|"Justice begins with one woman."|
|— Caption for The Rise of Kyoshi.|
The Rise of Kyoshi is the first novel in a two-part series written by F. C. Yee chronicling the early life of Avatar Kyoshi, taking place 396 years prior to the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The book largely follows Kyoshi through her teenage and young adult years, mapping her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice still feared and admired centuries after her death, as well as touching upon her bisexuality.
A hardcover edition was released on July 16, 2019, with a paperback edition originally set to be released on June 9, 2020 but later changed to July 6, 2021. Its sequel, titled The Shadow of Kyoshi, was released on July 21, 2020.
After nine years of desperate searching for the next Avatar, the discovery of young, charming Avatar Yun has brought stability to the four nations—that is, until Earth Kingdom-born Kyoshi, Yun's unassuming friend and servant, demonstrates remarkable bending during a mission to the South Pole. With the identity of the true Avatar at stake and the growing unrest among her allies turning into violence, Kyoshi is forced to flee the Avatar mansion with her fiery friend Rangi, taking little more than the metal war fans and headdress her parents left behind.
It isn't easy finding Avatar training on the run, but Kyoshi and Rangi find unlikely supporters in the daofei: ragtag criminals and outlaws living in the shadows of the Earth Kingdom. Torn between following the traditional path of an Avatar and seeking vengeance for those she has lost, Kyoshi struggles to accept her newfound power as she trains in secret. But while Kyoshi, Rangi, and her daofei friends face off against brutal underworld rivals, those who seek to control the Avatar draw ever closer to her, leaving trails of the dead in their wake.
The story behind the longest-living Avatar in the history of this beloved world, The Rise of Kyoshi maps Kyoshi's journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice still feared and admired centuries after becoming the Avatar.
In addition to a physical copy of the book, an audiobook from Blackstone Publishing narrated by Nancy Wu was released digitally on Audible. It was initially due for release on May 5, 2020, before being pushed back to May 19 of the same year. The cause of the delay was cited to be an issue about receiving required approvals for the cover art of the audiobook's cover. The release was later further delayed to July 21, 2020. Despite the announced delays from Blackstone Publishing and Audible, the former still listing May 19 as the release date on their website, the audiobook has been available for download on an affiliated website, which lists the original release date of May 5.
- Every pose or stance that is given a proper name in the book is from the Hung Gar style of Kung Fu, which was also the main influence for earthbending in the show.
- One of the book's main plot points, the existence of a false Avatar in the form of Yun, was an idea that had been repeatedly pitched since the start of Avatar: The Last Airbender. According to Michael Dante DiMartino, however, "there was never an angle we could figure out that made sense." As a result, when F.C. Yee managed to work it into the story about Kyoshi's early life, the false Avatar idea found DiMartino's full support.
- Exclusive editions of the book were made available by Barnes & Noble and Indigo, which contain five additional illustrations from Jung Shan Chang with commentary by F. C. Yee under a section titled "Collector's Art".
- All of Yee's published novels have a scene that takes place in a dumpling restaurant. For The Rise of Kyoshi, that scene is featured in the chapter "The Return".