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.
“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 honestly made me go through so many emotions that by the time I was done with it, I couldn’t help but cry.
This is the first book in the DC Icons series, where four YA authors write a brand new original story based on the teenage years of one DC icon. Leigh Bardugo, one of my favorite authors of all time, wrote about my favorite superhero of all time – Wonder Woman – and I honestly think it couldn’t have been any more perfect for me. I will have to say that if you’re expecting this book to follow the timeline of the movie, you are in for a big surprise. The movie and the book have nothing to do with each other, and honestly, I think that makes both of them that much more amazing.
Seeing Diana as a teenager at the present time was something that I certainly had to get used to. I know that a part of me wanted to envision Gal Gadot as Diana, but eventually, I was able to make her younger in my mind. Her character development from the time we see her beginning the race on Themiscyra through the ending of the book was absolutely amazing and so realistic to me. Diana is not perfect, and her development certainly wasn’t perfect to the point that it was almost godlike of her. She was just a seventeen-year-old girl learning about the new world by living in it and fighting for it, rather than just reading about it from the comfort of her own home. She is still full of wonder when she enters this world, especially when she is thrown into the heart and soul of New York City, and the name of Wonder Woman still applies. She may not be going by her moniker “Wonder Woman” in this book, but we all know who Diana is, and she is a wonderful woman.
Alia, this girl is amazing. I thoroughly thank Leigh Bardugo for creating so many POC characters in this book, and having them as actual main characters rather than just sideline characters. In fact, if you consider Diana to be a POC, then all the main characters are POCs. How rare is that though? I couldn’t believe it, and I loved how they were all written out! They weren’t all just black, or just one-dimensional characters to solely say that the book had POCs in it. No, this was well thought out on Bardugo’s end, and these characters were ones that I actually wanted to root for, that I could actually relate to.
Alia is half Black, half Greek, with her mom from Louisiana. She and her brother Jason attend a private school for the rich and fancy, and of course people like to assume that Alia is poor or a troublemaker because of her skin color. It’s sad, and it’s so racist, but it’s true. It happens in the real world and that’s something that I can directly relate to because I’ve been through similar. There was a passage during their time in New York City where Alia and Diana are in a convenience store, and of course, there’s a cop or security guard or whatever watching Alia because she’s dressed in dirty clothes. He automatically assumes that she’s going to steal something based on her appearance. Diana’s clothes are dirty too from their trip, but there’s no suspicion of Diana from the guard. Just Alia. That part – from the moment Alia noticed the guard starting at her to the time the guard stopped because she paid for their purchase without any issue – hit home for me and made me almost angry. I was angry like Alia was, and it made me wish that things weren’t an issue like that anymore. Alia knew it was because of her skin color, and so would the reader. Bardugo doesn’t hide the fact that racism and discrimination still exist in the world, and I’m glad she included a passage like that.
Alia is the rich one, and yet she was thought to be a potential thief.
Another quote that really stayed close to my heart was one when Alia was thinking about her mother, and when they were first going to the private school:
“Look them in the eye, she’d always told her. Let them know who you are. When someone asked where you were from. When a new kid at Bennett wanted to know if she was on an athletic scholarship. Look them in the eye.”
This mentality of not backing down, not being afraid to be proud of who you are and where you’re from, making sure that when you tell people who you are you don’t give them any reason to doubt or make you feel inferior was something that I needed to hear in my life at that very moment. Alia has no reason to apologize or make an excuse for why she’s there. She has no reason to, and by making sure she maintains that eye contact, that silent strength about her, will tell the world that she belongs there no matter what they think. It was so important to her that she never forgot about it, and I can tell that she lives with that quote in her life during all of the difficult times that she’s been through. She rarely backs down, and as the book progresses she becomes so much more sure of herself and so strong that it only makes sense that her heritage is so commanding and demands respect. She’s descended from Helen, and she has something to be proud of.
I had so many good feelings about this book, and I loved it so much, in case you couldn’t tell. I hope there’s the potential to meet Alia and Nim again because there’s no way that Diana can only have them in such a small moment of her life. There’s no way. I would be so heartbroken if she never saw them again.
Rated: 5/5 ★