Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review // Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh BardugoDaughter 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.

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 29th, 2017
RATING: 
⭐⭐⭐½

“Sisters 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.”

Contrary to my usual mode of behaviour, I actually watched the movie Wonder Woman before reading this book, since the movie release preceded the book publication, and therefore had certain expectations and assumptions about it—and, to my surprise, the story Leigh Bardugo told differed from the story in the movie quite a bit.

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While the romantic relationship between a woman and a man—Diana and Trevor—holds a considerable significance in the film version, Wonder Woman: Warbringer puts the friendship between two girls, Diana and Alia, at its heart, which I appreciated a lot.

Leigh Bardugo creates a story about friendship, trust, bravery, and loyalty, and touches upon various relevant issues such as racism, and feminism, as well as shows us what it truly means to be bold; in more ways than one.

“It’s the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they’re the ones who keep trying.”

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I love reading about strong heroines in books, but Diana wasn’t merely reduced to her strength, she was still real. All too often, in an attempt to create strong female characters, “strong” is equated with having a tough, cold, and unyielding personality, and many character traits, especially empathy, get lost in the process, but that’s not the case here. Diana’s not only strong in the physical sense; she’s quick-witted, sensitive, and kind-hearted.

I only wish the story itself could have been more riveting, and managed to engage me more. I didn’t enjoy the romantic part (if you can call it that) of the story very much, and the pacing felt a bit off, which resulted in parts of the story dragging, and others feeling rushed, as well as side characters that lacked depth, because there simply wasn’t enough time to explore their personality.

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“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.”

All in all, I still found Wonder Woman: Warbringer to be an entertaining read, but I guess a little disappointment remains—probably partly owing to the fact that I love everything Leigh Bardugo has written so far, and expected to be absolutely amazed by this book.

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Have you read this book, or have you seen the movie?
Which one did you like more?
Do you prefer to read about romances or friendships in books?

xx, Lily

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60 thoughts on “Book Review // Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo”

  1. i love this review sm!!!!! i 100% agree that strong should not only mean tough and/or cold,,,i’m so glad the MC has ***many*** traits that make her lovable. c:
    AND FRIENDSHIP AT ITS HEART???????
    this makes me so happy ❤ ❤
    amazing review lilyyyyy!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve watched the movie and I really enjoyed it. It had its flaws but was overall good. I prefer books about friendships, you know friends watching each others backs and caring about each other, bonus point is it’s between girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have seen the movie and I am quite afraid to touch the book yet. Seeing mix reviews about it sends me to jitters!

    Sad to see you a bit disappointed with it though. Are you going to read the DC Icon series? Or have you read all released books?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally relate to this, I’ve been procrastinating on reading so many books because I’m too afraid I won’t love them.

      I’ve read Batman (book #2 in the DC Icons series) already, and I found it disappointing as well. 😦 I’m not sure whether I’ll read Catwoman yet, though. What about you?

      Like

  4. I think I heard somewhere that Leigh Bardugo was given constraints (by DC, I guess?) so that was why it felt somewhat shallow compared to her other books. But I’m super glad to hear Diana’s such a well-rounded female character. It always makes me happy to see “strength” represented in different forms. Loved the review, Lily! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. this book has been on my tbr for a million jillion years and i’ve heard mixed things……glad 2 know it’s at least entertaining if not a modern masterpiece. (along the lines of, perhaps, six of crows.) great review b! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. i mean i loved six of crows when i read it, but also when i read six of crows i was not v critical so i am not confident in that opinion

        oh and it’s “b” as in “bb” as in “affectionate name type of deal”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have both seen the movie and read the book and agree with you – those are sort of two different stories. I read the book before I saw the movie and I must admit I preferred the book’s story.

    I agree that the romance part was a bit off (and maybe even unnecessary) and the pacing was a bit uneven as well. I loved the friendship aspect to bits and also the entire “Diana gets to see human world and is not impressed” humorous parts as well.

    Great review! 👌👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was confused for a second, because Diana is a teen in the book, but a woman in the movie? They’re really two completely different retellings of the story.

      The romance was definitely unnecessary, and I’m glad we agree on the pacing. & yess, the humor was great in places. 🙂

      Thank you so much, Vera! 🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt more or less the same way, especially about the romantic part – I didn’t enjoy it either. Knowing the ending, I’m not even sure we were supposed to enjoy it, but if that’s the case, then it feels unnecessary. On the other hand, I loved all the friendships. It wasn’t a bad book, but it’s my least favorite between the ones Leigh Bardugo has written.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone in not enjoying the romance! I would have loved for Leigh to make us fall in love with the pairing though, it would have made the “plot twist” much more shocking.

      It’s definitely my least favorite book by Leigh Bardugo as well—which one is your favorite?

      Thank you, Acqua! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a great review! I haven’t read the book or even seen the movie (I know…who am I??), but I enjoyed reading this nonetheless. 😉 I love when friendship is put over romance (kind of like in Frozen, where the sisterly love was the focus), so I think I’d like that aspect of this book if I ever read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m definitely thinking about reading this, although very commercial fiction like this doesn’t always end well with me. I’m glad you liked parts of it, and if I get the chance, I think I’ll pick it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. great review, lily!! i totally agree w u on how diana is not only physically strong, but also mentally, in so many different ways. it was amazing to read abt a heroine like that ngl!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. i’ll think on that and try to get back to u!! :>>

        well it’s better now that im home and took a nap after work asjdhajsd,,,,,,, hope yours was better tbh!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kayla! I’m curious how you’ll like it & I’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts. 🙂

      I like both, but great portrayals of friendships have a special place in my heart, if only because they’re much rarer in books. ✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok… So, my reason for not liking the movie may be stupid. What really pissed me off was the scene where she traipses into the battle where the men have been dying in the trenches for years, she walks in, walks across no man’s land and stops the battle in all of 10 minutes… Those guys were fighting and dying for years and she waltzes in and everyone’s chanting HER NAME?! It hurt my soul a little. I know. Stupid. But, it pissed me off for the whole movie! Lol!

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          1. I’m sure a lot of people did! I’m positive that I’m the odd one out. I just couldn’t help feeling for those guys who were putting their lives on the line and Wonder Woman comes in and totally steals their thunder! I mean, it’s good that she stopped the battle, obviously, but when the people of the town were chanting her name she could have been a bit more humble and told them they should really be thanking those who fought for the years prior! It’s not like she was really in any peril!

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            1. I think it all comes down to a matter of interpretation, because I didn’t see it as Diana stealing their thunder at all, but rather that the battle was at a standstill, because both sides were equally “strong”, and she was the spark that tipped the scales in one side’s favor.

              As for her being more humble, I don’t remember exactly how that scene afterwards played out, but I think it’s great that she is proud of what she has accomplished, and accepts the accolades (even if she wasn’t “really in any peril”), because girls tend to be taught to be modest, and women are often disliked for being proud (and we also say things like “I couldn’t have done it without [X, Y, Z]’s help” more often, as a result), whereas men in the same situations would be lauded, and even if they boasted about their accomplishments, rather be admired as being powerful, than told to be “more humble”.

              Liked by 1 person

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