The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world's greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.
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 Warbringer - 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.
Don't miss the new DC Wonder Woman film coming June 2017.
- ISBN10 014138736X
- ISBN13 9780141387369
- Publish Date 31 August 2017 (first published 29 August 2017)
- Publish Status Out of Print
- Out of Print 7 April 2021
- Publish Country GB
- Imprint Penguin Books Ltd
- Format Hardcover
- Pages 384
- Language English
Odds are pretty good that you’ve heard of Leigh Bardugo’s novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Set in the DC universe, it followed Princess Diana in her early years. It’s part of a series that DC has been working on lately, and it’s been getting a lot of ink.
This is not that novel. But it’s close. This is the graphic novel adaptation of the book. And really, it was just a matter of time before that happened: DC is known for their comics, after all. As such, this graphic novel is perfect for fans of that novel. Or for new fans that never had time to read it in the first place – don’t worry, we won’t judge! Just go ahead and enjoy it.
Back when Diana was still with the Amazons, she desperately longed to be able to prove her worth to them. She didn’t want to just be known as her mother’s daughter. She wanted to make a name for herself. And to prove that she belonged amongst them.
Then one day an unexpected change occurred in her life. She risked her life to save Alia, a girl drowning in the barrier around the Amazons. But Alia is not an ordinary girl, and in order for Diana to make it right, she must set out on an even bigger adventure than she ever imagined.
As a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo’s writing, I was understandably quite excited to see her work get turned into a graphic novel. And obviously it made complete sense that Warbringer should be turned into a graphic novel.
I really enjoyed seeing Diana at a younger point in her life. Her series may be a long-running one, but this is a side of Diana that we don’t get to see too often. So you better believe that I appreciated every moment in this novel.
The whole Warbringer plot was actually quite fascinating. I love how Bardugo was able to weave such a classic bit of lore into something that fit into a Wonder Woman story. I know that this is basically how Wonder Woman works, but I was still impressed with how it was handled here.
There are plenty of twists and turns to appreciate in both the novel and graphic novel version of this tale. Speaking of, I think they did a pretty solid job of porting the entire plot over. Did it lose some detail? Of course, it did. But that’s to be expected with any adaptation. I really do think that Louise Simonson did a decent job of condensing Leigh Bardugo’s novel into this new format.
The artwork behind Wonder Woman: Warbringer was an interesting touch. I loved the stylistic choices that Kit Seaton made in making this graphic novel. It all still read as Diana – but it also was clearly targeting a slightly younger audience. And I sincerely hope that it worked.
Part of me is almost sad that this is one concise graphic novel, instead of an entire series. But as far as complaints go, that’s actually pretty minor. Though I would love to see Leigh Bardugo take over writing for Wonder Woman at some point…
For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
I really enjoyed reading this novel, even though I had some trouble staying IN the story. I liked it, and when I was reading it I enjoyed it.. but it did not really stay in my mind.
But I finished it and liked it. Though it was not extremely special for me.. I liked the MC's good enough, the plot was compelling and some plottwists I did not expect, not much romance, but more firnedship based, which was very refreshing.. But I did not really connect with it ?
So 3.5/4 stars.
"We cannot spend our lives in hiding, wondering what we might accomplish if given the chance. We have to take the chance ourselves." (Diana, Princess of Themiscyra)
I've been a fan of the DC Universe and Wonder Woman ever since I started watching the Justice League animated series when I was 6 years old. 2017 was the year of Wonder Woman. The Wonder Woman movie came out and it was awesome and Wonder Woman: Warbringer, my most anticipated book of 2017, was published afterwards.
The one aspect that I was worried about before reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer was Diana's characterisation. But, I had no reason to worry. Diana is gorgeous, loyal, smart, courageous, brave, stubborn and defiant. Diana is 16 years old in Wonder Woman: Warbringer and there's a part of her that's insecure about who she is and whether she's truly an Amazon. The events that take place in Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a part of Diana's journey that will lead her to becoming the heroic Wonder Woman.
Alia Keralis is a Warbringer - a Daughter of the goddess Nemesis and a descendant of Helen of Troy. While Diana shows more physical strength, Alia's strength is internal. After finding out that Greek mythology is real, that she is a catalyst for wars and apocalypses and that numerous people and gods either want her dead to save the world or alive to destroy it, she still does what she feels is right and doesn't let anyone convince her otherwise.
Wonder Woman is a symbol of feminism and an inspiration to woman and it's so awesome to see girl power in Wonder Woman: Warbringer. There's also strong female friendships, which is rarely seen in YA fiction. It's a breath of fresh air to see women fighting for each other, standing together and supporting each other. It's in the bonds of friendship that are formed between Alia and Diana, the strong friendship between Nim and Alia and the sisterhood of the Amazons.
The secondary characters are diverse and well developed. Jason, Nim and Theo have their own strengths, weaknesses, fears and dreams. I love that we don't only get to see Diana's journey in Wonder Woman: Warbringer but we also see how the people around her develop due to her influence and vice versa.
