Friday, January 4, 2013
Eon and Eona
By Alison Goodman
Eon is training to be a Dragoneye- a conduit of power for one of the twelve dragons. Each year, 12 boys are chosen to train and present themselves as candidates. The problem is, Eon is not a boy; Eon is a girl, really Eona, crippled by a wagon, but with spiritual gifts that allow her to see the dragons. A female Dragoneye is unheard of: if she is found out, she will be killed.
Chosen by the dragons in remarkable fashion, Eon is trained in palace. Here she learns of intrigue and plots extending beyond just the Imperial court. Even the Imperial Prince is involved deeply in this. She must decide where her loyalties lie, who her allies really are, and where she fits in all this mess.
On top of all of this, while her dragon manifested strongly at the Dragoneye trials, her connection seems to be growing weaker every day. She must master channeling the dragon's power to help save the land.
So, the story telling style and plot were fantastic. Lots of twists, turns and such. The narrative voice was great, and the book kept me interested. While sometimes, it got a little too focused on the intrigue, it evened out and eventually was a good balance of plot/action and intrigue. The world is vivid, and I LOVE the dragons and how they are intertwined with the world! Great setting, interesting characters, and unique plot lines.
Some things that weren't necessarily as good: Boys are NOT going to be into this book because of all the "girl issues" present in this book. It might even make some girls uncomfortable! And this includes talking about her monthly cycles, woman body functions vs men's, and more. Not only this, but it talks about eunuchs, cross-dressers, and other gender issues. This is definitely a slightly more mature book.
Another thing was how much Eona tried to deceive herself and denied her feminine side. While I understand this book is about her hiding the fact that she is a girl, it seemed like she was hating the fact that she was a girl and would rather be a boy. Since this book is obviously aimed more at girls, I would hope that it would be more friendly to girls, not so down on them. Eventually she does come to accept, and even be happy that she is a girl, but so much of the books are spent without that more positive outlook.
Overall, I will be choosy about how I recommend this too. As an adult, I was able to handle the more mature aspects, but most kids/teens would be made very uncomfortable about them. Older teens, specifically girls, would be better for this book. But, I do want to check out some of the author's other works, and see if the writing is just as good!