Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Wonder Woman Warbringer

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: DC Icons, #1

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Release Date: August 31st 2017


Four Stars

She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning…

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.

Alia is a Warbringerβ€”a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.

To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“We cannot spend our lives in hiding, wondering what we might accomplish if given the chance. We have to take that chance ourselves.”

After the film earlier this year Wonder Woman: Warbringer gives us another Diana Prince origin story. On the island of Themyscira Diana wants to prove herself a legendary warriors like her sisters did, made from clay Diana feels like she doesn’t belong with the Amazons who died for their place on Themyscira. When Diana sees a ship wreck off the shores she faces a hard choice; let the sea claim its victims, or save the person she can hear screaming, breaking Amazon law and risking exile.

I’d already seen the film before reading this book, and as with anything it’s always best to take the two separately. Despite having the same main character the film and this book are telling two very different origin stories for Diana Prince, and while the character of Diana is similar the stories themselves are very different.

“The whole world loves to tell us what we can’t do, that we aren’t good enough. The people in your own house should be on your side. It’s the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they’re the ones who keep trying.”

Alia is a Warbringer, descendant of Helen of Troy who will bring war and conflict to the world on an unimaginable scale after she turns seventeen, unless she can bath in the spring at Therapne before the sun sets on the first day of Hekatombaion, the first day of Spring However there are plenty of people out there who aren’t willing to give Diana and Alia the chance to reach Therapne, factions who seek to kill the Warbringer before she can turn seventeen and gods who crave the pain, fear and misery the Warbringer will bring to the world.

*Spoilers for Wonder Woman: Warbringer below*

I know I said not to compare the book to the film, and that still stands, but one thing I think the film did better was showing Diana’s personal sacrifice. In the book Diana leaves Themyscira knowing she may face exile if she ever returns, but when she does make her way home again no time has passed for the island. It’s the same night she left and her mother is unaware of Diana’s actions. In my mind it kind of made her journey less because there was never any risk behind it.

*End of spoilers*

Still I really enjoyed this book. It was addictive with a fast-paced story that kept me hooked as Diana, Alia, Theo, Jason and Nim fought their way out of New York and across Greece in their desperate search for the spring at Therapne.

…The Characters

“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.”

Diana grew up on Themyscira, and unlike the other Amazons she has no personal knowledge of the world of men, it also means Diana doesn’t quite fully belong with the other battle-tested Amazons. She wants to prove herself, which is what leads her to save Alia, to follow her back to the world of man and try and end the Warbringer curse. She wants glory the way all her other sisters found it before they died.

At the heart of it Diana is a purely good character. She’s strong and her inexperience in the world of man could be taken as naivety, but she is determined to get Alia to the springs and though she falters at times when it seems like their quest is impossible she never gives up. Despite being away from them Diana has a strong bond with her sisters. She worries for them, not knowing what their fate would be before she left Themyscira, but she knows what path she needs to walk.

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.”

Alia has lived a sheltered life, even before she was the Warbringer she needed to be careful because of what her surname is. Her first taste of freedom from her overprotective brother ended in a ship wreck and a near death experience. As a Warbringer, even before she turned seventeen, Alia was causing conflict between the people around her and after she accepts Diana’s story she is desperate for a way out even if it means her death. She can’t handle the knowledge and guilt that she could be responsible for bringing about a war and countless deaths if she doesn’t reach the springs in time.

“Sure we do,” said Theo, swatting at a branch. “We get to the spring, Alia gets cured. We argue over the best choice for our We Saved The World victory dance.”
“I do enjoy your optimism,” said Diana.
“And I admire your ability to lift a car over your head without breaking a sweat and look fine as hell doing it,” said Theo with a bow.

Alia’s brother Jason, and her two friends Nim and Theo all join Diana and Alia on their quest. The story of Alia being a Warbringer, of Greek Gods and myths being real, is hard to swallow, but Jason, Nim and Theo are determined to keep Alia safe. The three each have a close bond to Alia and even knowing the truth about her, the truth about the constant arguments between them, they still love and accept her.

