When I heard there was a new Wonder Woman novel coming out and it was by Leigh Bardugo, you’d better believe I was all over that! I absolutely loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and I knew Bardugo would do Diana justice.
And she did not disappoint.
The book starts with Diana saving a human from a shipwreck and bringing her onto Themyscira, which she knows she’s not supposed to do, but she can’t seem to help herself. When her best friend falls ill and the island starts experiencing earthquakes (neither of which has ever happened before on the island), Diana’s afraid it may have something to do with the human she brought to the island.
Diana seeks out the Oracle, who tells her the human is, in fact, the reason for the disasters striking the island, but Diana doesn’t have to do anything to fix it. Some lives will be lost in the disasters, but the island is stronger than the girl and will eventually kill her. Diana refuses that option and specifically asks the Oracle how she can save everyone.
Then the Oracle explains the girl is a Warbringer, meaning she’s descended from Helen of Troy and her mere presence on earth is enough to ignite world wars, especially as she draws closer to her 17th birthday. One way to stop the escalation is if the girl dies, which is just a temporary fix because eventually another Warbringer will be born and chaos will reign again.
The other alternative is to make sure the girl bathes in the waters of the spring where Helen of Troy was laid to rest, and she must do so before Hekatombaion, the first new moon after the summer solstice. That makes up Diana’s mind to bring the girl to Greece.
Diana quickly assembles some things, including her famous bracelets and lasso, and a heartstone that will help them get to and from the island. She also manages to assemble a raft and get the girl (her name is Alia) outside the boundary of the mystical island. They use the heartstone together, but Alia’s will must have been stronger than Diana’s because, instead of Greece, they end up in New York City.
Alia is an orphan whose parents were wealthy biologists. Ever since the accident that killed her parents, Alia’s older brother, Jason, has taken care of both of them and he’s a super paranoid control freak who’s constantly afraid someone will try to hurt his little sister. Turns out his paranoia is justified since they’re pretty sure the explosion on the boat wasn’t an accident.
Diana doesn’t want Alia contacting her brother, but while she can’t deny that Diana saved her life, Alia is less than convinced that this super strong giant from what Alia calls Cult Island really knows what’s best for her. So Alia plays along with Diana, but sneaks a phone into her bag when raiding one of the emergency supply spots her brother has hidden about the city. The phone has a tracker in it so Jason soon comes to them.
When they explain about the Warbringer stuff, Alia doesn’t expect her brother to believe a word, but he’s already familiar with the story because there are reports that correspond to Diana’s story in some of the files their parents left behind. Turns out they knew about Alia being a Warbringer and they were looking for a way to fix it before they died. Jason said he never gave it much thought until his little sister showed up with an Amazon talking about the Warbringer and Hekatombaion.
Jason agrees to help them get to the spring, figuring it can’t hurt to indulge his sister and her new protector for a few days, but they’re constantly attacked by people trying to kill the Warbringer in order to avoid WWIII. The book is full of cliffhangers and surprising twists I never saw coming. The characters are great and super inclusive to boot: Alia and Jason are black, Alia’s crush is Hispanic, and her best friend is a chubby, Indian lesbian with a fierce attitude.
I loved everything about this book.
What did you guys read this week? Any other highly anticipated new releases?