Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read! Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a classic coming-of-age story that blends mythology with modern warfare.
Although Warbringer feels like a tie-in to the recent blockbuster film by Patty Jenkins, it is a stand-alone story, with notable differences such as the time period and some of the mythology surrounding the Amazons. The book is strong and can stand on its own two legs, but for the first 100 pages I felt slightly removed because I could not help but constantly compare the book to the film. Once the similarities between the book and film diverged enough, I was able to really get into the story and forget about the film! For those of you who have yet to see the movie, you will love this book. For those of you who loved the movie, you will also love this book, but the similarities in the beginning may be a bit distracting.
This was my first Leigh Bardugo book, and I am in love with her writing! I cannot wait to read the rest of her books! Leigh Bardugo is a dialogue wizard! So much of her world building and character development occurs through her dialogue, which makes for a quick read.
I will admit that I was a little disappointed that Warbringer did not feature a gay romance for Diana. When the book opened with the arrival of Alia, a Greek/African-American girl, on Themyscira instead of army captain Steve Trevor, I was excited and convinced that Diana would finally have an epic lesbian romance! Instead, Bardugo focused on the power of female friendships. This is an important literary theme and I was happy to see it, but I just want to see Diana have an epic romance with another woman. *Sigh* Maybe that will happen, one day.
The strength and importance of female friendships is a major theme in Warbringer, as is friendship in general. Beyond Diana and Alia’s friendship, we also get to see the friendships between Alia’s childhood friends, Nim and Theo, as well as Alia’s brother, Jason. All four of these characters are imbued with unique characteristics that made them interesting alone and beyond their connection to Diana. Warbringer is just as much about the other characters as it is about Diana Prince. With superhero stories, I almost always feel like every other character exists in relation to the superhero, revolving around them and having no real individuality. But that’s just not the case here. Each character is important and memorable.
It also helps that these characters are notably diverse. Alia and her brother are Greek/African-American and identify as black, Theo is Brazilian, and Nim is Indian. I cannot stress enough the importance that media, especially media targeted at young adults, should reflect the diversity of our world. Bardugo’s characters give us that diversity in addition to creating truly lovable characters. (Raise your hand if Nim was your favorite too!)
Ultimately, Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a fast-paced read with plenty of action to keep you invested in the story. The ending ties things up nicely, but it leaves us with the suggestion that there could be more Wonder Woman books in the future. I can only hope for more books and that Leigh Bardugo is involved.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books (August 28, 2017)
Genre: Fantasy, Superhero, Young Adult, Magic, Teen, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Graphic Novels & Comics, Comic Books
Read… on the bus and train while… fending off the damp Seattle winter.
Purchase your copy here.
Author: Leigh Bardugo