Review written by MR Valentine.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search Parts 1, 2, and 3 follow the set of comics The Promise. I recommend reading those first. The comics all follow the story of the Nickelodeon TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender and only make sense if you’ve seen the show.
Zuko has been focused on rebuilding family relationships, specifically finding his mother who disappeared when he was a kid. Throughout the TV series, this mystery came up several times. Finding his mother means asking for help from Azula—Zuko’s insane younger sister who’s hatching a plot to overthrow Zuko and kill their mother, who Azula thinks is plotting with Zuko and his friends against her.
SPOILER ALERT: Things you might want to know before suggesting this to your kid
Azula likes her lightning. A lot. She is a little too fond of violence and she fire/lightning bends against the rest of them despite the fact that she was only allowed to travel unrestrained if she didn’t bend against them. She also crashes in on a family once she finds out who her mom is. There is a part where Zuko has her by the front of the shirt over the edge of a cliff, but doesn’t drop her.
There are various attacks on the kids throughout the story.
In Zuko’s past, his father Ozai is told by the Fire Lord to kill his firstborn (Zuko, in case you didn’t know) as punishment for asking for his older brother’s birthright after he had lost his own only son and a significant battle. Zuko’s mother Ursa gives Ozai a vial of undetectable poison in exchange for Zuko’s life and she is banished. Ozai orders the assassination of Ursa’s old boyfriend back in Hira’a, where she grew up.
Zuko’s mother’s story is a tragic one indeed. She had just been asked for her hand in marriage by her long-time boyfriend Ikem when she found out that she was going to be forced into marrying Ozai. After her marriage, she sends her old boyfriend a fake letter to test if her letters were being intercepted, and they were. The fake letter says that Zuko is actually not related to Ozai, but is the child of Ursa and Ikem. This fact is false, but Zuko doesn’t know that until he actually meets his mother.
After the war, Zuko’s father is locked up in jail, Azula is sent to an institution, and their mother is still missing. Ursa hid from Ozai by getting a new face and identity from a spirit. The spirit also offers to alter her memories, and to save herself from a lot of pain. She chooses to forget her children Zuko and Azula.
There are many moments that are about family relationships. Sokka and Katara have a fairly healthy relationship. The gang meets a brother and sister in the woods where they are looking for Zuko’s mother and the spirit who helped her. This pair of siblings is looking for the same spirit.
Ozai was going to kill his young son Zuko. Ozai orders Ursa’s old boyfriend to be killed. By the time that happens though, Ikem had already changed his face thanks to the spirit. Azula wants to find Ursa so that she can kill her because Azula often hears Ursa’s voice in her head and thinks that her mother is conspiring with others to take Azula down.
That pair of siblings that the team meets in the woods is looking for a spirit that can give people new faces because the brother’s face was stolen by another spirit. For the most part he looks like a regular human, but he’s missing all his facial features.
There is a pretty adult plot, and it takes some maturity to understand it all. I’d recommend it for 10 or 11 and up.