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Eon by Alison Goodman

Eon (original 2008; edition 2010)

by Alison Goodman

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1,2831016,116 (3.98)74
Authors:Alison Goodman
Info:Firebird (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
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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Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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 |
I read Eon back in 2012 and from the very first page I was drawn into it's imaginative world. At the time of reading it I had never read a novel in the first person point of view that was so richly descriptive. I really enjoyed seeing the world from Eon's point of view and it was very vivid all the way down from the Asian architecture and culture right down to the smell and taste of things. I really fell in love with the settings and lore and could not put the book down. After quite a few chapters I remember being amazed that I couldn't even remember reading a single word, it was like having a giant HD movie screen playing in my mind and I felt like I was living inside of Eon's world, facing the same choices and dreading the same consequences that she did.

I found myself inexorably drawn to Eon who was basically a slave. At a very young age he was sold to the salt mines but was eventually discovered and bought by one of the ex-Dragoneyes in a last ditch effort to recover his long lost fortune and ends up apprenticing Eon in the ways of the Dragoneyes. Eon's master hopes he will be chosen by the Rat Dragon (one of the 12 mystical dragons whose Dragoneye's control their mystical energy and use it to protect the land from unnatural and natural disaster's). Eon faces a hard life, one filled of constant learning and discipline which would be hard for any young adult but Eon is also crippled. He was in a tragic accident a few years back that left his hip nearly shattered and his leg lame. So Eon finds it nearly impossible to perform all of his duties especially the combat training but he perseveres and his disability just adds another unique layer to the story.

What gives the story so much more depth is that Eon and his master share a deadly secret, one that could mean death for both of them especially in the patriarchal society that they live in. You see Eon is a girl and also happens to be one of the strongest magic users her master has ever encountered. With one final hope of turning out an apprentice that could possibly become a Dragoneye he risks all in the hopes that it will salvage his lost fortune and prestige all the while Eon may just yet become the first female ever to become a Dragoneye but she would have to keep her secret until the day she dies. It's very interesting to watch Eon's dual nature. She's pretended to be a boy for so long that the girl inside of her is pretty much dead. She doesn't know what it's like to be a woman and it gets very confusing for him/her at times. If all of that isn't enough, The Kingdom is being threatened from within and there are some powerful alliances that threaten to topple this peaceful society and Eon finds herself caught right in the middle of it all.

I can't praise this book enough and I look forward to more from Alison Goodman. Eon felt like a genuine heroine. She isn't all powerful, she has a lot of problems such as her bad leg and doesn't always make the best decisions. Remember she's still a very young girl that's pretending to be a man and has never really been a part of society much less wielded power and respect. She makes a lot of bad decisions and isn't able to just randomly kick everyone's butt without a sweat (kinda hard kicking butt with a lame leg) So I found her very unique, real and a refreshing change to the all powerful female leads that you see in so many YA fantasy series. I also love her internal struggle as well as watching her mature. In a world where males rule and are respected she will have to choose between the power she desires or her true nature but she is no longer sure of what that is anymore.

Do yourself a huge favor and get this book along with Eona the second and final book in this outstanding duology. Eon was one my top books of 2012 and still tops my all-time favorites for YA-Fantasy. The world is familiar yet unique, the characters have layers and layers of depth and the world building is nothing short of fantastic. The fact that Alison Goodman is able to be so descriptive using the first person pov is astounding. She's an extremely talented author and Eon/Eona is a must read for all fantasy fans. I can't rate this book high enough. It's been nearly two years and Eon and her story are still stuck in my head which is just all kinds of awesome. ( )
  Jamiesbookblog | Jan 29, 2014 |
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is certainly unlike any book I've ever read and I'm at a loss at how to go about reviewing it. First of all I didn't have any expectations of how I would receive it but has it turns out I really enjoyed it. One of the things I really liked about it was the Chinese and Japanese influences in the story. I've always been interested in the Chinese Zodiac Animal signs. And this is basically the main angle of the book, young male contestants enter a yearly competition to become the Daragoneye Apprentice for the upcoming Animal sign.

Eon was a candidate for his Master Heuris Brannon, who put all his eggs in one basket hoping Eon would be chosen as the Dragoneye, and help him reclaim his position as a Lord and get in a position to hinder the corruption in the counsel trying to dethrone the emperor. But you see the thing about Eon is, he's not male and is older than twelve, the age of all dragoneye contestants. I guess being poor and laboring in the salt farm most of her life gave Eon a small frame. I liked Eon's strength on how she handled and accepted the burden of all her masters hopes that was put on her, even though continually living her life as a boy did cause her some confusion. Soon Eon would realize more than her master's hope would be on her shoulders.

There are so many elements to this story that made it very interesting and enjoyable. The different types of characters in the story for example, the Eunuchs, and the Contraires especially were an interesting facet. Eunuchs should be self-explanatory but the Contraires are said to have two souls, one male and one female. In the end for me, this was the epic story of Eon's journey to finding his or herself. ( )
  chicreader | Jan 21, 2014 |
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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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