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Eon Paperback – August 31, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—In this Asian-inspired fantasy world, political power belongs to the emperor, but also to the Dragoneyes: men who harness the power of the 12 energy dragons named for animals from the Chinese zodiac. Each year, a new one comes to power, and the dragon itself chooses a new apprentice from a pool of 12-year-old boys. Physically lame Eon is thought least likely to be chosen and also has a secret: Eon is truly Eona, a 16-year-old girl. At the ceremony, the Rat Dragon chooses fellow trainee Dillon for the role of apprentice. Eon thinks that all is lost until she sees a dragon no one has seen in 400 years: the Dragon Dragon—also known as the Mirror Dragon. The Mirror Dragon chooses Eon as an apprentice, and because there is no current Mirror Dragoneye, she must serve on the Dragoneye Council herself. She is thus plunged into the dangerous world of the court, which is sharply divided between the emperor and ruthless Lord Ido, the powerful Rat Dragoneye. Fans of Tamora Pierce will appreciate both the strong female protagonist and the cast of shrewd misfits who support her. Although the pace is initially slow, patient readers will be rewarded with high-stakes action in a well-crafted fantasy universe. A second volume will follow, but this one has an ending satisfying enough that readers will not feel cheated.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Since J. K. Rowling's ascendance to the throne of young-adult fantasy (and the recent challenge to the throne waged by Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight series), the genre has made significant inroads into mainstream fiction. In Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, first published in Australia, Alison Goodman takes advantage of that interest, crafting a tale full of the elements that have become familiar to readers -- and a few that haven't, particularly her clever take on gender and identity. Goodman is a fine storyteller, turning what could have been boilerplate fantasy into something engaging and important. Only one critic commented on a lack of tension. Eon will appeal to both adolescents and adults, and readers of both types will certainly clamor for the planned sequel.Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I normally like young adult novels. I enjoy watching characters learn and develop and grow into better human beings. I DID NOT like this series.
The first book in this series has a couple of redeeming factors. There is a trans character who is treated as a normal human being, which I appreciated. The magic system is a bit derivative, but still fairly interesting. But those are the only things I really liked about it. The lead character, that some have described as a "strong female lead" is anything but. She is female. I'll give them that. But she is a spineless weak-willed whiner who is acted upon rather acting. She is neither strong, nor a leader. Which doesn't make any sense, since she has apparently been training for three years in order to eventually become one of the most powerful leaders in the land.
I spent most of the first book waiting for the girl to grow a spine and being disappointed. We are "treated"? throughout to long frustrating internal monologues in which she tells herself how unworthy she is and whines about why did this power and responsibility have to be hers. (The power and responsibility she apparently spent three years training to achieve) Because I hate not finishing books, and these two books are basically just one story -- one very slow drawn out story -- I had to read the second book as well.
I spent most of the extremely long second book getting more and more frustrated with this pathetic character who never seemed to learn anything and continued to be manipulated by external events and the people around her. Spoiler alert. This stupid little girl allows herself to fall in lust with the power mad and steroid raged man who not only tried to violently rape her, but who succeeded in brutally murdering several of her friends and starting a traitorous revolt that resulted in the deaths of thousands. Yet, she still finds him attractive and enjoys interacting with him. UGH! I came to hate this stupid selfish little girl and was relieved when I finished the books and could put them away. BTW, she never did grow a spine. She was acted upon rather than acting on her own till the very end.
The only reason that I am giving this book two stars is because of the trans character. We need more stories that show trans people as people.
These books bring a lot to the table that isn’t usually seen in Young Adult fantasy; it’s a fantasy world based on Asian culture and history (and is accurately and respectfully done), as opposed to the ridiculously abundant European influenced fantasy. It has strong feminist themes and encourages the acceptance and embracing of female strength. There is an absolutely fantastic transgender character as well as the main character and another minor character are physically disabled. And while I do have one issue with the handling of the disabilities, for the most part, it’s excellently done and even questions some important issues in the modern world. These books are really just a boatload of well-done representation for race, gender, and the disabled, not to mention this is all paired with an excellent plot that balances magic, dragons, and Eona’s path to self-discovery and acceptance.
Not to mention, these books have some of the greatest side characters I’ve seen: the transgender Lady Dela, the islander eunuch Ryko, Prince Kygo of the Celestial Empire, Lord Ido, one truly charming and completely ass of an antagonist. They’re all excellent characters that really balance Eona and help her growth. Eona herself goes through a powerful and painful transformation, from being a boy because she wanted respect, to being a woman that commands respect. Watching Eona’s development is terribly satisfying and very empowering, especially as she deals with morality and her desire for power.
The writing is very well done, doing an excellent portrayal of ancient Asian culture and society in this novel, creating amazing characters, and handling magic, mystery, romance, and self-discovery all deftly in this duology. I highly recommend these two books for anyone looking for something different than the usual Young Adult (or Adult) fantasy, and a truly remarkable story.