Morning mortals! Today’s review is me smashing another Want to Read Wednesday (ok is it still smashing if it is months after I originally posted it? More like lightly crumpling…). But yes, those following this blog will know that Leigh Bardugo quickly became one of my favourite authors this year and so I couldn’t neglect her take on Wonder Woman (incidentally one of my favourite films of the year – except for the last 20 minutes). Here are my thoughts on the first book in the DC icons series.
Daughter 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.
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.
Where to start with this book? Well for all my fellow mythology nerds out there – this book will surely tickle your fancy. It’s not so ‘in-your-face’ as Rick Riordan, but the references are there and the research has certainly been done. It uses it sparingly, however, without ever feeling like it’s trying to smack you in the face with some knowledge. You won’t leave this book with a PHD in Greek literature, but you’ll certainly learn something.
This is an origin story, but it’s not necessarily a Superhero origin story, it’s kind of a prequel to the origin – if that makes sense? Diana doesn’t don sparkly spandex and fight of giant robots in this one for the good of all mankind. That isn’t to say she isn’t a complete and utter badass and that the fate of the world isn’t at stake. In fact it’s quite the opposite. But this book gets away from the idea of heroism and the classic ‘superhero from another world’ vibe and instead focuses on the value and the story of individuals. That’s both Diana and the companions she picks up on the way. It’s the perfect thing for a book to do, the ideal way to tell the stories that for so long have been told in visual media (graphic novels, comics, films and TV).
This is a well thought out novel from start to finish. It has peaks and troughs of action but it’s never boring. The villains are at the same time big and bold and terrifyingly subtle. The heroes are passionate but at the same time still finding their feet. It has all the great elements of superhero stories but with the added depth of Leigh Bardugo’s writing. I am so excited to see where this series goes in the future – Catwoman, Batman and Superman (please do more female heroes DC please).
My rating: 5/5 stars
I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.
What say you? Did you like this book? How did you think it compared to other Leigh Bardugo books? Let me know in the comments!