Katie Zhao

Cindy Seip

Katie Zhao grew up in Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in English and a minor in political science; she also completed her master’s in accounting there. She wrote The Dragon Warrior during her last year of school, in between classes. Inspired by Chinese mythology, Katie Zhao’s debut novel The Dragon Warrior (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) is a middle-grade fantasy that follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to save the world from demons. As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. But first, she must prove her worth so with her brother and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. Kirkus in a starred review noted that “Zhao’s impressive and captivating debut adventure novel brings mythology and magic to life … ”