…The Setting

“Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.”

I am a massive fan of Greek mythology and that was one of the things I loved about this book. I don’t know much about the Amazons or Themyscira, other than what I learnt about in the film, but Wonder Woman: Warbringer expands on the story and gives us more information. Despite Diana only being there for a short while at the beginning of the book there was a lot more depth to Themyscira, more development of the Amazons and their history and culture. Themyscira is paradise for them, a safe haven from the world of man, and in this book it was easier to see that through Diana’s eyes.

It was only after seeing the film earlier this year that I got excited for the release of Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and while it potentially may have been easier to sink into the story if I hadn’t seen the film first I still loved this book. It was everything I expected and hoped for from a Wonder Woman origin story, and reminded me what it is I love about Diana Prince’s character.

What did you think of Wonder Woman: Warbringer? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

30 thoughts on “Wonder Woman: Warbringer

  1. I haven’t read this book, or seen the Wonder Woman movie. I just never was that big of a DC fan and never cared much about their superheroes. So this book is rather conflicting to me, on one hand I want to read it because it’s Leigh Bardugo and on the other I don’t want to, because I’m not really interested in the story. I might watch the movie first to see if I would be interested in reading a book about Wonder Woman.
    I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it. Amazing review, as always! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly I was never a massive fan of DC either, but I saw the film because it was a woman superhero and there are so few of them out there on the big screen and loved it. Then I just had to read the book. πŸ™‚
      I’d definitely recommend it Anna, the film as well because it’s just as amazing. I think seeing the film will be a pretty good indication of whether you’ll enjoy the book as well, so I hope you love it.
      Thanks so much. πŸ™‚ ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In that case I will definitely watch the movie and then decide if I’m going to be reading the book. πŸ™‚ I’m really exited to watch it though, as you said woman superhero movies are rare and this one does look amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to trying this book out (as well as the 3 other books part of this series by the other authors) since for one, it’s Leigh Bardugo!! And two, it’s heroes straight out of DC Comics!! πŸ˜€ It was interesting to see you compare the recent movie with the book, but I do have to mention that the book wasn’t based on the movie, and the movie wasn’t based on this book. I’m curious to see Bardugo’s take on Wonder Woman’s origin story though! Great honest review, Beth! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, I’m not sure when the next book in this series is out but I’m looking forwards to it’s release. πŸ™‚
      Oh yeah I knew the book and the movie weren’t going to be the same, or based on one another, and I did take the book on its own merits rather than comparing it to the movie while reading it. There was just something done in her film which I thought made it a better story than the book, but it wasn’t major, and I still loved Wonder Woman: Warbringer as well.
      Thanks so much Lashaan. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not read it yet, but after reading this post, I will check it out! I saw Wonder Woman in theatres this summer, and I cried during the credits. Not because of how it ended, but because I was so moved by this movie. I wish the movie existed when I was 10, I could have used Wonder Woman as someone to look to. I cried because I am so joyful that girls growing up right now have a big block-buster superhero to pretend to be for Halloween, to dream of at night, and idolize in difficult times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you enjoyed the film I’d definitely recommend picking up the book. I saw the film during the summer (actually I saw it twice that’s how much I loved it) and based on that I knew I needed to check out the book when it was released. πŸ™‚
      Oh I would have loved this film to have existed when I was ten, or to have been made anytime before now to be honest. Still yeah it’s great for little girls to have Wonder Woman now. It’s so important to have that kind of representation in the big screen that Diana Prince brings. πŸ™‚


