Cover Image: Wingbearer

Wingbearer

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Member Reviews

This was such a cute graphic novel!! The artwork was beautiful and memorable, and the writing style was very engaging. I am so invested in the story and cannot wait for the next installment! I recommend this to all ages.
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"Adventures are good for making our worlds bigger...and our hearts, too." What an open-hearted and beautiful story, with truly breath-taking, heart-stopping artwork. The colors burst off the page, and every facial expression, animal and human alike, is a masterpiece. Zuli is a remarkable protagonist with a big heart, and her journey through the world will move you. This may be a book for children, but readers of all ages will get something out of living in this book's beautiful, textured world for a bit.
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Although I loved the story of this book, I have to start this review by discussing the art, which was absolutely breathtaking. The color palette, the glows, the whimsy... It all really pulls you into this other world and brings it to life. I don't even need this graphic novel to be turned into a TV show or movie, because the images are already alive on the page. To top that off, the story is fast-paced, with enough adventurous twists to maintain the attention of any upper elementary or middle school student. I highly recommend for library purchase.
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This was a really cute graphic novel. I have read part of the author’s adult graphic novel series Monstress, so I was interested to read a middle grade from her. It was a cute fantasy adventure story that I think a lot of middle grade readers will enjoy, especially those that liked Amulet. It was a little slow for me at times, and I thought the plot was a bit basic, but I still enjoyed it overall. I also really enjoyed the art style, especially how colorful it was. Would definitely recommend to young readers.
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The art is clean and crisp and engaging, the characters are endearing, and the world building is fascinating.  So why only three stars?  T be honest, despite this being a YA graphic novel, I was expecting a lot more from Marjorie Liu.  The plot was so YA quest by the numbers hero's journey, that the other good aspects of the world and the art dimmed a bit.  Still a good book, just not as good as I was hoping.
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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!
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I honestly didn't know what to expect going into this one, but wow. It was great. Zuli's story drew me in right away. It was fun to explore the world with her, seeing everything for the first time just as she did. And the contrast between her open hearted kindness and the rest of the world's prejudices and jaded attitudes was clear without being overbearing or didactic. 
The artwork is beautiful and matches the story perfectly. I especially love the vivid color palettes that were chosen. 
I did not see that twist coming at the end and I'm hoping I don't have to wait a full year to get my hands on book 2!
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SO glad I stumbled across WINGBEARER by Marjorie Liu.  Loved the plot, the colorful illustrations, and the diverse characters.  This would be a great read for fans of Wings of Fire graphic novel or Amulet series.
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I loved this book!  It was the start of a great story and the artwork is AMAZING!  Uplifting story about a determined main character and her quest-mates who give second chances when people mess up and don't give up on others even if they are let down by their actions.  I will definitely be sharing this with my kiddo!
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In the graphic novel 'Wingbearer' by Marjorie Liu with art by Teny Issakhanian, a young girl makes a strange journey to save the world and maybe learn a little about herself along the way.

Zuli lives in a mysterious tree and communes with the spirits of birds.  When she learns of a threat to the tree and the birds, she makes a journey to another world with only her bravery and a magical bracelet.  Along the way she encounters strange creatures who may be allies, or may want to sabotage her quest.

This was a great read and Zuli is a great protagonist.  Her courage and naivete lead her to trust, sometimes to her benefit and sometimes not.  The companions she finds along the way are nicely rounded characters.  The art is colorful and has an animated look to it.  I think this is one that young readers will enjoy reading with its good story and enjoyable art.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from HarperCollins Children's Books, Quill Tree Books, and NetGalley. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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A strong fantasy story needs a really well constructed world with strong characters for the reader to properly engage and I'm not sure this one really gets there. The book spends too much time hinting at stuff and note enough actually revealing the way the world works. With a slow start and more dialogue than action, it's certainly not my favorite.
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Zuli and her owl friend, Frowly, leave the only world they know (one in which bird souls return to and depart from trees) in order to solve the mystery: why are bird souls no longer returning to their world? While on the quest, Zuli quickly makes friends and enemies, comes up with more questions, and begins to discover more about herself and her people.
I was so looking forward to a kids graphic novel from Marjorie Liu, and I was disappointed to be underwhelmed by this title. It felt like character traits came from out of nowhere, so much so that I never really got a feel for how the characters were distinguished from one another. That being said, fans of Zita the Spacegirl and Amulet will be happy to have a new fantasy adventure series to read, and it's very clear that this will be a series.
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I didn't want it to end even when I knew it was the first book in a series. The art is stunning and the story is quick paced. Zuli is a strong, smart, curious lead who appreciates that she can't perform her quest alone. Looking forward to the next installments.
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First off, Teny Issakhanian's illustrations are downright gorgeous; I love how the different members of the "wing family" have been rendered.  Also lovely is the concept of souls finding a home within the leaves of the Great Tree before being born again. Based on the cover and description, I really wanted to love this story, but I also understand that I'm not the target demographic. Young readers who have read other adventure/quest stories might give this a chance, however.
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Wingbearer, written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Teny Issakhanian, is currently scheduled for release on March 1 2022.It is the first book in a new middle grade graphic novel series. 

