Wonder Woman Warbringer Book Review

Woman Woman WarbringerWonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1) by Leigh Bardugo ...

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 364
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis from goodreads:

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.

Together.
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.

I saw the film Wonder Woman and loved it so when I heard that there was going to be a book published as well, and written by author of Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo, no less, I had to buy it. I snagged this gorgeous hardcover which has a signed bookplate inside, but it’s been one of those books that has been sat on my shelf for ages – I finally picked it up this month and I’m glad I did!

While it’s not a book of the film and you can read/watch whichever first, I think the author captured Diana’s attitude wonderfully and I caught glimpses of the woman this seventeen year old Diana would turn out to be in the film. Warbringer is set at an age where Diana is still unsure of herself and willing to prove who she is to her family, but saving a mortal endangers the whole world. Diana is thrown into the human world alongside the girl she saved, Alia, as they try desperately to stop major war breaking out everywhere.

Diana was such a funny character to read about as she interacted with humans and experienced new things we take for granted in our normal day-to-day life and I especially appreciated the moment she puts down a creepy guy in the street – it was brilliant! It was also really very cool for the female main character to have such strength and I loved the reactions from the other characters when she displayed her super strength. She has definitely got to be a favourite main character of mine. I also thought the other characters were well thought of and it was lovely to see how Diana’s relationship with them changed throughout the book.

Even though it was a little slow to start when we met Alia, it set the scene well and things really picked up when Diana goes to the human world. From here there was a lot more action but it was balanced against some pauses for character development, making for a thoroughly enjoyable read which came to a dramatic climax. Warbringer was one of those books that has another fifty pages or so left and you think everything is nearly wrapped up so be warned! Just when you think you’re at the end, there’s a lot more to come.

 

Finale Book Review

FinaleFinale : Stephanie Garber : 9781473666764

Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 416
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Finale is the third and final book in the Caraval trilogy where we see the games come to end and some devastating decisions made. This review will contain some spoilers from the previous books in the series as well as in Finale so don’t read on if you haven’t read CaravalLegendary or Finale first!

Synopsis from goodreads:

“It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything.”

All I can say is:

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After a tension-filled book of will they won’t they, wanting each other and pushing each other away and just total frustration from my part, I am SO RELIEVED that Legend finally stopped being an absolute moron and FINALLY accepted he was in love with Tella and became mortal.

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He took his sweet time but he finally did it!

God this book kept me up at night and kept me from revising because seriously, I could not stop for one second and I had to read the whole thing – I needed answers! I don’t know about anyone else when reading this book, but after finding out that Dante – DANTE – was Legend (god that was a good bit to read though) I thought we’d see him and Tella get together pretty soon after. But oh my god did he turn the cold shoulder! His need to be immortal meant he just left her on the steps after freeing her from the cards in Legendary for fear he would fall in love with her. So instead of just falling head first and discovering how beautiful love is, he spends the whole of Finale reeling her in to push her away and they both play a game of hard to get.

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I am just SO GLAD Tella didn’t become immortal and even though it took until the last few pages, Legend became mortal in the end! If that ending hadn’t have happened I probably would have just lost it and thrown the book at the wall.

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I feel like one of the most underrated relationships in this book was between the two brothers, Legend and Julian. Julian had to put up with Legend’s brooding crap for so long, place in his games and watch as he shut out the one potential love of his life (if he would just admit it) and he was still there for him despite getting nothing back. Poor Julian, he can see these sisters share so much love for the other but he doesn’t get anything from his brother. That’s why I was so glad to see Legend go and save him from Gavriel’s dungeon and get thrown into a cage himself – it was a little hurray! moment for Julian to see his brother actually does love him.

Legend really was such an intriguing but incredibly frustrating character because he seems to do these heroic things like rescue Tella from the cards (even though it would bring back the Fates and he wouldn’t get all of their magic), saving Julian by sacrificing himself for his brother, but then he goes and shuts out the world and I found it so hard to keep up. One minute he was visiting Tella in her dreams, but he always kept his distance, then he was asking her to be immortal so they could be together forever but immortals can’t love, so it would just be a weird and twisted relationship. He wanted her, but didn’t want to let himself love her because then he would become mortal and god forbid that should happen! It was riveting to read about a character who would sever themselves from love just so they could live forever, but I am so relieved he chose Tella in the end.

