Monday, April 25, 2011

Eona by Alison Goodman

book cover

by Alison Goodman

ISBN-13: 9780670063116
Hardcover: 656 pages
Publisher: Viking Children's
Released: April 19, 2011

Source: Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Publisher Website (modified):
Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the self-styled "Emperor" Sethon.

Through it all, Eona must learn to use her new Dragoneye power despite being assaulted by ten of the energy dragons every time she bonds with her own energy dragon. As the odds turn against Emperor Kygo, Eona struggles against her traitorous ancestress' desire for the pearl embedded in Kygo's throat, pressure from Emperor Kygo's allies to break the moral limits on her power in order to help Kygo regain his throne, and Lord Ido's ambitions for dragon power.

My Review:
Eona is an action-packed young adult fantasy novel. It's the second and final novel in the series. If you read Eona first, it will spoil many of the events in Eon. It contained enough information that you can probably still follow everything that's going on without having read Eon, but I'd still recommend reading Eon first.

Eona was much more original than Eon and much less predictable. While males would probably enjoy Eona more than Eon, I still think these novels will appeal most to girls and women.

Again, the world-building of an Asian-based culture was excellent. The characters were complex and varied. Practically every character had their own goals and Eona was stuck in the middle of conflicting desires for using her and her power. Even previous allies have a love-hate relationship with her after her power shows some unexpected aspects. While very realistic, it was a bit emotionally tiring to have Eona pressured by her friends and allies into morally murky areas where she didn't want to go only to be despised by them when she did.

There was one explicit modern bad word and a very minor amount of insulting language that isn't commonly used but may or may not count as a modern bad word. There was some intense kissing, but no sex scenes (or, at least, no explicit ones). There was some torture, but it wasn't highly graphic or gory.

There was a main character who had "a man's body and a woman's spirit" (referred to as "she") and a eunuch who loved each other though their relationship was not an easy one. The magic was "fantasy magic" with a somewhat unique twist: the characters bond with their energy dragon and use the dragon's power to manipulate the physical world.

Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable fantasy novel, though I wouldn't read it when in a depressed mood.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
The dragons were crying.

I stared across the choppy, gray sea and concentrated on the soft sound within me. For three daybreaks, ever since we had fled the conquered palace, I had stood on this same rock and felt the keening of the ten bereft dragons. Usually it was only a faint wail beneath the golden song of my own Mirror Dragon. This morning it was stronger. Harsher.

Perhaps the ten spirit beasts had rallied from their grief and returned to the Circle of Twelve. I took a deep breath and eased into the unnerving sensation of mind-sight. The sea before me blurred into surging silver as my focus moved beyond the earthly plane, into the pulsing colors of the parallel energy world. Above me, only two of the twelve dragons were in their celestial domains: Lord Ido's blue Rat Dragon in the north-northwest, the beast's massive body ached in pain, and my own red dragon in the east. The Mirror Dragon.

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