Twelve-year old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye–an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.
But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic: if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.
When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic . . . and her life.
This is the first book that I’ve read since the Chinese Cinderella that involves eastern cultures. Unlike the aforementioned book–which is based on actual experiences–Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is a fictitious book set in a fantasy kingdom full of intrigue, mystery, and a world on the verge of war. And the outcome of this struggle rests on one person’s shoulders.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is set in a land that is protected by the twelve energy dragons, each one representing an animal and attribute from the eastern zodiac. Their power is used for the benefit of the kingdom, but the Dragoneye’s–warriors trained in swordsmanship and magic–are the ones who channel the dragon’s power. Once a year twelve candidates compete for the chance to be chosen by one of the dragons as an apprentice to the current Dragoneye. All candidates are boys as girls are forbidden to take part, much less become a Dragoneye. Eon is a sixteen year old girl masquerading as a boy for the chance to become the apprentice to the rat Dragoneye. But when the Mirror Dragon–which had been missing for five hundred years–appears and chooses Eon, she’s plunged into a world of danger an intrigue where death waits around every corner and the fate of a kingdom will hang on her decisions.
This book is probably one of the most well paced novels that I’ve ever read with the stories addictiveness stemming from Goodman’s ability to create a constant sense of tension through ought the novel. The longer you read the more dangerous things become for Eon as she’s pushed from one scenario to another with the danger of her true identity always one step away from being revealed. I literally held my breath at some points and could barely read the page, so intense were some of the scenes. Goodman never lets up and as Eon’s position becomes more and more precarious I kept thinking that things couldn’t possibly get worse. Usually they did and that was what made the book so difficult to put down.
I was also impressed by how the character of Ido–the antagonist–was written. Rare has been the villain who I’ve disliked. Even rarer is the one that I wished physical harm to. Ido’s actions in general are so horrific and the things he specifically does or tries to do to Eon are so repulsive and evil, that I felt an overwhelming desire to strangle him. Even after Eon defeats him, leaving Ido to a fate that may be worse than death, I still wanted to inflict physical harm. I have to say–I may not like Ido–but he’s the perfect example of the type of villain archetype a writer should try to create.
Even without constant battles, this book is incredibly fast paced and keeps you guessing at every turn. Every time Eon makes progress she seems to take two steps back. I empathized with her plight greatly and watched as she navigated her way through an increasingly difficult political battle. The last six chapters were especially riveting and I couldn’t have put the book down at that point if my house had been on fire.
It’s an amazing journey that finishes with a speculator–albeit–cliffhanger ending. While Ido is defeated, the former emperor’s half-brother has succeeded in taking the kingdom from his nephew. Emperor Kygo’s fate is unknown and the other Dragoneye’s–except for Ido and Eon–are dead. The book ends with Eon fleeing the palace with allies and resistance operatives. This is a book that kept me on my toes and I can’t wait to see how all the unknowns are answered and what happens to Eon in Eona: The Last Dragoneye.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no claim to it.