Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman
|Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A completely gorgeous fantasy set in an ancient Oriental world, drawing on Chines myths and tradition. Complex, vivid, and with themes of difference, it's a classy, classy read. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: January 2009|
|Publisher: David Fickling|
Just twelve years old, Eon has been studying under his impoverished Dragonmaster for two long years. Eon is his ailing master's last hope. He is one of twelve candidates hoping to become a Dragoneye - the link between the human world and the power of the energy dragons. Everything is riding on the Rat Dragon choosing Eon. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is really fourteen year-old Eona. And in this world, women are forbidden from studying the dragon arts. If discovered, it will mean certain death for them both.
In the background, politics in the Empire have reached a critical point. The old Emperor is failing. His brother is looking to usurp the Crown Prince and an evil Dragonmaster has plans of his own. When a staggering event catapults Eon right into the centre of the court and its intrigues, how can his secret ever be safe?
I'm not the world's biggest fan of fantasy, but I fell in love with this book. There's a rich, rich fantasy world between its covers, unencumbered by tiresome and trainspotterish exposition. It's a real page-turner, with fights and chases aplenty, but the narrative itself isn't in a rush, it's simply the effect it has on the reader. The whole thing is an absolutely sumptuous experience from beginning to end. It's tense, but it's also very thoughtful.
Underlying the main plot strand are themes of difference. Gender roles are starkly outlined in Eon's world and this is the main reason she's masquerading as a boy. Yet we can feel from the outset it's a terrible, terrible mistake she and her master are making in concealing her true identity. Disability is treated with contempt and yet those with disabilities in the book are those with the truest courage and integrity.
Eon is probably intended for the young adult market, but the writing is so elegant and precise, keen readers in the early secondary years will approach it with ease. At the same time it's so rich and intelligent, it would find a worthy place on any adult's reading list. Opulent, transporting, interesting and of great quality, this one comes highly recommended by Bookbag.
My thanks to the nice publishing people for sending the book.
Another wonderfully rich fantasy world with a great deal of tension is created in Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.
Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2009.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman at Amazon.com.
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