Book Review: Wonder Woman Warbringer
Book reviews

Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

Release date: 28 August 2017
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4 stars

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1) blurb:

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.

Alia Keralis just wants a chance 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 are to have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (WW:W) marks the start of the DC Icons books, which are essentially somewhere between origins stories and what we generally know of them. Batman’s is probably the best example: We all know what happened to Bruce as a child (in case you were raised by wolves living under a rock, his parents were shot dead in front of him in Gotham), and then later as an adult he becomes Batman. But what about all those in-between teenage years? These are the books that fill in those missing gaps. Oh, and they’re not canon, so don’t get all fangirl/boy/person on me either.

Now we have that sorted, in WW:W Diana is a teen who is trying to prove to her mother that she’s good enough to be an Amazon. WE ALL know that there’s a specific reason that Hippolyta (Diana’s mother) wants to keep her safe, but of course, Diana doesn’t know this yet. Surrounded by warrior women, Diana is the only one was born on Themyscira – the only one who didn’t die in battle to earn their place on the island. It certainly doesn’t help that her mother tries to coddle her, and the advisor calls her ‘Pyxis’, an insult that Diana interprets as ‘small and breakable’.

The three primary characters in this are Diana (obvs), Alia, and Alia’s brother Jason.

Diana is cool. I don’t mean that she’s super hip, because she most certainly isn’t (although it’s not like she’s dorky either). What I mean is that it’s super awesome to see half-god, half-amazon, full bad-ass Diana Prince, soon to be Wonder Woman, as a ‘normal’ teen who second guesses herself and is impulsive and acting like teens the whole world over. Living on the mythical island of Themyscira doesn’t take that part of being a teen away from you.

Alia is … interesting. I didn’t really trust her to begin with. I thought she was too naive and implausible, and now I can’t remember what changed my mind about her (because I read this like a year ago), but I do recall that she said or did something that flipped that switch for me. She probably told her brother to get lost.

Let’s talk about Jason. Actually, let’s not talk about Jason. My parents taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, then you shouldn’t say anything at all… So, Jason is Alia’s brother. And he’s a dick. (Ooops! What can I say? It just happened!)

I really liked how Bardugo melded the two worlds together. Time passes differently on Themyscira (I’m 95% sure that is canon), but I thought it was done well. I also really liked the gods when they appeared. It’s funny how everyone always says that they don’t mess with the lives of mortals… yet, they’re always there meddling.

If you like any type of superhero tv show or movie, then I recommend this for you. I’m not even going to say that it’s purely a DC thing, because I’m a Marvel girl at heart (and quite openly). If you like Bardugo, I’d say give it a go, but I’m not guaranteeing anything on that front.

Until next time, happy reading! ??


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