Book Title:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Book Author:
Leigh Bardugo
Book Series:
DC Icons, #1
Page Count:
376
Publishing Date:
August 29th, 2017
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Date Read:
November 2nd, 2017
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

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.

Together.

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.

My Review

I’m somehow getting incredibly lucky with all of the great books that I’ve been reading lately.  To be honest, I hadn’t expected this one to become one of my favorite books, mostly because I really didn’t know much about Wonder Woman going into this – then again, I’ve just recently started falling in love with superheros, plus with how amazingly well this book was written, how could I not love it, right?

While I haven’t read any other books by Leigh Bardugo (yes, I have all of her other books, but I haven’t read them yet.  I know, I must be crazy not to have), I saw nothing but really awesome reviews for this book and I wanted to read it.  While I typically stay away from really hyped up books because I never really love them as much as I hope I will, this is one of those times where I kind of threw all caution to the wind and bought this one, and read it as soon as it came in.

First off, that cover is freaking gorgeous.

Second?  The story is freaking amazing.

This is probably one of the best books that I have ever read, and I loved it so much I actually started reading it again as soon as I finished the first time around.

The origin story created for Wonder Woman in this book was so amazingly done that I honestly can’t imagine not having read this, now.

“You dance differently when you know you won’t live forever.”

Diana is an immortal from the island of Themyscira, where she is part of a women’s only community known as the Amazons.  They are secret from the outside world, and one of the biggest rules that Diana and her sisters and friends are to follow is that no matter what, they may not bring mortals onto the island.  It is a big rule, and Diana is about to break it.

During a race, Diana notices an explosion on a ship on the coast of her island, and finds herself dropping out of the race in order to help survivors – which it turns out, there is only one – Alia.  Alia is a teenage girl who was on board an expedition with some of her peers and her teachers, and Diana brings her back to the island and hides her in a cave while she consults the Oracle about what to do.  In that time, the island starts to suffer the effects of a human being brought onto it, and both Alia and the island (as well as some of the women on the island) begin to fall ill and feel the effects of what Diana has done, even though none of the others are sure what exactly it is that is happening.

“‘Your expedition wasn’t attacked because of your parents’ work.  You are being hunted.’
‘Hunted,’ Alia said flatly.  ‘For my silky pelt?’
‘Because you are haptandra.’
‘Say again?’
‘A Warbringer.'”

When Diana learns what Alia is thanks to the Oracle, she vows to get her off the island and to safety.  Alia is a Warbringer – a powerful person who can cause anger, fighting, and wars to break out, especially if she isn’t “cured” or killed by a certain time – in fact, she can bring about total destruction.  While Alia doesn’t believe this, she entertains the fact that she must accompany Diana to a special spring in Greece and bathe in its waters so that she can be cured.  Yet, when Diana uses her Heartstone to imagine the two of them leaving the island and heading for Greece, she is surprised to find that Alia was thinking of her home in New York, which is where they end up.

From New York, they must try and find their way to Greece in order to help Alia and cure her of the Warbringer destiny she was born with.  When Alia’s brother, Jason, shows up, he isn’t interested in having Alia go to Greece at all, but with the girls’ constant insistance that they go, he finally relents, and together with other friends Theo and Nim, the five of them start off on a trip that will take them to Greece.

“‘We can’t help the way we’re born.  We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves.'”

When the five of them arrive in Greece, they work hard against outside forces to get to the spring, but eventually they discover inside forces and that there is evil among them that is trying to prevent getting Alia to the spring in time to stop all war.

I fell in love with Diana’s character from the very first chapter of this book.  She was dedicated, she was an outcast on her island, and she was loyal to someone she made a promise to, even if there was a risk that she would be exiled from the island that was her home.  Since she lives on an island where there are no outside forms of technology such as cell phones, and she doesn’t understand the humorous meaning behind the term “kick their ass” and instead takes it literally, it’s amazing watching her learn all of these things that we take for granted every single day.  Leigh Bardugo really did a fantastic job writing her character.  The amount of development that Diana goes through in this book is incredible.  It’s not just Diana, either – the other characters in this book change and grow and really make this stand out from other books in its genre for that fact alone, without even taking the amazing world building, story lines, or antagonists into question.

