Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu, Illustrated by Teny Issakhanian


Author: Marjorie Liu
Illustrator: Teny Issakhanian
Published March 1, 2022 by Quill Tree Books

Summary: A young girl must stop a threat to her magical world in this epic graphic novel from New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Liu and remarkable debut illustrator Teny Issakhanian.

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.

This captivating middle grade graphic novel, the first of a series, is perfect for fans of the Amulet books and the Wings of Fire series.


“Liu crafts a compelling, brave, and joyful protagonist in Zuli. [An] epic fantasy adventure with a classic feel.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Deeply expressive. [Issakhanian’s] use of lush, vibrant colors gives each scene an ethereal glow.” –Booklist

“This fantasy graphic novel hits all the right notes of excitement, danger, and cool magical elements in one short volume.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Wingbearer is one of the best graphic novels I have read this year. Whether you are a kid or an adult, there is a story (and a message) that will pull at your heart strings and make you want more. I can’t wait for the next volume to see how the rest of the adventure unfolds!” –Impulse Gamer

“Wingbearer by Marjorie M. Liu is a diverse story that emphasizes friendship, loyalty, conservation, spirituality, family, and the past with how it shapes the present and ultimately the future. These characters are sweet, naive, sassy, brassy and full of themselves. There is magic, adventure, and a journey that is as familiar as it is fresh. The story is cozy as we know these people from other stories, but there are fresh eyes, experiences, and influences.” –Cannonball Read

About the Creators:

Marjorie Liu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monstress series, 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 MIT, and divides her time between Boston, Massachusetts, and Tokyo, Japan.

Teny Issakhanian is an Armenian American illustrator, building worlds and 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.

Review: What a fantastical adventure! This new mythology is a great foundation for a new series. Zuli and Frowly make a wonderful pair to take us on this adventure with Zuli’s free spirit and Frowly’s grumpiness and hesitation they make a perfect duo! Then they meet other characters with traits that compliment theirs.

The colorful and movie-like illustrations move the action along and help suck the reader into the story. The setting is beautiful, and I adore the cast of creatures that Zuli meets along the way. Note to readers though: There is a cliffhanger which will make you craving the next book!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book will definitely find fans of fantasy and graphic novel readers through school, classroom, and public libraries!

Discussion Questions: 

  • Why is Frowly the perfect companion for Zuli?
  • What character along the way that Zuli meets do you think moved the plot along the most?
  • What mythical creature do you hope will be in the next book of the series?
  • Did you see the big reveal coming? Were there any clues along the way?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi, 5 Worlds by Mark Siegel, and other fantastical graphic novels

Recommended For: 



**Thank you to Spark Point Studios for a copy for review!**

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