Author // Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date // August 2017
Publisher // Random House
Readership // YA
Genre // Fantasy
Rating // ✭✭✭⭐︎
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.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the much anticipated first release in the DC Icons series published by Harper Collins, telling the origins of some of DC Comics’ most iconic characters. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a delightful look at Diana’s first foray into the world of man.
Riding along on the popularity of the recent Wonder Woman film, Leigh Bardugo’s exploration of Diana’s first adventures beyond the limits of Themyscira are enjoyable, if not overly complicated. This is a much younger Diana from the film, and the origin story is different – for those (like me) who’s main experience of Wonder Woman is the film, it’s important to note that going into the book. There are definite similarities, with both this book and the film pulling from a common canon, but the distinction is still there.
Diana breaks Amazon law when she saves Alia Keralis, who is, unknown to both of them, a Warbringer – a direct descent of Helen of Troy, who’s presence heralds an age of war. Diana’s natural curiosity and her desire to prove herself in battle sees her strike up a deal to protect and save Alia from her fate, forging a number of unlikely alliances along the way.
The story itself is not overly complicated, and is, at times, reasonably predictable. The characters are, for the most part, the highlight of the story. Whilst I found Diana to be likeable, she wasn’t my favourite – she’s very naive and trusting and at times it felt like the potential romantic relationship in this particular story was forced. Towards the end I think Diana found her footing as she finally began to trust herself. Alia was great, a young woman caught between a rock and a hard place with her fate and her family. Nim, Alia’s best friend, was the absolute highlight – a pocket rocket with boundless style and sass that rounded out an, overall, fantastic trio of female characters.
The pacing of the story was, at times, slow, but overall the journal from beginning to end was enjoyable and made for a great alternative origin story for the Princess of Themyscira.
Overall I gave Wonder Woman: Warbringer 3.5 out of 5 stars.