IT’S ANOTHER MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY
This graphic novel takes readers on a fantasy adventure. Just that one sentence will be enough to entice those in grades 3-7. But it’s the story line that won me over.
Zuli is extraordinary—she just doesn’t realize it yet. Raised by mystical bird spirits in the branches of the Great Tree, she’s never ventured beyond this safe haven. She’s never had to. Until now.
When a sinister force threatens the life-giving magic of the tree, Zuli, along with her guardian owl, Frowly, must get to the root of it. So begins an adventure bigger than anything Zuli could’ve ever imagined—one that will bring her, along with some newfound friends, face-to-face with an ancient dragon, the so-called Witch-Queen, and most surprisingly of all: her true identity.
Zuli is a tough little protagonist. She refuses to give up her goal to figure out the world and her past. Kindness is also a part of her being.
Frowly the owl is always by Zuli’s side, but his past is also somewhat of a mystery. Since this is the beginning of a series I’m sure the author will be revealing more of his character. Also making an apearrance are dragon and goblins.
The final color art work is stunning (at least the 28 pages I could see in the ARC). There are intricate patterns of light, color, and emotion in each frame. The illustrator’s work in the animation industry comes through beautifully on the printed page.
No secret reveal here with what the title means, but it’s the focus of the story and will certainly drive the plot in future volumes. Was there an ending upon reaching the final page? You know, the kind that wraps up all the plot points. Not exactly. Instead, you’ll have to wait for Book 2.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: March 1, 2022 PAGE COUNT: 208
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: WING BEARER by Marjorie Liu
- The world building is excellent both in pictures and words. Not all is revealed, leaving your imagination to think of what will come next.
- A bit of philosophy is thrown in about existence and who we are. Nothing too heavy for the MG mind.
- Not the focus of the story, but there is an undercurrent discussion in the need for taking care of our forests.
- The bird spirits were the most intriguing part of the plot.
- I did like the twist at the end when the true identity of the Witch Queen was pictured. I didn’t see that one coming!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marjorie Liu is the New York Times bestselling author of Monstress, illustrated by Sana Takeda. She also writes for Marvel Comics, including Black Widow, X-23, and Astonishing X-Men. Marjorie teaches comic book writing at M.I.T., and divides her time between Boston, Massachusetts; and Tokyo, Japan. Visit her online at www.marjoriemliu.com.
ABOUT THE ARTIST/ILLUSTRATOR
Teny Issakhanian is an Armenian American illustrator, building worldsand stories as a storyboard artist and visual development artist in the entertainment industry. She has worked on a multitude of shows at animation studios including Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation Television, Disney Television Animation, and the Jim Henson Company. Teny graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and the ArtCenter College of Design. She is based in Los Angeles.
I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below