Hey, is that Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation from Avatar: The Last Airbender? Oh, no, he’s not! Are you sure that is not Prince Zuko?
Lately, this has been happening to me. I have been reading teen books with characters who remind me of Prince Zuko. Sometimes these characters are antagonists with redemption arcs, or their personalities/backgrounds remind me of Zuko. The character may have a scar, love his mother, pleases his father while hating him, is a bit awkward, has anger issues, has talent (with fire or some other skill), or he may have a combination of all these. If you are a fan of Prince Zuko, then you may want to try these books. If you want to find out who Prince Zuko is, then you can watch the TV series Avatar, the Last Airbender.
Prince Aldrik from Air Awakens, by Elise Kova, comes from a world that is similar to Zuko’s. Out of all the characters on this short list, Prince Aldrik exemplifies Prince Zuko the most for me. His mannerisms and his ability to use fire definitely remind me of Zuko, and I was thinking about Zuko throughout the book. Aldrik may not have Zuko’s physical looks, but he has his talent and a similar overall quality about him. This book and its sequels have some major Avatar: The Last Airbender vibes, as there are certain people who can use fire, earth, water, and air magics. Also, our main character, Vhalla, is discovered to be the last person who is a sorcerer of air.
The next book is more of a “what if” story. In Fireborne, by Rosaria Munda, Lee is a dragonrider living in a world after a major revolution against the dragonlords, who ruled with an iron fist. To prevent spoilers, I cannot say much about why I make comparisons between Lee and Zuko. The comparisons are there in the details about Lee’s life, backstory, and his mannerisms, which are like Zuko in Avatar the Last Airbender - Book 3: Fire. Based on what I read about this book, I do not think the author was trying to reimagine Zuko, but I felt there were some similarities.
In the first two books I mentioned, the Zuko-like character was either the main character or a co-main character. In My Hero Academia, by Kōhei Horikoshi, (and the subsequent volumes), Zuko-like Todoroki Shoto is a somewhat minor character who gets the spotlight every now and then. I was not the first one who made the comparison between Todoroki Shoto and Prince Zuko, but I will concur with what I have seen in fanart that compares these two characters. They both have similar scars, they can create fire, and they have family problems, especially when it comes to their fathers. While Todoroki does not show up in the first volume, as he is not the main character, you will still need to start with the first book, or else you may get confused. But, as you continue with the series, you should see Todoroki and his similarities to Zuko.
I hope you enjoy one (or more) of these books!