But I have to say, I found Jacks and Tella’s relationship equally captivating to read. Jacks was such a grey character, a bit like Legend in the fact that he was upfront about who he was and Tella knew he wouldn’t love her, but then he too would do small acts of kindness for Tella and just as you began to trust him, he’s go and gives Tella a heart attack! It was so weird that these two immortals wanted Tella so much but neither wanted to actually love her – Legend wanted his immortality too much and Jacks just had an obsession. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about these three and was probably one of my favourite weird love triangles of all time.

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It was brilliant to see each sister have a share in this book, each with their own separate story lines but coming together in the end. I thought I would enjoy Tella’s parts more but I was actually really pulled into Scarlett’s newly found father and how she was actually the daughter of a Fate all along.

The bit where she had to make Julian hate her nearly broke my heart – I almost teared up! I was just so relieved that she stopped before cutting off their love altogether and stopped before she became immortal and lost her love for him. I don’t know what I would have done if Scarlett destroyed his love for her and Legend didn’t love Tella!

It seemed to be the reoccurring theme that everyone was scared of love but I’m just so pleased love won in the end!

Caraval has been an amazing series to read and in every single book there were unanticipated twists and shocking revelations and I thoroughly enjoyed each one! These books contain some of the best characters I’ve ever come across with some questionable motivations but it had me racing through to the end. I’ve loved every second and did I mention how happy I was for that ending? I was on edge until that encore section but that letter had my heart filling with joy as it all came to a wonderfully satisfying close.

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”

– Stephanie Garber, Caraval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May wrap-up

Bonus post today! I’m using this as a little revision break because I’m currently in the middle of revising for my vet finals and my exams are next week. I’m totally bricking it and starting to get very stressed now – I barely did any reading the first half of this month as I was rereading Caraval, but then I started Legendary and oh my word it was fantastic! It definitely got me out of my reading slump and I raced through till the end, picked up Finale straight away and finished that in two days. I’ve only read these three books this month since I’m revising but they have definitely helped me stay a little saner throughout my revision and I’m still rather obsessed with this trilogy! I absolutely LOVE this series and I’m actually kind of glad I waited to read Legendary until the last book came out because I don’t think I could have waited a year to find out what happens next. I have actually technically read four books this month though as I reread Legendary as soon as I finished Finale which I am now currently rereading! I told you I was still a little enamoured with the story.

I also watched the amazing The Umbrella Academy this month on Netflix which is SO GOOD! It’s only ten episodes and I was hooked – I definitely recommend watching it if you haven’t already. It’s been a good month for getting lost in stories.

Anyway, here are the three beautiful books I read this month:

CaravalImage result for caraval stephanie garber uk

Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 402
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

I absolutely loved this book the first time I read it but the second time around didn’t go down quite as smooth – I put this down to the fact that I was revising at the time and I had already read it and knew how the story went. I find Tella so annoying in this book but my opinions on her completely changed when I finally read Legendary!

 

LegendaryImage result for legendary uk

Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 432
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Wow did this book turn things up a level! I loved how this sequel focused on Tella as we followed her playing the game instead of Scarlett this time. I also absolutely LOVED the introduction of the new character, Jacks, and loved the scenes between him and Tella. There is a massive shocker in this book as with Caraval, and I enjoyed every second. I definitely preferred this to Caraval.

 

FinaleImage result for finale stephanie garber uk

Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 416
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads link

Well if Legendary wasn’t enough, Finale threw just about everything at us with some truly gorgeous descriptions, swoon-worthy and heart-breaking romances and of course a thrilling plot. It was everything and more and I can’t decide if this might be my favourite overall. It was great to see both the sisters in this one with their own storylines but interconnected as they both tackle the Fates. Sticking to true Caraval style, this wasn’t without some revelations and I was so tense throughout the whole book wondering what would happen and how it would end – I won’t give anything away, you’ll just have to read it to find out!

This was one of the rare times I actually stuck to my TBR plan from last month! Now after reading this superb trilogy, I had a serious book hangover, hence why I reread Legendary and I’m currently rereading Finale. I took to twitter straight after finishing Finale to ask for some suggestions from fellow bookworms with what to read next and I got some amazing recs. I ended up ordering The Kiss of Deception and Enchantée so I’ll be reading these as soon as my exams are done!

Did you read Finale this month as well? Let me know what you thought in the comment (no spoilers!) and which was your favourite book in this trilogy overall!