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I had my doubts about whether or not I would like this book, but shortly into it I was hooked. It was so good I found myself wondering, how has this book not received more attention?! Why didn’t I read this book sooner? With awe inspiring dragons, formidable characters, a vivid setting, and a skillfully crafted story, this epic first book in a duology is now one my favorite books of all time. Alison Goodman made me a fan for life.
Strongly influenced by ancient Asian cultures, Eon is set in a detail rich world ruled by an imperial family but balanced by the powerful Dragoneyes. Through a bargain with the twelve energy dragons, the Dragoneyes connect with their spirit dragon to wield power, control the elements, and much more.
In training to become an apprentice to the Rat Dragon, Eon has the odds stacked against him. His broken hip makes him walk with a limp making it difficult for him to walk let alone practice the dragon art of fighting. To top it off, Eon is really Eona, a girl and therefore forbidden to practice the dragon art. An act punishable by death. The one thing working in her favor is her dragon sight, the rare ability to see all the energy dragons. She can only hope that the Rat Dragon chooses her as his apprentice.
Eon/a is a complex heroine. She is strong and intelligent yet flawed by her inclination to be dishonest and her lack of trust in others. She weaves a dangerous web of lies in her fight for survival and, at times, this is very frustrating. There are many moments where I wanted to yell at her to snap her out of it. While at the same time, you understand her situation and her reasoning. That being said, in the end, Eona became one my favorite heroines.
Eon is technically considered a young adult book but, to me, the story reaches beyond young adults to older audiences as well. Goodman’s world is exceptional and you will find yourself captivated by the rich culture and unique mythology. I enjoyed this book so much that once finished it, I immediately (the same day) bought the next book, Eona: The Last Dragoneye.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Pros: Interesting Asia-based setting, where the author skillfully incorporated customs, culture and hierarchy.
Cons: Everything else. Half of the book is spent on the protagonist doubting herself. She is constantly thinking out loud about how she is not good enough and why she does not deserve anything.
The values that would normally be propagated in a story with a female lead are missing. Rather, the book propagates backward values. The protagonist loves and is loyal to her master - notwithstanding the fact that he beat and crippled her. The author portrays his abuse as being for the protagonist's own good - and the protagonist likewise adopts this viewpoint.
"I knew he was right. A woman could not have power. Or if she did, it was from the shapeliness of her body, not from her spirit and certainly not from her mind."
Worse yet, the protagonist is dumb. There are a ton of "clues" about why things are how they are, and she just happens to not understand any of it. Worse, it is not that she does not understand and ignores the clues; she instead picks the path that directly contradicts them. It is very frustrating that the protagonist is portrayed as such a stupid and incompetent character.
I did not enjoy the narrator's performance. Ultimately, I would not recommend this book to a person of any age.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful