Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

(Image: DC Comics, Wikimedia Commons

Anushka Kale

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a fantasy/adventure novel by New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. This novel is a rendition of the original Wonder Woman story, and gives readers more background information on Diana, Themyscira (the island where she comes from), and the person she was before she became Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is part of Leigh Bardugo’s DC Icons series.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer starts out with Diana participating in a running race on her home island of Themyscira, against her Amazon sisters. Diana is the only one on the island who was not born in the mortal world. Instead, she was constructed from the Earth by her mother, Hippolyta. As a result of this, she is often the subject of teasing and ridicule from her sisters, who say that she isn’t a true Amazon. During the race, Diana witnesses a ship explosion and decides to abandon the race to save the mortal girl trapped inside. When the girl’s arrival prompts conflict and sickness to occur on Themyscira, Diana consults the Oracle, a psychic figure on the island, and learns that the girl is named Alia and is a Warbringer, meaning she is a direct descendant of Helen of Troy. If the Warbringer isn’t killed, she could bring potential war and destruction to the world. The Oracle tells Diana that Alia must bathe in the springs of Therapne, Greece in the mortal world, in order to stop the line of Warbringers forever. 

I was able to get hooked into this book very quickly due to the fact that I was already familiar with the story of Wonder Woman. My favorite part of this book was Diana’s personality. She is spunky, intelligent and extremely stubborn when it comes to protecting the people she cares about. One quote that stood out to me was when Diana was talking to Jason, Alia’s brother and said, “I think you’ve grown too used to people saying yes to you.” Jason responds saying, “Have I?”, to which Diana says, “But you have no idea how much I enjoy saying no.” I also thought it was interesting that everything in the normal world is completely foreign to Diana, as Themyscira have no contact with the outside world. For example, Diana was continually surprised by things in the mortal world, and Alia and her friends were continually surprised by Diana’s unique abilities such as fighting, running and jumping at lengths that would be typically impossible. I find Diana to be one of the most complex characters in the story, and I wish that more chapters were written from her perspective. 

This book was told from many points of view including Alia, Diana and all Alia’s friends, who accompany the duo on the expedition to Greece. I enjoyed this, because it allowed me to see what each character was thinking, especially when they didn’t share those thoughts aloud. 

The author did a great job of making each character different, but still making them all compatible and willing to work together. I have read several of Bardugo’s books up to this point, and I have loved them all. In every one, she is so descriptive, and it’s clear that she puts a lot of thought and consideration into each character and how she wants the story to play out.  Also, I liked that the author gives her characters human emotions and feelings even with their superpowers and unrealistic abilities. Den of Geek book review says, “Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a fast-paced read with plenty of action to keep you invested in the story. Better yet, Bardugo’s characterization elevates it above the usual superhero novels that often forget to humanize it’s superpowered characters.” In conclusion, this novel is an amazing read for Wonder Woman and fantasy fans. I would definitely recommend reading this book or any other books by Leigh Bardugo.