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.

Wingbearer is a beautifully drawn and colored graphic novel with fantastic writing. I was engaged in the story from the very beginning, ad my only complaint is that now I have to try and wait patiently for the next installment. Zuli and the the characters that she meets on her journey are well written and complex, with very few good/evil absolutes. The world building, as revealed through the characters and their interactions, was very well done. I feel like I have a reasonable grasp of the important aspects of the world, and never felt like there was an info dump. It was reveals as things became important in a way that really made sense and felt natural. Although, I will admit that I saw the big reveal (not telling), or something very close to it coming on a couple levels. However, I think the way it was done was smart and will keep readers hooked and invested in continuing the series. I think this series will be a new favorite for a wide range of readers and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Wingbearer is a wonderful start to a new series. I look forward to reading what comes next.
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Wingbearer is a children’s fantasy graphic novel published by HarperCollins Publishers under the Quill Tree Books imprint, written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Teny Issakhanian. Meet Zuli. She has had a rather unique upbringing. She has grown up amidst the branches of a magical tree that serves as the spirit haven for birds when they die. All her life, she has been surrounded by love and compassion as she has seen countless bird spirits arrive and leave as they are reborn anew. But then, one day, no spirits arrive. Nor were there any on the next either. Soon it was clear something was wrong. So Zuli takes it upon herself to venture into the outside world, discover what has become of the bird spirits, and perhaps learn a bit about who she is along the way.

From the moment Zuli leaves her sheltered home amidst the branches, Wingbearer delivers on the classic fantastical journey readers have loved ever since Tolkien sent a notable hobbit on an adventure to a lonely mountain. Author Liu does a wonderful job of blending the adventurous nature of the main story with fantastic themes like self-discovery, acceptance, and overcoming fears—all the sorts of messaging one loves to see in an excellently crafted children’s narrative.

This charming story is told against the backdrop of a fun magical world. While all the classic fantasy creatures make appearances—griffins, dragons, goblins, and the like—each is given a bit of a twist to their physiology or social habits. This provides each race with a fresh coat of paint for experienced fantasy fans to enjoy. However, Liu never implements any changes that are so drastic that it feels like the creature should’ve just been named something else.

At the heart of Wingbearer‘s story is Zuli. Liu provides the tale with a lovable protagonist with equal parts, determination, innocence, and hope. With no knowledge of the world beyond her home, or even who she is or where she came from, Zuli goes into her adventure with a charming amount of enthusiasm. She knows something important is happening, and she never takes her eyes off of that, but she also is in near-constant wonder at the marvels she experiences along the way.

While the story lays the foundation for this incredible journey, the art is what truly brings it to life. Artist Issakhanian does an amazing job of bringing Zuli and her world to the reader vibrantly and energetically. Everything from creature designs and emotional expression to the various environments teeming with magic is all brought to life in dazzling style on every page. Topped off with a gorgeous color scheme that perfectly captures all the charm and energy of the story, and you have an art presentation that I can find no faults in.

The final piece to this book’s presentation is the lettering. The default lettering flows with the visual style of the book beautifully. Combine this with some alternate styles for the dialogue boxes for internal dialogues, and you have a lovely final piece to the story’s visuals.

When all is said and done, Wingbearer delivers the opening phase of a journey overflowing with adventure, emotion, and charm. If the rest of this story can maintain the quality and fun this opening brings, this will be a story every child will want to experience.
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Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an advanced copy of this to review! I saw this cover on NetGalley and knew that it was something I absolutely had to review. Just look at it! It looks like a fun middle grade graphic novel full of fantasy and adventure. And it lived up to expectations!

