Wonder Woman Warbringer
by Bardugo, Leigh






Longing to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters, Diana risks exile when she saves Alia, a Warbringer.





LEIGH BARDUGO is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. Visit her online at leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter at @LBardugo. She is the first author in the DC Icons Series, where the DC Comics super hero icons are written by megastar young adult authors. The series also includes Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu, Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas, and Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña.





Wonder Woman's backstory is fairly well-known-Amazon princess, isolated island populated only by women, defender of truth and justice, snappy golden lasso, etc.-but Bardugo breathes zippy new life into the story with a twisty plot, whip-smart characters, and her trademark masterful writing. Diana is eager to prove her valor to the other Amazons on Themyscira, but her chosen act of heroism-­rescuing teenage Alia from a shipwreck outside the boundary waters of the island-wreaks havoc on the island's delicate balance. Of course, that's not all: Alia is a "warbringer," and her mere existence will spark global war unless Diana can intervene. Seamlessly integrating classic Wonder Woman lore with her own updated take, Bardugo fleshes out Diana's backstory and the mythology of Themyscira, adds in sly commentary on feminism and equality, and leavens the package with wry comedy-Diana's dour obliviousness to contemporary culture will make readers guffaw. This will certainly please seasoned fans of Wonder Woman, but with a cinematic plot and a diverse cast of thoughtfully well-­rounded characters, don't be surprised if it garners wider appeal, too. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Combine best-selling, acclaimed Bardugo with one of this summer's most hotly anticipated movies, and you've got a recipe for a blockbuster on your hands. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





DC Comics opens its new line of media tie-in novels with this Wonder Woman origin story.Bardugo introduces readers to Wonder Woman with two alternating perspectives: Diana, princess of Themyscira, and Alia, a 17-year-old New Yorker. While most Amazons are women warriors rewarded with new lives after death, Diana alone is untested, molded from clay, eager to prove herself worthy. Diana's rescue of Alia from a shipwreck forces the princess into exile in order to prevent a foreordained global catastrophe. Alia wonders if her unusually dressed, oddly naïve rescuer is in a cult. Nerdy, orphaned, biracial, and identifying as black, Alia is awkward and mostly friendless despite her family's massive wealth. Rescued from disaster by this bronze-skinned white girl who looks "like a supermodel who moonlighted as a cage fighter," Alia learns her very existence might cause the deaths of millions. With the help of her brother and their two best friends (snarky Brazilian Theo and India n Nim, who's queer, fat, fashionable, and fabulous), Alia accompanies Diana on a quest to end the cycle of death. This will absolutely satisfy pre-existing fans of Wonder Woman, but it also readily stands alone for non-superhero fans (although with the first live-action Wonder Woman film opening two months before the novel's launch, it's likely to contribute to a new fan base for Diana). Cinematic battles and a race against time keep the excitement high, but the focus on girls looking out for each other is what makes this tie-in shine. Crossed fingers for a sequel. (Superhero fantasy. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





You do not enter a race to lose.
 
Diana bounced lightly on her toes at the starting line, her calves taut as bowstrings, her mother’s words reverberating in her ears. A noisy crowd had gathered for the wrestling matches and javelin throws that would mark the start of the Nemeseian Games, but the real event was the footrace, and now the stands were buzzing with word that the queen’s daughter had entered the competition.
 
When Hippolyta had seen Diana amid the runners clustered on the arena sands, she’d displayed no surprise. As was tradition, she’d descended from her viewing platform to wish the athletes luck in their endeavors, sharing a joke here, offering a kind word of encouragement there. She had nodded briefly to Diana, showing her no special favor, but she’d whispered, so low that only her daughter could hear, “You do not enter a race to lose.”
 
Amazons lined the path that led out of the arena, already stamping their feet and chanting for the games to begin.
 
On Diana’s right, Rani flashed her a radiant smile. “Good luck today.” She was always kind, always gracious, and, of course, always victorious.
 
To Diana’s left, Thyra snorted and shook her head. “She’s going to need it.”
 
