Maricela Gonzalez
August 22, 2013 AT 02:01 PM EDT

In his first solo graphic novel since the National Book Award finalist American Born Chinese, writer and artist Gene Luen Yang takes on the often overlooked Boxer Rebellion and transforms history and legend to the page in the dual volume graphic novel, Boxers & Saints.

The two-book parallel narratives depict the late 19th century-early 20th century uprising in China through the eyes of two young characters, Little Bao and Four Girl/Vibiana. The first, Boxers, follows the journey of Little Bao, who leads a violent rebellion against the “foreign devils.” The second, Saints, tells the tale of Four Girl as she embraces the foreign religion Christianity as it offers her a sense of identity and self-acceptance.

Read on for an exclusive excerpt of the first book, Boxers, as Little Bao learns the “ritual” from Master Big Belly in order to invoke the power of the gods — in a style reminiscent of the power of Grayskull.

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