Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Eon by Alison Goodman

Tags: YA, fantasy


Eon has trained four years for a chance to be picked as the new Rat Dragoneye apprentice, one of eleven whose powerful spiritual connection with the dragons is used to keep the nation prospering. Eon believes he has a chance, despite being a cripple: he has the rare ability to enter the energy world and “see” all the dragons.

However, Eon is actually Eona, a teenage girl. Females are forbidden to be Dragoneyes, and so Eon desperately tries to hide his true gender when he is miraculously chosen to be the next Mirror Dragoneye, when the Mirror Dragon has not been seen for over 500 years. It is a dangerous world that Eon must maneuver in, what with the old emperor seriously ill and political mutiny tainting the air. Does Eon—Eona—have what it takes to survive, or does the secret that Eona hides threaten to destroy everyone’s lives?


If you want a hardcore fantasy set in a deliciously elaborate and complex world, pick up EON: DRAGONEYE REBORN. Goodman’s majestic tale brings to mind the works of fantasy masters like Garth Nix, Robin McKinley, Diane Wynne Jones, and more. Eon’s world is well wrought, engaging, and one hundred percent fascinating.

The world of EON is reminiscent of ancient Asian cultures, and is a careful and studied mixture of the spiritual and the physical. I loved the idea of dragons being a part of the energy world, of Dragoneyes connecting with the dragons to share a mutual power. At the same time, the physical setting is incredible: a place full of beauty and treachery, awe and horror. Alison Goodman weaves for readers a multisensory setting that’s a treat to experience.

The characters are far from lacking either. Eon is a brilliant, three-dimensional protagonist: his internal conflict of adhering to the tradition of male Dragoneyes versus breaking protocol and acknowledging Eona is heartbreaking and enthralling. Readers may be able to guess things that the often-obstinate Eon misses, but all in all Eon is a fascinating character to follow in this highly charged story.

At a little over 500 pages, EON may seem like a daunting read, but every chapter is worth it, even the few that you wish would speed up to Eon’s long-awaited revelations. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, Eona: The Last Dragoneye, to come out, so that I can read more about Eon/Eona and his/her adventures in this magnificently complex world.

Similar Authors
Robin McKinley
Garth Nix
Tamora Pierce

Cover discussion: The hardcover's image was what attracted me to this in the first place, so while I was surprised at the change in the paperback's cover, I'm still not disappointed with the epic coloring and silhouetting.

Firebird / Aug. 31, 2010 / Paperback (reprint) / 576pp. / $9.99

Personal copy.


  1. I love my YA fantasy to be a bit longer, so the idea of 500 pages excites me! I also like the idea of a bit of gender bending. :)

  2. Oooooo....I'll definitely have to give this a try! And how's Daughter of the Forest going?

  3. I'm about halfway through Eon right now and not connecting with it much at all. I'm actually shocked by that! So many people I trust (like you) love it, so I'm not sure exactly what my deal is with it.

  4. I was so reminded of Tamora Pierce's Alanna series while reading this while also being impressed with Goodman's new twists and surprises.

  5. I've seen Eon on shelves, but haven't given it a thought. Next book-shopping trip, I am so picking it up. Awesome review!

  6. I've had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now and I really should bump it up because I already have a copy of the sequel and I've heard it's even better than this one.

  7. I really enjoyed Goodman's Singing the Dogstar Blues, years ago. It's good to learn she didn't fall off the face of the earth! This sounds great.

  8. I read this some time ago and loved it. Eona is already out in hardcover, by the way. I've seen it in bookstores a couple of times, but I haven't read it yet.


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