Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the author of Six of Crows, which was published in 2015. This origin story on Wonder Woman holds up better than that earlier book in many ways. Some of that credit may go to Charles Moulton, who wrote such an enduring character for DC comics, but Bardugo has added some interesting spins of her own on the story making the book unique fun.

As with the original story, Wonder Woman’s true name is Princess Diana of ¬†Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta. As this story opens Diana is still a teen on Themyscira, the island belonging to the Amazons. These are the warrior women with supernatural powers who hail from different continents. The island has been hidden from the outside world and strangers are forbidden from entering this all-woman world. They can live nearly forever unless killed in battle, and the pain of one is experienced by all.

While running a race, Diana sees a shipwrecked yacht outside the island’s barrier and sees a young girl floating in the sea. Breaking the rules of the island she dives into the ocean and brings the girl back to the island, hiding her in a cave so that her mother and others will not know.

The girl is Alia Keralis and unfortunately has some powers of her own. Though only in her early teens she is a Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy whose presence causes conflict and who is destined to inspire a world war. She is also the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur. Diana learns from the sybil that the only hope for the world is to take Alia to a magic spring near Sparta.

Diana runs away from Themyscira intending to go to Greece. Instead, because of the strong desires of Alia to go home to New York that’s where they end up. Both are dressed in unusual ways, Alia still in the clothes she was saved in and Diana wearing the island’s traditional leather two piece, and it’s a charming turn in the book for Diana to discover the big city and to see men for the first time in her life.

Eventually they make their way to Greece on a private jet only to discover on the way that there are forces who want the Warbringer to succeed, in part because of the profits of war.

The book sparkles with humor and also offers quite a few vivid action sequences. While ostensibly a young adult book it can be a fun book for any fan of Wonder Woman or superheroes in general.