While I’m a big fan of Leigh Bardugo, I’m not such a huge fan of superhero stories. Thus, I was really curious to see what I’d think of Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Long story short, I enjoyed it and think it will appeal to many kinds of readers.
Check out my review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer below!
by Leigh Bardugo
Published on August 29, 2017 by Random House
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. 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, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
If you’ve read other books by Leigh Bardugo, you know that she’s a master of world building and characterization. So I was curious to see what she would do to put her own stamp on a story world and a character created by someone else.
Going into this, I also knew only a few aspects of the Wonder Woman backstory – the island of Amazons, the bullet-deflecting bracelets, the lasso. After reading this book and doing a little Googling, it seems to me that this book takes that backstory and builds on it in a way that should please DC fans, those who love Greek mythology, and anyone who likes an entertaining read.
Using Helen of Troy and the whole “warbringer” theme felt like an interesting way to keep the story both female-centered (yay!) and true to Wonder Woman’s Greco-Roman roots. But Wonder Woman: Warbringer also includes some new characters, a diverse group of kids who band together to defeat a common enemy.
I’ve always loved the way Leigh Bardugo’s characters can crack me up in the middle of a story that is fraught with danger, and loved the fact that humor is also found in WW:W. In the story, Diana has to leave Themyscira and head to New York, creating some very funny fish-out-of-water moments. The above mentioned crew of characters is also pretty wise-crack-y as they go about saving the world.
This book wasn’t 100% perfect for me. I have no problem with a book with no romance. But if there is going to be romance, I want it to be good. WW:W had one flirtation that got weird and another romance that felt hinted-at but unresolved. In addition, I feel like this story didn’t have as nearly strong an emotional core as the Grisha books.
But there’s one thing this book definitely was: fun. It was really fun to read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that blend a lot of action and humor.
This book is the first in a planned DC Icons series. Given my iffiness with superhero stories, I’ll have to take each of these on a case-by-case basis, but given the authors involved (future books will be written by Marie Lu and Sarah J. Maas) I very well may be learning more superhero lore.