How Will She Be Remembered? – “The Legacy of Yangchen” Book Review

Yangchen struggles to handle the day-to-day ruling of Bin-Er. She is maintaining a fragile peace with the shangs by threat of blackmail while also trying to keep the existence of super-powered Firebenders under wraps. It’s only a matter of time before the house of cards comes crashing down. And so we dive into The Legacy of Yangchen.

The second in author F.C. Yee’s latest duology from the universe of Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Legacy of Yangchen picks up where the previous book left off. I’ll admit that while I enjoyed the series and loved getting to see more about Yangchen, who was a virtual unknown after her brief appearance in the series finale of ATLA, her books didn’t quite hook me the way Kyoshi’s did. This second book, even more so than the first, is largely bogged down with politics, when I am much more interested in interpersonal relationships.

For example, I was very interested to see whether or not Yangchen would forgive Kavik for his betrayal (let’s be real here, I knew she would), and hopefully learn more about Kavik. In a book about the Avatar, a secondary character should not be more interesting, but I’m incredibly intrigued by the fact that everything about Kavik seems to be an act. And the thing is, Yangchen knows it. There were so many ways they could explore this unorthodox dynamic, and I just don’t feel that it got its due, because there’s that whole plot to destabilize the Four Nations going on. 

Ironically, the pacing of this book was off in a way that the first avoided. There is a lot of build-up to the final confrontation, but when it comes, it’s almost anti-climactic. The Legacy of Yangchen also utilized a flashback technique; I understand this is a device used to make you think one thing, then reveal that it was another the entire time. However, I don’t think they really pulled it off the way they were supposed to. It just felt weird.

This almost didn’t even feel like an Avatar book. It’s very action-packed, even more so than the first book, and teeters very precariously into darkness, toeing the line more seriously than the original series. But it lacks the heart that’s been present in everything else from this universe. Perhaps it was the focus on the political aspect, although I will admit that remembering the human side is what manages to mend things in the end. Still, it just feels very surface level. This is why I wanted more of a focus on the characters themselves.

I’m almost hoping that Yangchen gets more books. She’s a fascinating character, and I really don’t think Yee delved enough into her “habit” of channeling the previous Avatars. You can tell from Yangchen’s inner monologues that it’s something that she struggles with, but that it didn’t happen at a critical moment almost seems like a missed opportunity. Kavik was certainly worried that would happen.

Problems aside, I still did enjoy the read. I liked getting to see how another Airbender Avatar handled things, and after reading this books, Yangchen’s advice to Aang before his fight with Ozai makes so much more sense. There is plenty of action and drama, and while I wasn’t a fan of the flashbacks, I did get fooled at least once, so they apparently served their purpose.


The Legacy of Yangchen by F.C. Yee is published by Amulet Books and will be available July 18th wherever books are sold.

*I received a free advance copy of The Legacy of Yangchen from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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