The plot of Wonder Woman: Warbringer is formulaic. It's basically the hero's quest plot, but I'm a sucker for heroes quests and I was invested in Diana and Alia's journey. I also love the world building and rich descriptions of Themiscyra and the Amazons way of life. However, the one thing that bugs me is that I couldn't believe that Alia, Jason, Nim and Theo have no idea that Diana is an Amazon. If Greek Mythology is real and the Amazon River and the Amazon online store exist, then how can they not figure out what Diana is. My mind would have been screaming, "She's an Amazon!". However, it's kind of explained that Jason knew Diana is an Amazon, but he was pretending not to know. I also guessed the plot twist so I wasn't shocked when it happened. I knew Jason was the bad guy. Aside from the fact that Diana rarely comes out of romances with her heart intact, there was something off about the things that Jason said and the way he acted. Also, he didn't tell anyone about his super strength and enemies were finding Diana and company in the most isolated places.
The first part of Wonder Woman: Warbringer is slow and boring and it's difficult to get into, but after struggling through the first third, the last two thirds are amazing. The last two thirds of Wonder Woman: Warbringer made me bump up my rating from three stars to four stars.
There are plenty things that I can take away from Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but the one message that sticks out for me is that courage and bravery comes in many different shapes and forms.
"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." (Diana, Princess of Themiscyra)
Leigh Bardugo has done it again. I loved her Shadow and Bone Trilogy and I have now loved Wonder Woman!
If you've seen the movie just forget almost everything about it when it comes to this book. Well maybe besides how good Gal Gadot is an amazing Wonder Woman. Okay, Let's get to the actual book now.
Princess Diana is the underdog on the Island she's the Queens daughter and because she hasn't really proven herself like everyone else she feels like she really doesn't fit in. When an accident happens and she hears a human victim shouting for help she goes and helps, but this makes something bad happen on the island and they have to leave immediately which also leads to Diana learning that Alia happens to bring anger and fighting everywhere she goes and that she needs to take Alia to a certain place to stop the human world from going to War.
Thus begins the adventure and a whole cast of characters that bring a lot of feelings in. First, we have Jason who is Alia's brother and is full of secrets and control issues. Then we have Theo who is Jason's best friend and his dad is Jason and Alia's Godfather. Lastly and my most favorite side Character Nim, who is into fashion, Alia's best friend and is just amazing throughout the whole book.
Overall I could not get enough of this book and I am so so glad I read it. I don't know much about Greek Mythology (It's something I want to learn about, but it's also daunting to me, if you have any recommendations please tell me them.) so I did have to stop a few times and look things up just to know more about the story (you don't have to do this I just wanted to learn more while reading). The cross between mythology and the present day world worked wonderfully together and it still all made sense and wasn't confusing at all. I loved how Diana is still very no-nonsense and shuts everyone down who thinks she can't do something. (ex: Jason who is just wow) She is such a good influence on Alia and really helps her through this crazy journey and she also helps out the other side characters get confident as well. This book was just so heartwarming to me and I can't wait to continue to read the DC Icon's series.
I'm really hoping that Wonder Woman's story continues on in another book or she at least makes an appearance in the rest of the companion series.
Blog Twitter Instagram Facebook
Even the way the novel starts, with Wonder Woman (who is simply Diana Price and very much not Wonder Woman), participating in a race in order to prove her worth to the other Amazonians—who consider her not special, but unworthy of her place among them, felt insulting to the spirit of perfected sisterhood and female strength exemplified in the Amazon’s world of Themyscira. And when a scorned Diana was actually told, “Among all of us, only you will never know the pain of death,” I couldn’t believe that the book thought it was a good idea to pit these powerful woman against each other in such an undermining way.
I was even more appalled when, in a complete rip-off of the same movie that the book had just completely insulted the spirit of, Diana spotted a shipwreck—only to break the taboos of an island that doesn’t allow mortals and saved the survivor. This was so much like Steve Trevor’s plane crash in the movie, that I was shocked to read it. Granted, I reasoned there were only so many ways of ending up in Amazonian world of Themyscira, so it was to be expected. But the fact that the rest of the novel wasn’t any better, was not at all what I would’ve predicted from the wildly successful young adult author of the Grisha novels, Leigh Bardugo.
And my disappointment didn’t end there, as before long, I learned that the book wasn’t actually about Diana bringing war to the unjust like the title implied. Instead, Alia Keralis, the young woman whom Diana saved from the shipwreck was the Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy—who carries the death of the world in her bloodline. After this knowledge, I felt very much duped by the title. The Oracle of Themyscira told Diana:
“When a Warbringer is born, destruction is inevitable. One has been the catalyst for every great conflict in the World of Man. With the coming of the new moon, Alia’s powers will reach their apex, and war will come. Unless she dies before then.”
Diana, of course, was not able to let Alia simply die from the wounds of her shipwreck and from the very island of Themyscira poisoning the mortal intruder—even though it would temporarily save the world until a next Warbringer was born. Desperate to save Alia and the world by any means necessary, Diana took up the lasso of truth (just like in the movie) and set out for Therapne, Greece, where the body of Helen rested and the Warbringer could be purified, thus ending the line of Warbringers once and for all. Unfortunately, Alia and Diana got lost in a storm and ended up in Alia’s home of New York City, of all places.
