Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Eon Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Eon #1
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, Penguin Group
Release Date: December 26th, 2008
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/3/14 to 7/6/14
531 Pages
Rating: 

Swordplay, dragon magic--and a hero with a desperate secret

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.

Also Known As: Two Pearls of Wisdom, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon (All the same book just published with different publishers)

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Wow, just wow, Eona is checked out at the library. What am I going to do with my life?

I honestly don't know where to start with writing this review. As usual, I've been seeing Eon maybe once or twice through the bloggy world, and because it's based somewhat on Chinese culture and the Zodiac, I decided to give it a try. And was I impressed? YES I WAS. I mean, I couldn't put the book down, I constantly thought about it while I wasn't reading it, and I also finished it BEFORE a book I had been anticipating this entire summer.

Eon is training to be the next Rat Dragoneye, but so are 12 other contenders. Each have to perform in front of the dragons, and if picked (in this case, by the Rat Dragon), he will take his place as apprentice next to the actual Dragoneye. And what do these Dragoneyes do, exactly? Well they borrow up their dragon's energy, or Hua in exchange for their own.

So yes, Eon is pretty special. He can actually see every Dragon when entering the energy world. Usually, only apprentices and Dragoneyes can see only their own dragons. However, the only exception is the Mirror Dragon, or the Dragon Dragon. There has not been a Mirror Dragoneye for a couple hundred years now. And also the Mirror Dragon itself never comes to these ceremonies.

Here we are, with Eon, ready to perform in front of the dragons. Except, well he's a cripple. And no one thinks he will succeed.

OH AND ALSO THE HE IS A SHE

To sum it up, just think of Mulan. But with bigger Mushus. Annnnnd more elegant and graceful.


As a character, I loved Eon, well, Eona. Although she's somewhat cowardly, and always waits until the last minute, I still liked her. She had her faults even though she has a ton of power. Plus she can't even control it right without the name of her dragon, which she unfortunately missed during the ceremony. So even though she's in a huge political mess, that likely doesn't really involve her, she still stays strong.

'Are you frightened now?'
I nodded, shame flushing my skin.
'Is it going to stop you?'
'No.'
'That is the courage of a warrior'

The truth is though, I got very, very frustrated during the times when Eona was doing something that could end very badly for her. I literally yelled at the book for her incompetence, but then I realized that she just hadn't figured it out yet. (And I was smart enough to. Oh, book characters. What can you do. We can't break the fourth wall ugh.)


And do you know what's great about this book? It handles the topic of transexuality very well. And no I'm not talking about Eona, but Lady Dela. Although a man physically, she has the spirit of a woman. In this book, having both the male and female soul makes you a Contraire. And the reason she's so close to the emperor, or is considered important, is because Contraires can bring you luck. Obviously though, there are some people that consider her a freak, and if the emperor falls, then she does too.

Although her every move was that of a woman, I could now see the man beneath the careful paint and rich clothing. And yet she was not a man. She was Lady Dela.

Although I can't say for sure if the Chinese culture is accurately depicted, I can still see the influence. For example, throughout the book, the word Hua is used to depict our energy. But the only characters I know that use Hua either mean "to draw" or for speaking. I did love the way they used the animals from the zodiac, and transformed them all into dragons that lend their powers. There was the scene where all the Dragoneyes used their dragon "energy" power to ward off a monsoon (or at least make it less severe?), but I'm still unsure what other powers Dragoneyes have. (This is why I need the next book now)

The one bad thing that people might not like, is that there's no romance. Well at least in this book. This didn't affect my rating only because I thought it did fine without it, but that's only me. Either way, I thought this book was more than amazing. I can't really explain anymore than this, except that after I finished, I just had SO MANY FEELS, and gah. Yeah, that's it. I'm done.

10 comments:

  1. I didn't know that the title for this book was that long. I only know it as "Eon." :)) but I'm glad you loved it. I've been eyeing this series for a while now. And it looks like I should get both books before I start reading. I actually won't mind that there's no romance, even if I live that aspect in a lot of books. Sometimes the characters can shine without it. Sometimes the romance can be disruptive too, especially for fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi books.

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    1. Haha apparently there's several different titles based on the publishing company. Since this was the only copy at the library, this is the title I stuck with. And I'm definitely excited to see what happens in the next book, I didn't see any developing romance so far, so hmmm. But yay go read it! :D

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  2. I waaaant this. (Do I start out all my comments like that?? If I do: sorrynotsorry. I want all the books, it's just a tough life I lead.) I kind of didn't know this existed until I saw it randomly on Goodreads the other day and now I'm ALL over it. Mulans + dragons? Like that is already an epic movie mix so I definitely want to read it in book form. x)

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    1. CAIT GO GET IT! And yes you start out all your comments like this but that's okay because we run book blogs! It's basically expected!!!! And I honestly think Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies!

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  3. Sigh, I wish I could read this duology for the first time again. I remember reading this and being so enlightened with its plot and characters and the setting. I loved it so much I think I gave both books 5 stars!! I can't wait to see what you think of Eona now!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Yay I'm glad you enjoyed it too! I'm also looking forward to the next one too!

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  4. I read this when I was like...fourteen I want to say, I think it was right after the second book came out, and I don't remember why but I know I hated the sequel and never finished it. I feel like I need to give these books a second chance because it was so long ago and I can't even remember why I didn't like it, plus I've heard so many good things, and my tastes in reading have evolved since I read it and even if I end up not liking it again I kinda want to remember what I didn't like about it.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it so much and look forward to hearing your thoughts on Eona!

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    1. Awww let's just say your 14 year old self didn't know much. Just kidding. I'm actually also curious as to how the second book will turn out. Though the truth is, I'm glad it's a duology and not a trilogy. This first book was already 500 pages!

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  5. I have to admit that this series was one that never really caught my eye because the cover was boring. Yup, I'm totally a judger of covers, ain't going to deny that. It was only about a year later (late 2013, I think) that I began seeing more and more positive reviews and started to get a little bit more interested. Seriously, your review is just one among the many five-star reviews I've seen. It's amazing!

    Wow, I didn't know that this was based on Chinese culture, which is uber cool. I'm Chinese myself, but I know very little about Chinese culture (apart from the zodiac, oops), so it'll definitely be interesting to read about it from an awesome-sounding YA book. ;D I find that books that try to take after foreign cultures more often than not butcher them, so I'm glad that it wasn't disappointing here.

    I think we need more cowardly heroines, honestly! There're just so many brave and badass ones out there who, even though I sorta connect with, are nothing like me at all. I'm kind of a coward myself (anyone who's afraid of insects is a coward, in my eyes, and that's me), so I think I'd be able to relate to Eona more -- she just seems so much more REAL. And huh, more diversity! This book is sounding better and better. I don't think I've ever read a YA novel that dealt with transexuality, so this will be some cool and new, for sure.

    Eek, can't wait to get my hands on this now! I don't mind that there wasn't any romance (romance is kind of overrated these days :P), so I doubt that will be a problem. Fab review, Val. :)

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    1. Hahh that's ok. I really didn't like this cover, and I prefered the paperback version, but they didn't have it at the library, so beggars can't be choosers!

      I'm pretty sure it's based on Chinese culture, but I recently found out it's also based off of Japanese? I'm not exactly sure, but there was definitely some Asian influence in there.

      Thanks for the comment Megan! I hope you get your hands on it soon!!!!

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