    1. Yeah I’d love to see more Greek mythology in YA books, it’s one of my favourite things to read and there aren’t many books I can read that take influences from those myths. Oh I really hope you enjoy Wonder Woman, and that you manage to find the time to finish it soon too.
      Thanks Kim. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I sort of skimmed this because I still need to read it myself, but I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it! I have heard a lot of amazing things about it, so I definitely can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I have this as an ebook and it’s one of my most anticipated releases, but I have yet to begin it?? I agree — seeing the movie made me really hyped up for it, since I hadn’t really been into Wonder Woman before that. Super excited to meet all the characters you mentioned, and just read what Leigh has written!! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get around to it soon then, but yeah I have some books like that. I’m highly anticipating their release but when they are it takes me ages to get around to them.
      The movie was great for getting me interested in the book, and oh the characters are amazing. I’m sure you’ll love them May, and the book as well.
      Thanks May, I really hope you love this book. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review, Beth! I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer – I’ve been hearing about this book for…well, weeks and weeks now, and it seems like tons of people love it. I think it’s one of the hype of the moment, ahah. I get it that it has to be weird, trying to get into the book after seeing the movie, though – it’s always a bit confusing for sure ahah πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. πŸ™‚ ❀ Yeah there is plenty of hype surrounding this book. I only really started getting excited for it after I saw the film though. Still I really enjoyed it, and I think based on what I've seen so far plenty of other people have too so it's a book that lives up to the hype in my mind. πŸ™‚
      Ha, yeah if anything I wished I'd done it the other way around – read the book and then seen the film – but it wasn't too bad once I got into the story properly. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Haven’t read it just yet so had to skim, but I’m so glad that you ended up enjoying this one! It’s so hard not to compare the book to film, even if the story is different. So I understand how that might have had some effect on your vision of the book. But it sounds like the movie didn’t detract too much from the literary interpretation of Diana’s story! Can’t wait to read this one. It seems Leigh Bardugo has yet to fail us (which I don’t think is even possible LOL). ❀ Great review, Beth. Hope your next read is just as good, if not better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good plan, this was a book I avoid all reviews for as well and I was glad I did because it made reading it more of an experience. πŸ™‚
      I think the fact that the story was different made it a little harder to get into the book in one way. I kept thinking back to the film even when I knew I shouldn’t. It didn’t take me long to get out of that habit though and I ended up really enjoying the book as well. πŸ™‚
      I really hope you love this book Azia, and yeah you’re right about that. I think no matter what Leigh Bardugo releases it’s bound to be incredible.
      Thanks so much Azia. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah that’s nice. Haven’t read that many standalones, lately. Also, a book of short stories sounds like it would be a great type of book to read while reading another book simultaneously, since it’s easier to stop after each short story and read another book for a bit!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes it’s a nice break to pick up a book like The Language of Thorns, a standalone anthology I guess you could call it. Plus it’s a quick read as well so you’ll be able to get around to Godsgrave quicker than you’d be able to get around to The Language of Thorns if you started Godsgrave first! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  8. For someone who’s a fan of Leigh Bardugo, I’m pretty disappointed with myself that I haven’t read this yet. I have the book though. πŸ˜€

    Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh it took me a little while to get to this one as well, especially considering I thought it would be a book I’d start the second I had it in my hands.
      I hope you enjoy Wonder Woman when you get to it, it’s a book that’s definitely worth the wait.
      Thanks. πŸ™‚


  9. Oh so happy to see you loved this one, Beth! I can see how watching the movie first might have interfered with the experience a little bit at the beginning but thankfully, it didn’t change how you felt about it in the end πŸ™‚
    I’m VERY excited to read this one and I hope I’ll have similar feelings afterwards. It sounds SO good and Bardugo is an absolute Queen so… Nothing much to go wrong here!
    Magnificent review, as always ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, Wonder Woman definitely lived up to my expectations, and they were pretty high to begin with. πŸ™‚ I managed to take the movie and the book separately which helped, it was a little confusing at first because I kept mixing them up a little in my mind. The perils of watching the film and reading the book so close together when they’re two very different stories.
      I really hope you enjoy it in that case Sophie, you’ll have to let me know when you have read it what you thought. You’re right though Leigh Bardugo is amazing, I don’t think it’s possible for her to disappoint us.
      Thanks so much Sophie. πŸ™‚ ❀


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