This is first novel in DC Icon series and also my first encounter with writer Leigh Bardugo and I am blown away by her writing skills. I always like reading about mythologies and Mahabharat, Greek and Norse have been my area of interests. But all my previous reads were dominated by male figures but here Goddesses rule on every page. It's a read where female figures dominate and men are engines of war. At least that's what Diana and her fellow sister used to think. After cursing so many wars on humanity, men still show potential to build something new.
It's a Wonder Woman based novel but it's not completely focused only on her. Diana and Alia are the lead characters and both are trying to find their identities in their world. You only get the right to live on Themyscira as an Amazon when you bravely fall in battle and in your last moment you pray to goddesses like Artimes, Durga, Athena, Hestia, Gaia and others. Diana was born of clay and her mother's desire to have a child and that's what made others feel like she was an outsider. Alia shares the bloodline of Helen of Troy (According to Myths she was responsible for Trojan War) and therefore is cursed as a Warbringer. Her presence on Earth is enough to cause deaths of millions. Still, Diana chooses to save Alia and this path causes her, her sisters, her island and many enemies she makes while proving herself worthy to be an Amazon. In the whole novel you don't get to know who is villain actually. It's like heroes fighting heroes. Villain's true identity is surprising but I have read and watched many stories so somewhere deep inside I knew what's going to happen. In suspense stories villain is mostly the one who makes every effort to save everyone and then in the end come up with some lame excuse to destroy the world. Why villains don't have any other motives?
The best part is writer did not portrayed Diana as a powerful superhero. Yes, physically and mentally, she is more than just a human but she is vulnerable. She gets tricked, she falls terribly, she sacrifices her dreams, even she dies against Pinon but in the end she fights back to save her human soldiers.
"Nobody asks to be a hero. It just sometimes turn out that way." - Black Hawk Down
I admit I was expecting some explicit lesbian romance, kissing and other stuffs but book only has some hints. In every book you read pages and then find some good dialogues but here every sentence is like WOW! My personal favourite was when Hippolyta walks and Alia's presence causes earthquake on Themyscira, and Hippolyta's strong stride suggests "I am the queen and an amazon. You are wise to tremble."
I love it when a female writer creates such awesomeness. I strongly recommend it and now looking forward to read Wonder Woman comic books and more Liegh Bardugo.