Title: Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (Eon #1)
Author: Ailson Goodman
On the Shelves: Young Adult> Fantasy
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 (Goodreads 2014)
Eon is the first book in a young adult fantasy duology, which follows the story of a young girl named Eona, who has been training to become a Dragoneye, a status which would give her power, authority, wealth and magic beyond belief- too bad she has to be a male to even be given a chance. Thus Eona becomes “Eon”, who is being trained by his master for the chance to succeed at besting the other candidates this year to be granted the Dragon Magic by the ascending Dragon of the New Year: The Rat Dragon. Every year, a new apprentice for each of the 11 dragons, based in the chinese zodiac we are all somewhat familiar with, is chosen to be trained by their current Master Dragoneye. What’s that? There are 12 animals in the chinese zodiac, I hear you say? Well…there is. And there was originally twelve dragons- except one of them disappeared 500 years ago and has not been seen nor heard of since. Mysterious, huh?
Well, what can I say about Eon? I’m so on the fence about it. My main point I’m going to talk about is a bit of a double-edged sword. The world building. I mean, I admire Goodman for the clear amount of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that no doubtedly went into the awesome world-building in this story. I do however use “Awesome” in the original sense of the world. If you want an example of amazingly detailed world creation? Read this book. However, I did find that it made this story quite slow moving, and for most of the book, I was simply “looking” at the story, not “reading” and “digesting” it. I wonder whether I maybe just wasn’t in the mood for such a thick story (which makes me sound like a simpleton, but come on, sometimes you just want a light easy read, right?).
I didn’t really form any attachment to the characters themselves and predicted early on where it was going. The feminist in me adored this story as a positive re-enforcement for female empowerment, but it was quite predictable, which was a shame. As a result of all of this, I gave this book three stars- I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t the best,for me- personally.
But I will say that I did still enjoy this book, despite struggling through it, and I have a feeling that ALL OF THE THINGS happen in the second and final book “Eona”, so I do intend to complete the duology, and see what happens- but it may be a while before I pick it up.