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Eon by Alison Goodman
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Eon (original 2008; edition 2010)

by Alison Goodman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2961016,043 (3.98)74
Member:Corvidae
Title:Eon
Authors:Alison Goodman
Info:Firebird (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:fction, series, fantasy, young adult

Work details

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (2008)

  1. 51
    Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (shadrach_anki, Caramellunacy, 0628perfect)
    shadrach_anki: There are definite similarities in theme between these two books, but each has its own take on it.
    Caramellunacy: Both of these stories are fantasy stories about a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to be allowed to apprentice & learn to fight. Alanna learns to wield both sword and magic as a knight & mage. Eon(a) is chosen to be a dragoneye and must learn to wield the political and magical power this brings.… (more)
    0628perfect: In both Eon and this book the main female protaganist have to hide their identities. They have to pretend to be boys to survive in the world.
  2. 40
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (notemily)
    notemily: DRAGONS!
  3. 00
    Daughter of the Flames by Zoë Marriott (stephxsu)
    stephxsu: Similar strong female protagonist, engaging fantasy world, martial arts action
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English (98)  French (2)  Latin (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Eon is a cripple trying to become the next dragon apprentice. But he is hiding a bigger secret than anyone knows - and as he emerges as an unknown power in court, he will have to keep this secret hidden as many eyes watch his every move.

I like this book a lot. It hit all the right spots in my YA fantasy craving. It had solid moments, great action, and lovely characters to cheer on. Eon, or Eona really, is a great character. There is true strength in her character, not just the author telling us she is strong. The way she goes forward and tries to solve her problems without giving up is worth reading. I also appreciated how sensible she was. This is a first person point of view that doesn't grate on me at all.

I am completely in love with the way Goodman was able to write the exposure scenes when Eona had to reveal her secrets. I love the doubt and the anger of the side characters, and the angry defensive way Eona responded in kind. I felt angry reading it and just as frustrated - perfect translation of emotions from pages to the reader. It felt real. Where no character is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and judges other people on their own perceptions. The author writes subtlety so well. Like ahhmygosh this is beautiful, sort of subtlety. She can capture emotion between characters -hidden love, betrayal, disgust, fear, anger- in such simple ways. It is never heavy handed, never spoon fed to the reader. But we see it in the softness of the dialogue, the harsh commands, the body language. This book leaves me space to imagine, and I love it for that.

One thing, though, is that there are very limited characters in this book. I don't mind because it's a YA fantasy and if you introduced more major characters, it would end up being more of an epic high fantasy sort of book, which it definitely is not. But I'm just a little concerned for the sequel because a small character cast usually ends up with a shallow story and plot for the sequels...... But I'll just have to trust the author.

The world is rather interesting because even though it's set in this quasi-Eastern Asian world with analogues of the zodiac, dragons, emperors, the dichotomy of the Sun and Moon powers in people, and talk of foreigners, we can still see remnants of the modern world. Sun powder is obviously steroids. Little things like that. It manages to be different and familiar at the same time. But it is easy in its familiarity and makes it even easier for me to fall into this world.

The dragon powers are a bit amorphous at this moment. I am hoping Goodman will elucidate more about how it all works in the future books. Illusions and fighting techniques and swords that can hold emotions. Yes it is all interesting. But I want to know a little more of the rules that govern this type of magic. I am eagerly waiting. Also, I am not sold on the fact that one dragon can be so much more powerful.

The plot was absolutely fantastic. I just have all the highest praises for Goodman's writing. She doesn't give away the tension. She makes it harder for the main character, to let us see Eona's strength when the problems are finally resolved. The protagonist doesn't always win. And that is fantastic.

Although I only rated this book three stars, it's actually a very solid 3.5 stars. And if I ever reread this series, I will change the rounding from three to four. I am not sure it can last the test of a second read, so that's why I'm hesitating and rounding it down for now. 4 stars, for me, means I definitely will reread it. And right now, it's up in the air. But my gosh, I can tell I'm going to like this series already. And I will definitely be looking up other books from this author.

Highly recommended to YA fantasy readers.

-edit-
Read the sequel "Eona" and I would still recommend this book. But book one is better than the second. I probably won't reread this series though. It doesn't end as strongly as I would have liked. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Eon is a cripple trying to become the next dragon apprentice. But he is hiding a bigger secret than anyone knows - and as he emerges as an unknown power in court, he will have to keep this secret hidden as many eyes watch his every move.

I like this book a lot. It hit all the right spots in my YA fantasy craving. It had solid moments, great action, and lovely characters to cheer on. Eon, or Eona really, is a great character. There is true strength in her character, not just the author telling us she is strong. The way she goes forward and tries to solve her problems without giving up is worth reading. I also appreciated how sensible she was. This is a first person point of view that doesn't grate on me at all.

I am completely in love with the way Goodman was able to write the exposure scenes when Eona had to reveal her secrets. I love the doubt and the anger of the side characters, and the angry defensive way Eona responded in kind. I felt angry reading it and just as frustrated - perfect translation of emotions from pages to the reader. It felt real. Where no character is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and judges other people on their own perceptions. The author writes subtlety so well. Like ahhmygosh this is beautiful, sort of subtlety. She can capture emotion between characters -hidden love, betrayal, disgust, fear, anger- in such simple ways. It is never heavy handed, never spoon fed to the reader. But we see it in the softness of the dialogue, the harsh commands, the body language. This book leaves me space to imagine, and I love it for that.

One thing, though, is that there are very limited characters in this book. I don't mind because it's a YA fantasy and if you introduced more major characters, it would end up being more of an epic high fantasy sort of book, which it definitely is not. But I'm just a little concerned for the sequel because a small character cast usually ends up with a shallow story and plot for the sequels...... But I'll just have to trust the author.

