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Eona Paperback – March 29, 2012
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"The flashy swordplay, spectacular magic . . . and elaborately constructed society should leave readers satisfied." - "Publishers Weekly"
About the Author
Alison Goodman, in addition to the Eon/Eona duology, is also the author of Singing the Dogstar Blues, the adult science fiction thriller Killing the Rabbit, and most recently, The Dark Days Club, the first book in a new YA series. She lives with her husband and their hyperactive Jack Russell terrier in Australia.
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Warning: Spoiler Alert
Eona follows where Eona left off. Like the first book, I have to take off a quarter point for unclear descriptions of the characters. I cant stress it enough, as despite the world building being EPIC, the people were borderline impossible to assume what race they were, leaving the door open to picture them Caucasian.
Mind you, in a fantasy world, having a Caucasian female wielding a sword wouldn't be unrealistic in an Asian setting. But there are so few women of color in books as the main characters, it would've been nice to know that the author had a female of color in mind as her Eona. Because too much are people fascinated with different cultures, but only if white faces lead their stories, which is alright, but it is something that needs to start changing.
That being said, the pacing left off where Eon did. Lord Eon is now Lord Eona and she is forced to be the face of hope for the "The Empire of Celestial Dragons" universe. Despite being one of two remaining Dragoneyes, she has had little training, and being a woman, she's still not able to gain the trust of those in power. Even on her side of the revolution.
The story had a consistent back story to why the Dragons are weaker, and what needed to happen. It was at a great cost,and the decisions Eona were forced to make, in my opinion made her stronger. Some may disagree. But I will say this. Men in her world were so afraid to let go of power. At times, even she feared what life would be like if she weren't Lady Eona. But choosing to be powerful, and choosing to do the right thing despite the consequences, to me, made her a better heroine. We all struggle to do what's right as opposed to what is fun or we will enjoy more. As human beings we fail miserably at this. Eona had to decide for herself that she would rather do what was right, as opposed to be powerful, and dont we all wish we were better people enough to do that?
I could never figure out the Dragoneye history, and why the Dragons were suffering until it was actually told to me. That was one of the things I figured would be predictable, but I was pleasantly surprised. And Ido. Ido. Ido. Ido. Let me just say I wanted to like him. I wanted him to change. He showed such great promise, and while his actions in the end didn't surprise me, I was hoping he would. So in a way, I assumed he would change, but didn't expect it, so I really couldn't say this book was too predictable.
The conflict was plenty, but what I will say is, I never really say a true love triangle. I didn't expect Eona to choose Ido, or want him deep down. He was nice to look at, and while I liked him better than Kygo, I always knew Kygo was better for her. Kygo was the one I really pictured being Asian, so Im glad it turned out that Ido was no good for Eona. Asian men almost never get the girl in books, so while I did like Ido's personality better, he was not the kind of man you bring home to mother.
The story is definitely unique. I think I love stories told in different worlds, because when it's in a world I know, it limits what I see. With "The Empire of Celestial Dragons", I could imagine this extraordinary world full of Sakura's, Swords, and Swordswomen, without limitations.
The grammar was a high point too. I did notice a few mistakes, but the more you read, the more you see it happens in every book, not just Indie books. The author's writing style was consistent, and she had a clear POV for Eona. She blended beats and dialogue well, as well. It obviously had a good editor.
Like the first book, a lot of research had to have been constructed to get this right. Having a female main character and a transgender woman wasn't forced, but I would've like better descriptions. If it was a diverse book as far as race, color or ethnic origin(which technically in their world people were from different regions) I couldn't tell. Being a woman or transgender still wasn't something that was uplifter, which I have to take a quarter point off for.
The American cover was nice, but I liked the UK better. I love her positioning, but it leaves it open to assume she's not of color. The title matched the first book's cover, so i enjoyed that. The character names were.....confusing. Im going to give it the point, because they were unique. I will give them that. But some names were so similar, or these characters with similar names weren't consistent in the story to remember them, so at times, I felt like a new character was being introduced, when that wasn't the case.
I am about 2/3 through this book at the moment and so far it is a good read I think. I liked "Eon" better though because I prefer magical adventure novels over romance novels. I do not recommend reading this book as a standalone novel though; you'll spend a lot of time wondering what the author is talking about because it does reference back to the events of "Eon" quite often. So definitely read "Eon" first. Then maybe give this on a try if you want to find out who survives the war, do Kygo and Eona ever get to kiss, and what happens to the dragons.
High Lord Sethon has declared himself Emperor after a coup, though the true Pearl Emperor Kygo has escaped. Eona, her identity as a woman revealed, Lady Dela, and islander rebel Ryko have also escaped and must find Kygo. He'll need Eona's power to take back his throne, but Eona can't control her power. Every time she tries to connect with her dragon, the ten dragons of the murdered Dragoneyes attack her. In need of training if Sethon is to be defeated, Eona and the resistance are forced to rescue Lord Ido, the murderous Rat Dragoneye and a power-hungry man. Torn in a million different directions by truth, power, loyalty, and more, Eona will have to make decisions that could save the empire or bring it to ruins.
Finding the words to describe this book is difficult, so I apologize if I ever seem muddled or nonsensical.
The mythos of the world Eona takes place in was carefully constructed and laid out in Eon--the twelve dragons and their relationships to the Dragoneyes, the purpose of the Imperial Pearl, and what the Dragoneyes can do with their power. In Eona, almost everything the reader knew is turned upside-down because nothing was what it seemed to be in the first book. All these reversals, especially in the relationships between the dragons and their Dragoneyes, make perfect sense in their execution and make the stakes even higher.
It takes a good while for the story to get to its climax, but intense battles are throughout and don't make it feel like there's a long wait. In the meantime, Eona and the other characters get some development. Some of the decisions Eona made in the book and the sheer amount of lying/secret-keeping she does boggled my poor mind. Seeing what could have been if Eona had a moral compass like Lord Ido's basically nonexistent one is very easy and she does some seriously bad things without thinking much on it. Considering her situation, where she's come from, and the problems she could cause herself by dwelling on it, I'm tenuously okay with that.
Romance takes a huge step up in this book, and it almost feels too sudden, like it's happening just because Eona is now known to be a woman. Eona's relationships with Kygo and Lord Ido are both refreshingly, wonderfully complex; while one is based on romantic feelings and troubled by trust issues, the other is mainly driven by attraction and power and is nowhere near healthy. For the first time in more than a few months, reading about love/lust-driven relationships sent a thrill through my system. I didn't even mind that there was a love triangle! I wish I could have seen more of Lady Dela and Ryko's relationship, though the latter put some serious effort into pushing Lady Dela away.
This book had me so enraptured that I had my head in it for four out of six classes for three days straight, unable to put it away because Eona and her sometimes-slow, sometimes-rapidly-paced story wouldn't let me. (Don't worry about any neglected schoolwork; my grades will be fine.) I was so mentally exhausted in the very best way upon finishing the book that I put my head on my desk and sat like that for twenty minutes. For about an hour after that, I was all smiley and floating. I know you don't want to hear about any of that, but I'm detailing it for a reason: I've never a reaction like this to any book in my life. Sobbing like a baby? Yes. This? No.
A day later, everything about this book is still bouncing around in my head, from the characters to the decisions Eona made that weren't always very ethical and were never easy. I felt that the preceding book Eon had its flaws, but Eona more than made up for them. There's no doubt I'll be coming back to this book (and maybe a few specific scenes) for a reread at a later time and enjoy the severe mental exhaustion all over again. This is a must for any fantasy or dragon fans looking for something new.