Once again, the book followed the exact same model of the movie, and had Diana humorously bewildered by everything in the modern world. And while these moments were slightly funny, they did not have the humor or charm of the movie, which did it completely better. What really frustrated me at this point, was that the book, which was marketed as a book about female strength and sisterhood, quickly grew into something cheaper, as Alia and Diana met up with Alia’s brother, Jason, and their friends Theo and Nim.
Things became even more bizarre, as even though Diana and Alia were on a strict time limit to save the world (and Alia’s life—as multiple entities were trying to kill her all over the world to prevent its destruction), they ended up going to a ball gown party in New York City. There, typical high school drama ensued, as Diana and Jason squabbled over their different methods of protecting Alia while slow dancing, Alia attempted to get the attention of Theo, and Nim flirted with another girl. I simply did not care about any of this and was frustrated that Diana could even consider flirting with Jason, who wasn’t even half the man Steve Trevor was. As I read, I continually asked myself how anyone could think this kind of plotline was a good or even remotely interesting idea for Wonder Woman?
Things got slightly better when the gang, who the author tried so hard to make edgy and diverse that it felt like she had a young adult diversity checklist, left the party after, obviously, an attempt on Alia’s life was made and Diana’s powers were revealed and they finally left for Greece. Though even that excitement was short-lived as more time was spent bonding among one another over teenage strife and romantic feelings, which never even felt authentic in the first place. It was all so cheesy and obvious—Jason and Diana pairing off, Theo finally recognizing Alia’s longtime feelings, and Nim realizing that she didn’t really hate Theo at all—that it made me want to gag. It was then, that I really gave up on the book ever getting better and started to skim through the rest of the book.
There were brief moments of reprieve from the edgy sitcom when the very gods of war and chaos, Phobos Deimos, and Eris tried to stop the crew from reaching Helen’s resting place, but there was not nearly enough time spent on them to make the book worth reading. And when a traitor in their midst was discovered in a last ditch attempt to again pull at the reader’s heartstrings or to make the teenagers seem even more conflicted, it was so predictable that I could’ve laughed. When the drama was over and the battles were won, Theo and Nim were predictably resurrected, and Alia and the world were saved, the teenagers’ lives went back to normal and Diana went back home to Themyscira and, of course, the Amazons conveniently had no idea that she even went missing.
When the Amazonians had no idea that Diana even accomplished any of this, I felt that the entire book really was a waste. I never really understood why so much of the movie was rehashed, why so much time was spent on people who were not Diana and making them diverse—black brothers and sisters, a fashion designing closeted gay Indian, and a Spanish hacker with daddy issues, when the focus could have been on the interesting bloodline of the Warbringer or the Greek mythology. I’m all for diversity and complex characters, but it wasn’t done in a way that ever felt natural or realistic. Though a victory for acceptance, it certainly wasn’t one for writing. And finally, I also couldn’t comprehend how this book supposedly took place before the events of the movie, but was also somehow in the modern world and not World War II, but Diana was also younger than the events of the movie.
The bottom line was that this book was definitely not for me, a twenty something fan of Wonder Woman and I wouldn’t recommend it to fans of Wonder Woman or even Leigh Bardugo’s other books. I felt duped by the title and the blurb on the back of the book from the very beginning, and even considered trading it in or donating it to the library. Perhaps this book would be better marketed to a younger audience, such as middle graders, who might better enjoy the simple writing and predictable events and romances.
Book Review Policy
Connect with Me:
This story was nothing short of a wondrous tale that pulled me in multiple directions. The plot twists that took place were nothing like I expected and at times simply shocked me. I loved the blending of the present with the Greek mythology and with the different deities having a presence of their own. Simply marvelous! Overall, Wonder Woman: Warbringer was everything that I expected it to be and then more.
I love Leigh’s writing in her fantasy series and the Grishaverse she created. I was really curious about how it would be to have her write something a little more contemporary. Although Wonder Woman is obviously Superhero realm, it still occurs in the real world. I felt like she did not miss a beat. Her writing was flawless and I love the way that she can keep a story moving. The continuity and pacing flowed very easily.
I thought the way this story was slipped into the Wonder Woman cannon was extremely clever. It fit into the universe but also managed to be it’s own standalone story. I loved the plot and the inclusion of the character of Warbringer. I felt invested in the cast of characters, which of course caused more emotional damage to me when anything happened to them. It definitely had the action and adventure you would expect from something involving a Superhero. I don’t want to give anything away on it because I loved going into it not knowing what to expect and coming out the other side completely in love with the book.
We also had some great settings and lore to add to my overall image of the world. It was great to spend some time on Themyscira. Getting to know other Amazons besides Diana. Also having a little bit of her own origin story. It gave so much more to knowing about Diana and her character.
So as a Wonder Woman fan, I loved the book. I would definitely recommend it to other Wonder Woman fans. It doesn’t matter if you have been following her from the beginning or just recently fell into her story. I think this is a book to be enjoyed by everyone.