We Are All (and we should be) Amazons!
To say that Diana Prince, or you may know her as Wonder Woman, is having a moment would be an understatement. The Wonder Woman stand-alone film broke records and stole hearts this summer finally giving a new generation a chance to fall in love with this Amazon Princess. And Diana continues to shine in the newly released novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer, written by New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.
Warbringer is the first release in the Random House/DC Entertainment team up that is the DC Icons YA series which is slated to release four titles focusing on the stories of superheroes before we knew them as superheroes. The series will feature Wonder Woman, Batman (Batman: Nightwalker by Maria Lu is slated for release in January 2018), Superman, and Catwoman. Though the series is being released as YA books, Random House posted on their site that the books are for ages 12 to 99 – I mean how cute is that! And if Warbringer is setting a precedent for the series, the books maybe featuring teenagers but are not written as if they are dumbing things down. DC Icons YA series is breathing a breath of fresh air into otherwise dark characters.
Now let’s chat about Warbringer itself. This review could be very simple – I loved it, you will love it, and Diana Prince is the superhero we all need right now. Though that review would not do this novel justice because this is so much more than just a Wonder Woman story. This is another origin story – and no it does not link to the film – but it is interesting to see Diana as a teenage girl being engulfed into the modern world. Though Diana is not as naive, she is well educated about the world. Literally, the only thing I can criticize about the book – and really this is a double edge sword – is that this does not feel like a YA book. The characters – ALL the characters – are so well developed that they seem so much older than teenagers, the oldest character is 21! This works for that age group of 12-99, so I mean is this really a criticism?
Anywho, let’s break down why the novel brings depth to the superhero genre!
Two Strong Young Women Telling Their Stories
While I would be lying if I said that Diana was not the heart of this book, readers were able to get a second voice telling this tale. Warbringer is told from the point of view of Diana and Alia Keralis. Alia is a mortal who Diana saves and then a bunch of crazy stuff happens!
Alia, much like Diana, is a strong opinionated young woman who is looking to find herself, experience acceptance from her family, learn to understand her place in the world, and gain independence and confidence to believe in herself. To say that these two women have layers and depth would be an understatement. And how they come together to be “sister in battle,” goes beyond girl power and show genuine respect and love for one another.
Come for Diana, stay for Alia and Diana, live for Nim!
So Much Mythology
The origin story of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is soaked in ancient Greek mythology, Warbringer brings the legends of Goddess to the next level. Diana embarks on a mission to stop the bloodline of Helen of Troy from bringing a war to the World of Men.
Though the book does not go too deep into the mythology to lose people that simply don’t care, it does add an extra layer to the story that is engaging and interesting.
Getting to Know Themyscira
While we get a taste of Themyscira in the Wonder Woman film, in Warbringer we spend a good time on the island and understanding how it all works. Even though it seems like there is some drama on the island, I would still take living there over the World of Men!
Now, I am pretty new to the Wonder Woman storyline so I am sure others have covered the origin story of Themyscira but I found the time the novel spent on the island interesting and informative. The island is made up of warrior goddesses, who were chosen to join the island because they whispered, prayed, screamed to a goddess while dying – most likely in battle – is a chilling beautiful story!
Also spending time in the island helps us learn why Diana has the desire to prove herself. Like everyone in a big family (or even small) you feel like you are a battle to show you are worthy or to gain some kind of respect.
Know Your Worth!
Though in the end, the only person you have to prove your worth to is yourself. This is true for both Diana and Alia who goes through a lot in a short about of time and are betrayed by people they trusted.
The important thing is that though we may want the world to know that we are a hero, it is more important to know who you are and what you are capable of on your own.
To quote another great woman, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
I mean I could have saved a lot of time and said that quote perfectly sums up this novel!
“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.”
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is available wherever you get your books!