Wonder Woman: Warbringer
by Leigh Bardugo
read in January 2018
This is a spoiler-free review!
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.
January 2018 was not a good reading month for me. Multiple books I thought I’d love, ended up being huge disappointments. Sadly, Wonder Woman: Warbringer was one of those books.
Just like those other disappointing reads, this wasn’t a bad book, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. Nearly every single one of my Goodreads friends rated this four stars or more. Furthermore, I love DC, so I had absolutely expected to love this book.
One of the main reasons why I love DC is it’s grittiness. Wonder Woman: Warbringer, however, easily could have been written by Rick Riordan. Which is not at all an insult, it just isn’t what I wanted and had expected. I would’ve liked to see a more mature Diana Prince – she’s about seventeen yeas old in this book – but I don’t think that’s my problem. Leigh Bardugo wrote Six of Crows which is a YA fantasy as well, but isn’t as plain and predictable this one.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is an origin story. Diana Prince is never really Wonder Woman in this book. I don’t really understand why there were multiple point-of-views. The chapters were rather long, which didn’t make listening to this audiobook very enjoyable.
Clearly I was disappointed, but it wasn’t all bad. I liked that Diana saved a girl instead of a man, there were plenty of female friendships and the commentary on racial profiling was amazing. Alia Keralis – our other protagonist – and her brother are biracial (their mother is black, their father Greek) and her best friend is Indian-American, fat and queer.
content and trigger warning for: drowning, deathly car accident, sexual embarrassment, mentions of racial profiling, ableist language, gun violence, injuries, death and murder
Sadly, Wonder Woman: Warbringer wasn’t very memorable. Though I was incredibly excited when I learnt about these DC Icons books, my expectations have been lowered. I would especially recommend this novel to younger readers who enjoy fantasies and to fans of modern retellings of Greek mythology.
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