Dragoneyes are the human links to the twelve dragons of good fortune, who provide energy to the earth. However, circumstance does not favour Eon; he is a cripple and despised by the trainers and other candidates for the ceremony. They believe his disability embodies bad luck and try to distance themselves, all except a boy named Dillon who is also bullied for his small size. This feat is almost unheard of and they pray that the ascending dragon this cycle, who is the Keeper of Ambition, will be drawn by the enormous power demonstrated. However, Eon has a dark secret unbeknownst to all but himself and his master; he is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a lie in order for the chance to become a Dragoneye. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic; this is due to common belief that the female eye, so practised in looking at itself, cannot see other things in life with true clarity.
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Hardcover: pages Stand alone or series: First book in a planned duology. Why did I read this book: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn has garnered a lot of buzz both online and in bookstores. But he also has a dark secret. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. He also is a Dragoneye candidate, the first lame candidate ever to attempt the ceremony of mirrors, and to try to become a Dragoneye apprentice. Every new year, a different Dragoneye becomes the ascendant, and an apprentice is chosen by the Dragon.
This time, it is the Rat Dragon, and Eon joins the boys to complete the grueling ceremony and stand hopeful in front of the mirrors. Only Eon hides a desperate secret—he actually is a sixteen year old girl, named Eona. Singled out by her master because of her raw power and talent to see all twelve dragons with her spirit sight, Eona has been trained and forced to masquerade as a boy.
When the ceremony commences, however, Eona becomes chosen not by the ascendant dragon, but by the Mirror Dragon—lost from the Dragon Council for five hundred years. Eona is soon plunged into a dangerous new world of political struggle and intrigue as opposing forces fight for control of the empire. All the hopes of those loyal to the Emperor relies on Eona and her dragon, and she must bear the burden of her secret and try to outwit the deep treachery that threatens her world.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn marks a huge push for Penguin books, and boasts aspirations of becoming the next Eragon, or with the more widespread appeal of Harry Potter. And truly, Eon reaches new highs rarely seen in young adult fiction. But it is her struggle to embrace herself and the true nature of her bond with her dragon that Eon truly shines, going beyond the standard fantasy tropes. What I loved most about this novel was its beautifully complex evaluation of gender roles, and the self-perception of gender in its characters.
Lady Dela is a concubine, dresses as a woman, and for all intents and purposes is female in every way except in body. In a land where tradition is law, all three struggle to find their own sense of self. In terms of world building, Eon also excels.
I loved the cycle of ascendant dragons and their Dragoneyes and the ceremony of a dragon choosing its apprentice. The numerous rituals, the depiction of the dragons and of power are pure brilliance—Ms.
Goodman does a phenomenal job of creating and maintaining her world. Similarly, the court intrigues, the struggles between the Emperor and his usurper half-brother with the help of the power-crazed Rat Dragoneye Lord Ido are riveting storylines. The power plays and struggles are plotted convincingly and executed with admirable aplomb.
This makes Eon an immensely readable and detailed novel, and although some of the political maneuvering may be lost on younger readers. My only real complaint with Eon is one that I have with many novels, especially of the young adult or urban fantasy persuasion; how obvious and predictable certain plot elements are.
This is an incredibly irritating writing technique, but despite this I still found Eon a highly enjoyable novel. I for one cannot wait for the release of book two, Eona: The Last Dragoneye!
I also loved the depiction of the energy dragons, from the initial appearance of the Rat Dragon in the arena: Light shivered in the air above the carved gold rat. Slowly, a large claw slid into the reflection, pale blue scales glowing above five opal talons. The Rat Dragon was descending from his perch, his translucent body only solid and visible in the mirror as he passed by it. A reflection without an original. My own gasp was echoed around the arena. A powerfully muscled foreleg came into view, the scales darkening into ocean blue as the underside of a broad chest and shoulder followed in the glass.
Then it was hidden by his flared muzzle, the delicate scales and fine horse nostrils accentuating the size of the fang that curved from his upper lip. THe dragon turned to stare across the sand at the emperor, one large dark eye visible in the mirror, his broad bow crowned by two curled horns.
I heard nervous murmuring from the crowd as both of his forelegs reached the sand, his sinuous body stretched full length in the reflection. Then it coiled like a snake and dropped behind him, the invisible weight sending up a cloud of sand and dust that fell back over his body, giving us a shimmering outline of him.
He shook his head, dislodging more sand, then turned and looked at himself in the glass, the endless depth of his eyes giving him an expression of sadness.
Two pale blue membranes extended out from each shoulder and rippled in the sunlight like watered silk, then folded back against his body. The heavy head swung around to face us again, the mirror showing the solid line of his spine and the thick fall of his white mane.
Although his eyes were no longer reflected, I knew he was studying us, choosing his apprentice. A beautiful depiction without being overly-ornate. Goodman has a wonderful gift for storytelling. Additional Thoughts: Fans of Eon should also consider checking out one of the authors who blurbed this novel, the wonderful Tamora Pierce.
Verdict: Excellent world-building, outstanding, layered characters, and an awesome attention to detail make Eon a fantastic read, and one of my favorite books of so far. Highly recommended. Rating: 8 Excellent — and I cannot wait for the concluding volume of this duology!
Book Review: Eon Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
But he also has a dark secret. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. From the Primer Scrolls of Jion Tzu No one knows how the first Dragoneyes made their dangerous bargain with the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. The few scrolls and poems that have survived the centuries start the story well after the deal was struck between man and spirit-beast to protect our land. It is rumored, however, that a black folio still exists that tells of the violent beginning and predicts a catastrophic end to the ancient alliance.
Hardcover: pages Stand alone or series: First book in a planned duology. Why did I read this book: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn has garnered a lot of buzz both online and in bookstores. But he also has a dark secret. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn