March/April 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“Prepare yourself for an adventure! Marjorie Liu and Teny Issakhanian have built a world full of forgotten history and magic rediscovered. Zuli's heroic quest for hope, truth, and identity is perfect for fans of The Hobbit and Amulet.”
— Gibran Graham, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME
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.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
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.
“Liu crafts a compelling, brave, and joyful protagonist in Zuli. [An] epic fantasy adventure with a classic feel.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Thrilling. This beautifully rendered tale of searching, mystery, and danger will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy stories of adventure and discovery” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Wondrously constructed. Nail-biting stakes, staggeringly good action sequences, and characterization and world-building as rich as in any prose novel make this series opener an effortless recommendation.” — New York Times Book 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
"A captivating middle-grade debut. Daring and magical." — Shelf Awareness