Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Library Edition by Michael Dante DiMartino and Gurihiru


The Avatar's adventures continue right where the TV series left off, in this beautiful, oversized hardcover of The Promise, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!
Aang and friends must join together once again as the four nations' tenuous peace is threatened in an impasse between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei! As the world heads toward another devastating war, Aang's friendship with Zuko throws him into the middle of the conflict!
Featuring annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artist Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!

I'm a huge Avatar fan so I was very excited to start reading this book.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise continues where the series left off. In an attempt to separate the different nations, Fire Lord Zuko, Aang, and Earth King Kuei have decided to start the Harmony Restoration Movement. This movement will result in the Fire Nation Colonies in the Earth Kingdom moving back to the Fire Nation. Some of the colonies are okay with this, but the older ones are not happy with this movement at all.

I found the main plot of this graphic novel fascinating. As Fire Lord, Zuko is torn between his promise of relocation the Fire Nation members back to the Fire Nation, and the duty he feels to his people who have come to call the Fire Nation-Earth Kingdom colony as their own. To make matters more complicated, Zuko made Aang promise to kill him if Zuko started acting like his father.

Coming from a country who was colonized by Spain (333 years), America (almost 50 years) and Japan (during World War 2), I do have strong opinions about this. What I know of the years of colonization come mostly from history books and stories about my ancestors. Colonization shaped our country, whether for the good or for the bad, it's hard to say. We did get a number of things from them, like our religion, language and food/cooking techniques. However, in every single period, there was resistance from our countrymen. I do have Spanish blood on my mother's side, so my ancestors had a pretty comfortable life, but a couple of them still participated in the armed resistance against the Americans. My paternal grandmother, on the other hand, was a spy against the Japanese and also fired guns at them.

While I would never want another country to colonize our country ever again, I do appreciate some of the things that we got from our colonizers. Because of this, I could sympathize with the Yu Dao citizens who just wanted the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom to leave them alone. I also really liked that within Yu Dao itself, there were groups who were for the movement and against it. That's just how it is. Usually, the one who has riches and power in the current system want to keep it that way.

The characters' reactions and feelings were all realistic and true to the series. My favorite character and subplot was Toph, of course. She provided much needed comic relief, which prevented the whole story from being too heavy and dramatic. I didn't care much for Katara, though, which was expected since I didn't like her during the series, either.

The commentary on some of the pages, as well as the sketches at the end of the book, were welcome additions to the story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Dark Horse for the e-ARC.


  1. The characters, the dialogues and the plot are faithful to the series.
  2. The commentaries give you background information on the story and designs.
  3. The sketches are nice.


  1. Some might find som of the plot to be too heavy.


You joined the Yu Dao Resistance to defend a guy who sells you mochi?
It's really good mochi!


  1. You liked the series.
  2. You want to know what happens to Aang and the four kingdoms after the series.
  3. You want to know what happens during the time between Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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