Wonder Woman: War Bringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman

“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.” 

This book was so much more than I expected. Diana Prince is an Amazon, but because she was born on the island, Themyscira, and hasn’t technically earned her spot on the island as an Amazon warrior, she’s never felt as though she belongs with her sisters. When Alia, the Warbringer, is drowning after a bomb has destroyed her ship, Diana is faced with a choice: save Alia and risk the fate of the world, or let Alia die and prevent an age of war. Choosing to save her, Diana and Alia must then embark on a quest to find “the place where Helen rests” yes, the Helen, in order to cleanse the Warbringer and end the cycle.

This book had everything I wanted and more—mythology, adventure, danger, a touch of romance, plot twists, a diverse cast of characters, and above all, empowering female friendships.

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.”

In a story titled Wonder Woman you’d expect Diana Prince to be the main focus, but Alia shows just as much, if not more, strength, bravery, and courage. Both of these characters, as well as Nim and Theo, are complex, three dimensional, and experience great character development. I cared so deeply for each of our main characters, and the depth of their friendship was truly inspiring.

I was truly shocked by Jason’s betrayal and felt just as hurt as our main characters,
but what made it so real was that Leigh Bardugo did what she does best when it comes to villains and anti-heroes—she made us understand Jason’s motivations, and a part of me sympathized with him.

His story was wonderfully heartbreaking, and he got the ending he deserved.

“We can’t help the way we’re born. We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves.”

This book did what all great books do—it made me a better person after reading it and changed me for the better. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns

“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 

When Leigh Bardugo does dark, she does it masterfully with nastiness, twists, romance, and sometimes a glimmer of hopeThe Language of Thorns is a collection of fairytales from the Grishaverse. But leave behind any expectations you may have about fairytales, heroes, villains, princes, and monsters because Leigh Bardugo will shatter them.

“You know how the stories go. Interesting things only happen to pretty girls; you will be home by sunset.”

Going into this jewel of a book, I thought I would know how the tales would end—with shining princes, damsels saved, monsters slain, and wicked step-mothers foiled. But Leigh Bardugo draws inspiration from tales we know and love: Hansel and Gretel, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Ugly Duckling to name a few, and subverts our expectations. Leigh Bardgo manipulates language in the most beautiful way and challenges her readers’ beliefs.

“There is no pain like the pain of transformation.”

Each of these tales is dark, rich, and haunting in their own ways. They are universal with characters, stories, and lessons that will stay with the reader long after the final page has been turned. My personal favorites were “Ayama and the Thorn Wood,” “The Soldier Prince”, and “When Water Sang Fire,” but each of these tales was wonderful.

This collection was especially delightful for fans of the Grishaverse. I could imagine characters I loved from the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology growing up with these tales.

“This is the problem with making a thing forbidden. It does nothing but build an ache in the heart.”

This is such a delightful and dark collection, perfect for fans of the Grishaverse and those with dark romantic hearts. Bardugo is a master writer and storyteller, and I can only hope this will be the first of many short story collections.

“We were not made to please princes.”


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