Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search Part 3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Gene Yang
Letters: Michael Heisler
The final chapter in Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s search for Zuko’s mother will be out soon for all of you anxiously waiting to find out about Ursa. Is it good? Is it satisfying? It’s been a long time coming for fans wanting this answer. Let’s get right down to it. ***SPOILERS AHEAD***
After the last chapter of this series I’m definitely of the mind that part two could have been split in two and added to the end of part one and beginning of part three, and this would have made a much stronger duo than trilogy. This was an ending where I wasn’t able to predict everything even though they do a nice job to hint at things.
The book picks up right where the last one left off, and this one has things get real weird, but that’s to be expected when you bring in the spirit world. This is a great companion for what the new season of the Legend of Korra is delving into with regards to spirits. It seems like a nice appetizer for what the show may be doing with more spirits, I hope. The book gives us just a few, but they are neat and the hijinx they give us are the meat of this story.
I found myself most intrigued by Ursa’s story more than the current search Zuko and company were after. Seeing Ursa from a young adult to dealing with Ozai, and fleeing for her children’s safety to where she ends up was the most riveting part of the story for me. It took such sad turns but still had an ending with happiness very much on the table.
I wish there was more for the Azula story line, though. It felt a bit rushed and unresolved by the end. Zuko’s story didn’t end either, but it was far more satisfying since now he has a new journey ahead of him. Azula is still struggling with her old problems along with new ones. Her whole purpose felt like nothing more than to be a foil instead of a character.
The spirits play a major role in this story. There are two new major spirits, and one of them is (this is where we get into those major spoilers territory) the mother of Koh, the face stealer, the popular and creepy villain from the show that only appeared briefly. His mother is someone a bit more benevolent, but still no one to trifle with. She is directly responsible for aiding Ursa in hiding, the reveal being that when you find the Mother of Faces she will grant you a switch of faces if you want. Turns out that kindly theater couple we met in Part 2 were actually Ursa and her old boyfriend finally living a life together.
This reveal not only comes with the return of Ursa, but we learn that Zuko most definitely is Ozai’s son and that he now has a younger half sister. The book ends with many new questions, but ones that are okay for us to be left to figure out for ourselves. At least in regards to Zuko; I’m still a little miffed that Azula got the short end of the stick when she’s featured so prominently. Overall a good book and an interesting series. Hopefully there will be more adventures with the rest of the original show’s cast.
Dr. Alexander Bustos