom, merrily laughing in the shadows at our continued consternation as more questions are raised than are answered and a possible plot twist is raised that, if it turns out to be true, will seriously cause me to try to think up arguments to reject the canonical legitimacy of these comic books. And if it's NOT true, well then, that will ARE. YOU. FREAKING. KIDDING. ME?! We have waited SO long to find out what happened to Zuko's mother, and this book just feels like someone is trolling the ATLA fandom, merrily laughing in the shadows at our continued consternation as more questions are raised than are answered and a possible plot twist is raised that, if it turns out to be true, will seriously cause me to try to think up arguments to reject the canonical legitimacy of these comic books. And if it's NOT true, well then, that will just support my trolling theory. (view spoiler)[This whole "Ozai is maybe not really Zuko's dad" thing had BETTER NOT be true! Because it would completely undermine Zuko's struggle between the good and bad inherited from his granfathers Roku AND Sozin as seen in ATLA episode "The Avatar and the Firelord," and because it would make his claim to the throne illegitimate, and most infuriating of all it INFANTILIZES the whole story, as if a character like Ozai can only represent ONE thing and if he's bad then a "good" guy like Zuko must not actually be related to him, (as if we're forgetting that the reason Zuko was the best character on the show was because he was complex, both good and bad!) If the parentage twist turns out to be true, then Zuko really shouldn't be Firelord, but we know from Legend of Korra that he does remain in power, so does that mean we're gonna go with a "but he's a good guy and Azula's crazy so never mind laws of succession"??!! I mean I just CAN'T if this is true. So I REFUSE to believe it, and if it is proven false in The Promise: Part 2 or Part 3, then I won't be "glad" so much as "less angry." By the way, what theories do we have about this blue wolf spirit? It's connected to Ursa's boyfriend somehow since it appeared to him first... (hide spoiler)] I want to give it only one or two stars, but I'm giving it three because it's doing a very effective job of eliciting strong emotions in me, (mostly RAGE!), which is a mark of good storytelling, and the art is pretty good, (main compliant it the eye color of the royal family looks a little more yellow and a little less golden than on the show,) and I'm just so damn happy to have another piece of the ATLA universe, even if it is hopefully a very misleading segment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This was so awesome! I loved seeing the old gang back together (except Toph, but she is off being her badass metalbender self). As I was reading it, I could hear their voices in my head and my heart started to ache for the TV show that I grew up with. AND THE ENDING!!!!!!!! Why can't Part 2 come out...like...NOW?!?!?! Talk about a cliffhanger! It has left me reeling and squealing and acting like a total fangirl. Now, it's time for me to go on an Avatar bender. Excuse me while I completely immerse This was so awesome! I loved seeing the old gang back together (except Toph, but she is off being her badass metalbender self). As I was reading it, I could hear their voices in my head and my heart started to ache for the TV show that I grew up with. AND THE ENDING!!!!!!!! Why can't Part 2 come out...like...NOW?!?!?! Talk about a cliffhanger! It has left me reeling and squealing and acting like a total fangirl. Now, it's time for me to go on an Avatar bender. Excuse me while I completely immerse myself in Netflix.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sonja ✧・゚。★・゚☾

    4.5/5 stars The Search: Part One is amazing! My brother and I flew through it! This ATLA graphic novel felt even more like the TV show than The Promise did. The Search has: • fast pacing • Azula • Iroh ♥ • Zuko as a small boy. He is just too adorable! • background info on Ursa(!), one of the most mysterious characters in ATLA • and a SHOCKING PLOT TWIST I'm off to the next ATLA adventure. . . . Yip yip! "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family... In treating his own famil 4.5/5 stars The Search: Part One is amazing! My brother and I flew through it! This ATLA graphic novel felt even more like the TV show than The Promise did. The Search has: • fast pacing • Azula • Iroh ♥ • Zuko as a small boy. He is just too adorable! • background info on Ursa(!), one of the most mysterious characters in ATLA • and a SHOCKING PLOT TWIST I'm off to the next ATLA adventure. . . . Yip yip! "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family... In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Raha Shirley

