Thursday, December 25, 2014

Eon by Alison Goodman

Summary (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye-an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.
I’m a little late on the Eon parade. It looks like it came out in 2010. It is on my 2014 challenge list. Actually, it’s the last book in my challenge (so yay mission complete!). But the question I find myself asking right now is why aren’t more people obsessed with this one? It was magical. Really, I haven’t read such a fun, epic fantasy in way too long.
It was this kind of hodgepodge story made up of Japanese and Chinese mythology and dragons. It was an adventure about a girl pretending to be a boy to become a dragon warrior. Between the sword fighting, the dragon magic, the political back-stabbing, the children fighting each other to become the next apprentice, the poverty to riches element, the masterful world-building, and the high stakes battles at the end, seriously, this book was amazing.
There were some extremely interesting characters too. Between the man who was known for dressing as a woman, the master who knowingly trained a girl for a man’s job, the evil political figures, the other dragon eyes, the eunuchs, the revolutionary servants, and the crippled friend, there really wasn’t anyone just normal.
Also the main character was a bit crippled herself. How can you not immediately love a crippled girl fighting to be a warrior in a world where if she were discovered, shed’ be killed? Seriously, Eon was one brave human being. It’s such a story about an underdog, it’s almost like an epic fantasy version of a Glee episode. But, there’s no music or high school, or anything remotely similar now that I’m thinking about it.
I found the whole concept of the dragons to be so unique. Only certain people could work to see the dragons (though Eon could see all of them when most could just see their own). And each dragon represented a different year of the Chinese zodiac. There’s this whole idea of these kids training to be able to share power with the dragons. And the form of government that developed from this was really unlike anything I’ve ever read about.
One of the things mentioned in other reviews is a somewhat slow beginning, heavy on the world-building. I never really found the book to be slow. I was intrigued from page 1. Though, I do happen to really like a well-developed fantasy world. And if you don’t like world-building, this is not the book for you. There was also a lot of fighting/sword-fighting. There were definite Samurai elements. And I loved that Eon could compete with the boys in this brutal world.
The one thing that was lacking was romance. There just wasn’t any. I kind of get how this would have been hard to impossible, considering how Eon was mostly dressed as a boy and not many people knew that she was in fact a girl. I can see where something might start in book 2, and I really hope it does start. Though,  I guess this was a good example of a book that actually didn’t really need romance.
While I got to see so much of this incredibly interesting world and the fascinating characters who lived in it, I do wish I got to see a little more of the dragons. There is still so much I don’t know about them. Book two better come with more information!
Also, that was one epic ending! Seriously, I was shocked by how things went down. And I cannot wait to see what some of the results are in book 2. All in all, I absolutely loved and devoured this book. I loved the main character. I loved the whole cast of underdogs. I loved the politics and the fighting. I loved the dragons (though I want to know more about them). I loved the creative, unique world. And I can’t really come up with much I didn’t love. It so gets a 10/10 from me.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. You know you are not the only one late to the Eon parade, i'm too and now i definitely wanna check it out. Don't wanna be late but seriously this is my kinds genre and now i'm more than excited to begin it. Maybe i'll get to do it next year.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex