Friday, April 22, 2011

First Post: Eona Review

Title: EONA
Author: Alison Goodman
: Viking Juvenile
Release Date
: April 19, 2011
Other Titles in Series

Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled "Emperor" Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power-and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans...

Where to start? EONA is the type of conclusion that leaves readers (or this one, at least) feeling a bit hollow and mind-boggled by its amazing-ness. In EON, the titular character makes some not-so-smart decisions and often seems too easily manipulated due to her ignorance. In this installment, Eona still struggles with questions of morality with regards to her Dragoneye powers and must readjust to living as a girl, but her struggles allow her to solidify into a more determined, in-control heroine.

The romance hinted at in the first book materializes into a love triangle that adds to Eona’s personal and political troubles (in the best possible way!). Dela, the transvestite courtier with an aptitude for helping others, is a particularly strong supporting character, and Rat Dragoneye Ido stands out as the perfect pseudo-villain: arrogant, power-hungry and love-to-hate-him sly. Kygo, the rightful emperor, also asserts himself as a more distinct character who is, like Eona, torn between power, politics and his personal interests.

As one would expect after reading EON, the action scenes are gripping and descriptive. Alison Goodman depicts the battles without censoring the associative losses, which adds a level of gritty realism to the fantasy-action duology. Following a few surprises and revelations, the ending is satisfyingly conclusive without being altogether “happy.” Also, the world feels so real. Its Asian-inspired complexities and mythology are interwoven with the plot seamlessly, whereas info-dumping sometimes weighed down the first book. And, of course, there are (metaphysical) dragons! Who doesn’t love reading about giant, flying, human-partnered beasts with elemental powers?

Overall, EONA took everything that made EON such a compelling read – complex world-building, conflicted characters reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series, action and political intrigue – and added layers of romance and heightened personal conflicts. Loved it!

Rating: 5/5

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