    Siriusly It's the best. We always wanted to know. We always asked for answer. And this... This is the answer! It starts When firelord Zuko with his close friends and his mad sister, Azula starts a journey to the past to find his lost mother! But basicly its full of flashbacks of royal family of the fire nation's life which means Search is full of Zuko's past, don't miss this for anything! Siriusly It's the best. We always wanted to know. We always asked for answer. And this... This is the answer! It starts When firelord Zuko with his close friends and his mad sister, Azula starts a journey to the past to find his lost mother! But basicly its full of flashbacks of royal family of the fire nation's life which means Search is full of Zuko's past, don't miss this for anything!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Ahhhhhhh! This was one was so much fun. It got all the characters voices just right. And Zuko's mom flashbacks! And what!!!!!?!? Ahhhhhhh! This was one was so much fun. It got all the characters voices just right. And Zuko's mom flashbacks! And what!!!!!?!?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    4.5 stars! Oh damn, I didn't see it coming!!! It explains so much! Great volume! 4.5 stars! Oh damn, I didn't see it coming!!! It explains so much! Great volume!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Viola

    THAT ENDING?!?!?!

  28. 4 out of 5

    tammy

    "family is in essence a small nation, and the nation at large family." AZULA SERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! azula is so misunderstood, i wish gaang would stop treating her like she could expose at any second, but then again she did try to kill them and such. katara and sokka's relationship is so such they're best siblings ever actually. i also found the backstory with ursa interesting, everything about part 1 is hitting. also sokka is still so funny and it's so effortless. bless zuko, i love learning mor "family is in essence a small nation, and the nation at large family." AZULA SERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! azula is so misunderstood, i wish gaang would stop treating her like she could expose at any second, but then again she did try to kill them and such. katara and sokka's relationship is so such they're best siblings ever actually. i also found the backstory with ursa interesting, everything about part 1 is hitting. also sokka is still so funny and it's so effortless. bless zuko, i love learning more about him and i just think he deserves everything the world has to offer yep yep

  29. 4 out of 5

    dale ✿

    avatar fans are the best people- you can't change my mind. i'm legit simping for sokka tho :,) avatar fans are the best people- you can't change my mind. i'm legit simping for sokka tho :,)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Swankivy

    Well imagine my delight when I found out we were FINALLY going to explore the abandoned plot line of Zuko's missing mother! While I'm a little disappointed that the overused "peasant was whisked away to marry a prince" trope got used here, it at least did so in style, and one relationship I hadn't thought about before came up here: Zuko and Sokka talked about having sisters. It was really touching to see how Sokka's antagonistic relationship with Katara is really an expression of love that they e Well imagine my delight when I found out we were FINALLY going to explore the abandoned plot line of Zuko's missing mother! While I'm a little disappointed that the overused "peasant was whisked away to marry a prince" trope got used here, it at least did so in style, and one relationship I hadn't thought about before came up here: Zuko and Sokka talked about having sisters. It was really touching to see how Sokka's antagonistic relationship with Katara is really an expression of love that they engage in consensually, while there is nothing at all good-natured about Zuko's relationship with Azula. She exploits this all the time, and he is so easily manipulated that it irritates me, but I have to remember he has no positive family relationships to find his roots in (outside of his bond with his uncle, which is also complicated). (Seeing Iroh babysitting the Fire Nation and declaring a national tea appreciation day was super special, too.) I guess it makes sense that Zuko comes across as naïve as he scrapes for some kind of inspiration to lead his nation forward, and that family honor stuff has always done a number on his guts. He'll never be free of it. Even though Toph isn't in this book (booo!), it was nice to see her mentioned, and it's nice to see that the metalbending school is very popular. Makes way for the segue to the next animated series, with a metalbending police force. Also, it's cool to see Aang and Katara's relationship developing, and the bit with Ty Lee pointing out that she still hasn't lost her fear of Azula is a nice callback. It kinda irritates me that Azula, who was so completely undone by her own ambition and power in the animated series, is so competent (though maybe occasionally prone to misjudging the abilities of our heroes), especially after being institutionalized for so long. From how they present it, Azula is heavily restrained all the time in her institution. She shouldn't really even have much muscle strength by now. But she's always been a determined lass, and I guess she wouldn't have much to do but plot. I'll look forward to finding out what happened to Ursa, what they're going to do with that big revelation at the end of the book regarding Zuko's parentage, and what other nonsense Azula has up her sleeve.

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