From the beginning, Lius establishes this magical world. In the beginning, we meet Zuli, surrounded by magical birds in a wondeful tree. The art in this book defintiely lends itself well to the fantastical world Liu has crafted. Actually, this might be some of my more favorite art I’ve seen in a middle grade graphic novel. The colors are striking, and Issakhanian brings these characters and creatures to life. She helps transport the reader to this fantastical world.

Additionally, I loved that the birds had such personality in this book. Frowly especially, His quips and comments throughout added some humor in tense situations, and it made reading the story even more entertaining. Frowly is supposed to be guarding Zuli, but sometimes it’s the other way around.

However, my only complaint is that the book gets a bit wordy at times. While it is necessary to explain magic and rules, sometimes the text is overwhelming. Finding a way to break it up might have helped reduce some of the text heavy pages.

All in all, if you’re looking for a magical adventure in a graphic novel, this is definitely the book for you!
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I feel like I have a tendency to describe illustrations in graphic novels or children’s books as being really emotive. When I read WINGBEARER, though, I was blown away by how expressive Teny Issakhanian’s illustrations are. There are several panels that show closeups of Zuli’s face or just her eyes, and those were so powerful. I loved the way the images communicated a LOT of story, too. I felt like I got a deep sense of how the characters felt about each other from the way they were positioned in the illustrations and some of the looks exchanged between them.

The story is really moving, too. I love Zuli’s courage and her protectiveness over her allies. She has such a pure and loving heart. I couldn’t help holding my breath in some moments, wondering what would happen next and how she was going to navigate some of the obstacles in her way. I loved Frowly, the owl, too! Their friendship was so sweet.

I didn’t realize when I started reading this book that it’s the first in a series. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels (I didn’t realize this was a graphic novel when I agreed to review it, either), and I’m really bad about following a whole series, but I would definitely read this one.

I think fans of ESTRANGED by Ethan Aldridge will love the otherworldly fantasy elements and beautifully illustrated panels in WINGBEARER.
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In Wingbearer, Zuli, who has been raised by bird spirits, must leave her home and journey to the living world to find out why bur souls are no longer reincarnating. On her journey, Zuli makes friends and uncovers secrets about herself and the world. I liked the story of Wingbearer, but the art is what really drew me in. The world feels so rich and gorgeous.
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Zuli has lived with the guardians of the Great Tree since she was orphaned at a young age.  The Great Tree is guarded by mystical bird spirits (which remind me of a phoenix of light).  When a bird dies it reappears on the Great Tree as a leaf and the guardians watch and care for it, ensuring it is reborn as a new bird.  However lately the leaves have been dying as the bird's souls have stopped returning to the Great Tree.  Sure, something is behind it, the guardians sent out Little Red first, but when he doesn't return, Zuli is then sent out to investigate with her owl companion, Frowly.  Having been raised among the branches of the Great Tree, Zuli has never ventured beyond her safe home, she's never even saw anyone who looks like herself before.   Zuli is however a very determined girl and so she seeks to find answers for what is happening to the bird's souls and to protect the Great Tree from whatever is stealing its magic.

Wingbearer is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel.  Oh, so gorgeous, and defiantly not to be missed.  Issakhanian has a way with the facial expressions of the characters that are so on point, and when added with the humorous narrations between Zuli and Orien and Frowly, it makes for a wonderful story.  The colors of each of the illustrations were an amazing blend of these bright pinks and yellows paired with the dazzling changes of landscapes, moving from the greens of the forest to the browns of the runes of the new world that Zuli ventures into.    I just love how she builds this immersive world for the characters to quest through.  The contrast of Zuli's safe haven to the runes that she finds beyond are stark reminders of the hazards of war.  Some of the panels even remind me of a magical Disney movie scene, which would be lovely if this could become a movie.   All these beautiful details, like when she ends up in a cave and the way the light plays off the dark cavern, just love it!  And the story, such a wonderful fantasy adventure, lots of action and a wonderful mix of characters.   I really loved Frowly, probably because I love owls, but also because I'm picturing him as Archimedes from the Sword in the Stone.  I'd pair this with the Amulet series.  

**A huge thank you to Sparkpress and the publisher for my E-ARC **
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