The world is rather interesting because even though it's set in this quasi-Eastern Asian world with analogues of the zodiac, dragons, emperors, the dichotomy of the Sun and Moon powers in people, and talk of foreigners, we can still see remnants of the modern world. Sun powder is obviously steroids. Little things like that. It manages to be different and familiar at the same time. But it is easy in its familiarity and makes it even easier for me to fall into this world.

The dragon powers are a bit amorphous at this moment. I am hoping Goodman will elucidate more about how it all works in the future books. Illusions and fighting techniques and swords that can hold emotions. Yes it is all interesting. But I want to know a little more of the rules that govern this type of magic. I am eagerly waiting. Also, I am not sold on the fact that one dragon can be so much more powerful.

The plot was absolutely fantastic. I just have all the highest praises for Goodman's writing. She doesn't give away the tension. She makes it harder for the main character, to let us see Eona's strength when the problems are finally resolved. The protagonist doesn't always win. And that is fantastic.

Although I only rated this book three stars, it's actually a very solid 3.5 stars. And if I ever reread this series, I will change the rounding from three to four. I am not sure it can last the test of a second read, so that's why I'm hesitating and rounding it down for now. 4 stars, for me, means I definitely will reread it. And right now, it's up in the air. But my gosh, I can tell I'm going to like this series already. And I will definitely be looking up other books from this author.

Highly recommended to YA fantasy readers.

-edit-
Read the sequel "Eona" and I would still recommend this book. But book one is better than the second. I probably won't reread this series though. It doesn't end as strongly as I would have liked. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
I would never have picked this up to read on my own, but I really enjoyed it. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
The world knows our main protagonist as Eon, a twelve-year-old boy training hard to be the next Dragoneye apprentice. To be chosen by one of the twelve revered energy dragons of good fortune is a great honor; each year many boys vie for the position to serve as the conduit between the dragons and the mortal world. But there is more to Eon than meets the eye. In truth, Eon is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl masquerading as a boy because females are prohibited from using dragon magic. If anyone discovered her secret, she would be killed on the spot.

Stories involving girls disguised as boys are certainly nothing new, so what made this one special? Well, I suppose I’ve always enjoyed fantasy inspired by Asian cultures. In the world of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, the influence of Chinese and Japanese mythological traditions makes itself apparent from the start. There are twelve energy dragons, for example, each associated with an animal of the Chinese zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, etc.

In Chinese philosophy too, the concept of yin and yang is an important one. Used to describe complementary forces rather than opposing ones, it has also been applied to the many natural dualities found in our everyday life -- light and dark, fire and water, the sun and the moon, life and death, and so on and so forth. Another one to remember is male and female. What struck me with regards to Eon/Eona’s story is the author’s approach to the concept of masculine and feminine energies, and what that ultimately meant for the character and the dragon that chose her. I was surprised that for a young adult novel, especially one which supposedly is just about a girl pretending to be a boy, the themes in it are surprisingly layered.

But okay, enough waxing philosophical from me. You probably want to know about the juicier bits, with the magic and the dragons, the action and the epic sword fights. The setting Alison Goodman has created is absolutely gorgeous, with a heavy Far East flavor but also bolstered with her own creative touches, the world’s magical history and dragon lore being one of the many highlights. Many YA novel plots also boast political intrigue, but this is probably one of the few I’ve come across that had “political intrigue” and consequences that actually mattered, and that had a profound impact on me.

Also, the fact that there wasn’t an overt romantic side plot was to me a feature, not a bug. Granted there is set up for a possibly love interest and relationship in the sequel, but this first book is mostly concerned with the main character’s personal journey to find herself and connect with her energy dragon, as well as to come to terms with her own disability (her hip is malformed due to a childhood injury). To be honest, I couldn’t be happier with this. I like romance, but I also wouldn’t want to see it come at the expense of character development – or worse, in the form of insta-love or some other form of an awkward, stilted relationship. This way, I thought we got a much better idea of who Eon/Eona is as a person.

I wouldn’t say this book was perfect; the storytelling could have used tightening up, especially in the middle where the plot wandered and did some meandering. But overall this was probably one of the more entertaining and unique YA novels I’ve read so far this year, featuring characters that have a surprising amount of depth, and that includes the villains too. Plot-wise, the structure and some of the concepts aren’t entirely original, but I don’t know if you should let that stop you. If the Asian inspired world appeals to you, or if you’re looking for a book that portrays dragons in interesting ways, then this would be a good choice. ( )
  stefferoo | Apr 19, 2014 |
I am so glad I finally got to read the first part of the story! Knowing where Eon was headed was helpful. If I had read them in order it would have been harder wondering what would happen to her and the her dragon. But it was easier on my nerves even if it was an accidental cheat. Still, learning what led up to what I had all ready read was great. I understood ITO a little more and her relationship with the others Rieko and Lady D, seeing how the relationship with Rilla and her son had been when she was with her "Master". The Pearl Emporer's friendship and knowing how they supported each other through the their individual losses helped me to understand more the way things turn out in the EONA. Absolutely LOVED these books. Will recommend them to many of our kids that come in here. ( )
  LoftyIslanders | Apr 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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For my dear friend, Karen McKenzie
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No one knows how the first Dragoneyes made their dangerous bargain with the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Published as 'Eon: Dragoneye Reborn' in the US, as 'Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye' in the UK, and in Australia as 'The Two Pearls of Wisdom' (adult edition) and 'Eon' (YA edition)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670062278, Hardcover)

Action—a stunning magic system—swordplay galore!

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he’ll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon’s power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon’s affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon’s desperate lie comes to light, readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages …

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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