Wingbearer by Marjorie M. Liu



Series: Wingbearer #1
Age Category: Middle Grade
Source: Library
Published: 2022


Zuli was raised in the Great Tree by mystical birds who oversee the reincarnation of the birds from across the world. But one day, the spirits of the birds stop travelling to the Tree to be reborn. Determined to find the cause, Zuli, along with her guardian owl Frowly, leaves the Tree for the first time. Her quest will lead her to many strange places. But her greatest adventure might be discovering her own past.

Star Divider


Wingbearer invites readers on a magical adventure full of danger and mystery. While the plotline does not feel entirely original, and the elements of the quest will be familiar to any lovers of history, tween readers likely will not mind. The fast-paced action and vibrant illustrations will likely be enough to make the target audience fall in love with the courageous protagonist and her world.

Reviewing books meant for younger audiences often proves a struggle. While I firmly believe that a good story is a good story, no matter whom it was written for, I also recognize that I tend to be more critical of books than many of the children I know. I have seen the quest story play out many, many times and it is much easier for me to predict what will happen next, and much harder to impress me. Thus, while I think Wingbearer is a solid story, and an entertaining one, I do not feel like it rises to greatness; it just seems so standard. Yet, I also know I would not hesitate to recommend it to any tweens who love fantasy graphic novels.

I also struggled a bit with the artwork. On the one hand, I really loved it. The colors are vibrant, the worlds beautifully drawn, and the creatures magnificent. The demon monster is truly terrifying, and the dragon breathtaking. On the other hand, the illustrations have some sort of quality about them that makes them feel a bit like computer animations to me. I think I was hoping for something that felt a little more organic or intimate. I enjoyed the illustrations, but again, I do not know if I really connected to them in a way that made me think, “Wow!”

So should you pick this up? If you love middle grade graphic novels, especially fantasy ones, yes. It is worth the read! The characters are lovable, the plot engaging, and the worlds magical. I was drawn in by the mystery and am willing to read the sequel. Wingbearer might not have blown me away, but not every book needs to. It is still a fun read!

4 stars

2 thoughts on “Wingbearer by Marjorie M. Liu

  1. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den says:

    It’s so interesting how graphic novels are extra subjective due to the preferences with art styles! I absolutely LOVED the art style in this, above and beyond many other graphic novels I’ve read. But I realize it’s not the sort of style that will work for everyone, at the same time. :3 I don’t think I was blown away by this one, either, but I really enjoyed it, and I think younger readers who maybe haven’t been as exposed to quest stories as we have will enjoy it more and likely find it less predictable.


    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, art is definitely subjective! I know a few people who were over-the-top blown away by the art. But I think what really matters for me in a graphic novel is that I don’t actively think the art is ugly. There are some drawing styles that make me not want to pick up a book at all, no matter how good the plot might be. So at least I can say that while this art was not entirely to my taste, I could still appreciate it for what it was!

      Liked by 1 person

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