Diana ignored her. She’d been looking forward to this race for weeks-a trek across the island to retrieve one of the red flags hung beneath the great dome in Bana-Mighdall. In a flat-out sprint, she didn’t have a chance. She still hadn’t come into the fullness of her Amazon strength. You will in time, her mother had promised. But her mother promised a lot of things.
 
This race was different. It required strategy, and Diana was ready. She’d been training in secret, running sprints with Maeve, and plotting a route that had rougher terrain but was definitely a straighter shot to the western tip of the island. She’d even-well, she hadn’t exactly spied. . . . She’d gathered intelligence on the other Amazons in the race. She was still the smallest, and of course the youngest, but she’d shot up in the last year, and she was nearly as tall as Thyra now.
 
I don’t need luck, she told herself. I have a plan. She glanced down the row of Amazons gathered at the starting line like troops readying for war and amended, But a little luck wouldn’t hurt, either. She wanted that laurel crown. It was better than any royal circlet or tiara-an honor that couldn’t be given, that had to be earned.
 
She found Maeve’s red hair and freckled face in the crowd and grinned, trying to project confidence. Maeve returned the smile and gestured with both hands as if she were tamping down the air. She mouthed the words, “Steady on.”
 
Diana rolled her eyes but nodded and tried to slow her breathing. She had a bad habit of coming out too fast and wasting her speed too early.
 
Now she cleared her mind and forced herself to concentrate on the course as Tekmessa walked the line, surveying the runners, jewels glinting in her thick corona of curls, silver bands flashing on her brown arms. She was Hippolyta’s closest advisor, second in rank only to the queen, and she carried herself as if her belted indigo shift were battle armor.
 
“Take it easy, Pyxis,” Tek murmured to Diana as she passed. “Wouldn’t want to see you crack.” Diana heard Thyra snort again, but she refused to flinch at the nickname. You won’t be smirking when I’m on the victors’ podium, she promised.
 
Tek raised her hands for silence and bowed to Hippolyta, who sat between two other members of the Amazon Council in the royal loge-a high platform shaded by a silken overhang dyed in the vibrant red and blue of the queen’s colors. Diana knew that was where her mother wanted her right now, seated beside her, waiting for the start of the games instead of competing. None of that would matter when she won.
 
Hippolyta dipped her chin the barest amount, elegant in her white tunic and riding trousers, a simple circlet resting against her forehead. She looked relaxed, at her ease, as if she might decide to leap down and join the competition at any time, but still every inch the queen.
 
Tek addressed the athletes gathered on the arena sands. “In whose honor do you compete?”
 
“For the glory of the Amazons,” they replied in unison. “For the glory of our queen.” Diana felt her heart beat harder. She’d never said the words before, not as a competitor.
 
“To whom do we give praise each day?” Tek trumpeted.
 
“Hera,” they chorused. “Athena, Demeter, Hestia, Aphrodite, Artemis.” The goddesses who had created Themyscira and gifted it to Hippolyta as a place of refuge.
 
Tek paused, and along the line, Diana heard the whispers of other names: Oya, Durga, Freyja, Mary, Yael. Names once cried out in death, the last prayers of female warriors fallen in battle, the words that had brought them to this island and given them new life as Amazons. Beside Diana, Rani murmured the names of the demon-fighting Matri, the seven mothers, and pressed the rectangular amulet she always wore to her lips.
 
Tek raised a blood-red flag identical to those that would be waiting for the runners in Bana-Mighdall.
 
“May the island guide you to just victory!” she shouted.
 
She dropped the red silk. The crowd roared. The runners surged toward the eastern arch. Like that, the race had begun.
 
Diana and Maeve had anticipated a bottleneck, but Diana still felt a pang of frustration as runners clogged the stone throat of the tunnel, a tangle of white tunics and muscled limbs, footsteps echoing off the stone, all of them trying to get clear of the arena at once. Then they were on the road, sprinting across the island, each runner choosing her own course.
 
You do not enter a race to lose.
 






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