The world building in this book is among the best that I have ever seen in a fantasy novel.  The way the author describes the waves crashing up on the rocks on Diana’s home island of Themyscira, to the way she describes the area in Greece and even how she talks about New York, I have honestly never seen such amazing world building in a novel like this before.  I would recommend this book for the world building alone, if I am being totally sincere.

Even Alia, Jason, Nim, and Theo were all fleshed out and had different personalities that brought so many new things to the story line.  I never once felt bored reading about these characters, and over time, I felt like they became very dear to me as the reader.

I loved the twist at the end – to be honest, I never would have seen that coming and I had no idea it was going to get so dark.  It was a really great and fitting ending to the novel, and I can’t think of a way it could have went any better.

If you are a fan of fantasy, superheroes, or are looking to check out the new series of DC Icons, this is such a great start.  While superhero novels aren’t really my cup of tea (usually), I was so blown out of the water by Wonder Woman: Warbringer that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to pick it up and read it again.  As someone who has never gotten into Wonder Woman, I feel like this novel was a total game changer for me.

5 stars
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16 Responses to Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

  1. I’m a huge Leigh Bardugo fan (Six of Crows was absolutely amazing!) so I am glad that this is just as good as all of her other books. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3 I am so glad you enjoyed this so much. 🙂
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…InvictusMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I wanted to read Six of Crows so much, but I don’t know if I should read the Grisha trilogy before I started that, so I just kept putting it off. I’m going to go back and read the rest of her books now, that’s for sure!

      • They’re not really related at all except for the fact that they’re set in the same world, so it doesn’t really matter what order you read them in. It’s probably nice to read the Grisha trilogy first just so you can have some context to the background of the story, but it’s definitely not essential.
        Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…InvictusMy Profile

        • Kelly says:

          I’ll probably read the Grisha trilogy first then, just because they came first, and I don’t want to miss anything about the world. Thanks so much!

  2. Fantastic to hear that you enjoyed this one so much. I still need to finish her Grisha trilogy, but her Six of Crows duology is one of my favorites. I’m glad to see that she continues to excel when it comes to world-building. Can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the lovely review!

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy reading this one. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the Six of Crows duology so I think it might be something I need to read very soon!

  3. Raven says:

    I’m glad you loved this book! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors! I loved Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows Duology. I haven’t read WWW yet but I’m planning to pick it up pretty soon. Great Review, though! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…Shadow Crown (Shadow Crown #1) By Kristen Martin [Review]My Profile

  4. I really loved this book too and now can’t wait to read more books from this series. I had been a little nervous about the series before, but now I’m completely sold on it.

    • Kelly says:

      I was a bit worried about how much I was going to like this, too – I love anything Marvel related but never really got into the whole DC universe. However, now that I’ve read this, I realize that I’m super eager to read all the books in this series, too. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on this one if you get to read it!

  5. I’m not surprised you loved this one. I haven’t read it yet, but I know Leigh Bardugo is an AMAZING writer. Your review proves to me that I need to read this one!
    Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted…Mini Reviews: The Law of Moses and The Song of David by Amy HarmonMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Yes, you definitely should read this! I can’t compare this book with her other books but this was seriously the best book I’ve read so far this year.

  6. I’ve goooot to get to reading this. I didn’t adore the Wonder Woman movie, but it sure was nice to see a woman front and centre for once — much as I love Captain America a la Chris Evans, there was definitely a gap in my life.
    Nikki @ The Bibliophibian recently posted…Review – The Chocolatier’s WifeMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I thought the Wonder Woman movie was okay, but it was nothing compared to this book. The book had such beautiful detail and the characters were so well thought out – it was amazing. I hope you like this one when you read it!

  7. Ahhh, this makes me so so happy to see! I still have not picked up my copy (and I have two of them) and it’s been driving me crazy. I must make it a priority!
    Sara @ Forever 17 Books recently posted…Review: Begin Again by Mona KastenMy Profile

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