Publisher: Viking Juvenile, Penguin Group
Release Date: December 26th, 2008
Date Read: 7/3/14 to 7/6/14
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)
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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?'
'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.