Uncle Iroh is back, and he is spilling the tea in Legacy of the Fire Nation! Get ready for some juicy gossip about family strife and political intrigue! In actuality, though, Uncle Iroh is here to share his experience and wisdom with his young nephew, Zuko, the new Fire Lord. Based on Nickelodeon’s TV show, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and written by Joshua Pruett, Legacy of the Fire Nation follows Uncle Iroh in his memories from childhood to old age and what he has learned along the way.
Similar to An Avatar’s Chronicle, Legacy of the Fire Nation is great way to refamiliarize yourself with the story and characters from the TV show, this time from Uncle Iroh’s point of view. The book acts like a journal of Uncle Iroh’s life and as a scrapbook of letters from friends and memorabilia from around the world, all put together as gift for Zuko. The best part of book is that we learn more about Uncle Iroh and who he is as a person. Just as he appears in the show, Uncle Iroh sprinkles the journal entries with his signature humor, plenty of praise for tea and Pai Sho, and just a little bit of playful shade at his nephew. Yet between the tea and the teasing, it’s clear that Uncle Iroh cares deeply for Zuko.
The book is all about learning from your mistakes, striving to become a better person, and then sharing what you have learned with others. Throughout the book, we can see Uncle Iroh’s past as a former general and as a father still affects him in his old age. The opportunities he lost in the death of his own son Uncle Iroh now sees in his nephew. This act of mentoring the next generation is a wonderful message for readers. Improving yourself is a great goal to have, but it’s easier when someone older and wiser comes along to lend you a helping hand.
Legacy of a Fire Nation is a great follow-up to An Avatar’s Chronicle; this time we get to see the story from someone who isn’t the Avatar but still has a positive influence on people’s lives. The illustrations, beautifully done by Sora Medina, complement the book’s themes and perfectly capture the characters’ personalities. (Azula’s pictures accurately show her craziness!) Becoming a better person is hard and can cost you a lot. But where you started from versus where you will end up will be worth the effort. Just ask Uncle Iroh!
What’s your favorite saying or scene with Uncle Iroh?
Special thanks to Insight Editions who provided a free copy of Legacy of the Fire Nation!