Oh. My. God.
For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, Embers is a popular (but base-breaking) Avatar: the Last Airbender. It explores fridge horror, fridge logic, and plays up certain elements of the show, such as the Spirit World and "fire is life."
It's controversial for a number of reasons, but a huge reason is the early Alternative Character Interpretation of Aang and Katara. Now, I'm a big fan of those two, but I like their Embers counterparts as well. I like the fact that it takes Aang a lot longer to get accustomed to the world, and to get his head around all the sheer responsibilities and consequences and nuttiness that being the Avatar entails. I like how Katara is much more protective and insular in the show, and how Vathara really gives her a bigger arc in coming to terms with everyone else. I also like the Fridge Horror.
Anyway. Embers. Finale – for all intents and purposes, the last three chapters. Oh, my.
Everyone did at least one AWESOME thing. Katara kicking the sea serpent's ass. Aang striking down Kyoshi's decree, thus freeing the Fire Nation from clinical insanity, and effectively grounding Koh. Sokka killing Ozai. Suki taking an airship. Zuko healing Asagitatsu. Toph fending off airships. Teo and the gliders throwing fire-ice bombs! Langxue killing Makoto! Iroh and the White Lotus defending the North Pole! And…just to emphasise my favourite bit in all of that?
Aang grounding Koh.
Because let's go into what that entails: mastery of his emotions. Coming to terms with who the REAL problem behind all the trouble is. Understanding of what the balance is, must be, and how he must correct it. Understanding and mastery of himself. Using his Air Nomad upbringing to stop the darkness.
The final chapter was also awesome, mainly tying all the loose ends up. Aang keeping his promises to Zuko. Toph and Teruko bargaining to help each other win Zuko and Shirong, respectively – both of which I totally nailed. Azula becoming the Lord of the Caldera…
Oh, and the bit at the end with Amaya.
Embers, in terms of prose, isn't brilliant. Don't get me wrong. There are way, way too many fragments. But if you want a long, lovingly built, incredibly well-researched, logically reasoned to the nth degree story, which is also brilliant in terms of characterization and character arcs and narrative structure? If you want dragons, healing, a different way of looking at something? If you were ever curious about why the Fire Nation might be the way it is? If you want a closer look at what the Spirit World might have been like? If you ever wanted over 750,000 words of 95%-proof awesome?
Embers might just be your fic.