Welcome to my book review of Alison Goodman’s EON.
This book was really impressive – a young, crippled boy with a big secret is trying to defy the odds and be selected by the rat dragon as the next Dragoneye. His household, his master, and his own future all depend on his success. And against all odds, he succeeds. Eon becomes Lord Eon, Dragoneye. And that’s when things get tough. Lord Eon is thrust into the centre of a political struggle, the Ascendant Dragoneye, Lord Ido, is seeking to challenge for control of the council, and possibly the Empire itself. It’s all overwhelming for a young girl who can’t even summon her dragon. That’s right, that’s Eon’s secret, and if the truth got out, it would cost her her life.
This all takes place in a wonderfully constructed world, and the dragons are based on the Chinese Zodiac. They are beings of energy, and can only be glimpsed by those blessed with the power, and can be summoned and controlled by their chosen Dragoneyes.
What EON does well is give us a believable hero that you can relate to. Eona is flawed, not just through her disability or her lies, and makes questionable decisions. Unlike your all-too-perfect Harry Potter, for example. This makes Eona more believable and hell of a lot more interesting.
There is a lot that Goodman has done really well, creating a fantastic world, a wonderful hero, and also some fantastic supporting characters. One of those characters is Lady Dela, a “two-spirit” who has a biologically male body but is a woman. She is true to herself, and knows the value and strength of being a woman, in contrast with Eon, who sees her femininity as a weakness. There is also a really powerful scene that I just have to mention, when Eona’s secret (about being a woman) was revealed, she was in almost immediate danger of being sexually assaulted. That really sent chills up my spine.
– SPOILER – I try not include spoilers in my reviews but I just have to talk about the ending. How Ido turned “good” as a result of Eona and her dragon opening up the hua of Ido’s heart. I just didn’t buy it, it felt too easy. And also how Eona’s magical dragon powers healed her leg. I don’t get it, why that had to happen. Did she have to have her disability “fixed” in order for the book to have a happy ending? Just erasing a disability like that, literally a magic cure, it just didn’t sit right with me.
– Originally published June 2019