Review – Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon is the apprentice of Dragonmaster Tozay and one of twelve other boys who will be competing for selection by the Rat Dragon. The only things is, Eon isn’t a boy. Eon is really Eona, an orphan chosen by Master Tozay because of her strange power known as the dragon sight; the ability to see any of the eleven elemental dragons. The year of the Rat Dragon approaches, but a childhood injury to her leg continues to hang over Eon as an imposing obstacle. Barely able to perform the traditional sword dance, her chance of selection is small compared to the other apprentices.

But failure isn’t in Eon’s future. This year’s selection ceremony is brimming with changes, the greatest of which applies to Eon. Though the dragon cycle happens every twelve years, it has been centuries since the Dragon Dragon, the Mirror Dragon, has been seen. Eon changes that. Chosen by the Mirror Dragon makes Eon the coascendant to the Rat Dragon, the Mirror Dragoneye, and a guest of the palace. All of which place her in a dangerous position. For, while trying to discover what she can about her dragon, Eon must continue her charade as a boy and choose a side in a battle for the throne of the empire.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn captured my attention because of its unique setting. An Asian fantasy is a thrilling idea, one I wish I’d thought of myself. Recently I’ve been extremely interested in Asian cultures (you should how excited I’ve been over rice and seaweed) and the thought of Asian dragons in a fantasy world sounded, to be honest, awesome!

After weeks of waiting, I finally got a copy of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and simply devoured it. I love a good story and Eon was a good twist on an old story. An orphaned child is brought into greatness and must save the world. Eon’s charade as a boy and her physical injury add some great uniqueness to the setting, turning the clichéd storyline into something new.

Sadly, for all I loved about and was excited for in this story, I’m not going to pick up the sequel (which is something I’ve never done before). Goodman created a brilliant setting with unique characters in interesting situations. She had me hooked! I said above that I blew through the novel. At the end though, cliff-hanger as it was, I wasn’t interested in reading more.

One reason for decided to set aside the novel was its portrayal of ideas I, personally, just don’t agree with. But there’s more than just that. The detail in relation to the topics of eunuchs and women’s cycles was okay, but might have been a bit much in some cases. At least one scene, if not two (depending on your standards), were edgy to me. There was also the occasional use of a mild swear word, which actually didn’t bother me much, but it’s worth mentioning.

Possibly the main thing that got me was Eona. So many time I just wanted to hit her one the head for being so oblivious (could just be the annoyed reader seeping out though). In trying to accomplish one of her goals, when the approach doesn’t work, she just tries the same way harder. I know I was an observer, but even putting myself in her situation I would have realized so much sooner that I was going about the whole thing wrong.

Along with realizing Eona was headed in the wrong direction, I guessed quite a few things way before they were actually revealed. I’m not a fan of stories where I can guess all the major secrets before they happen, I like surprise. Sadly, thinking it over, I’m not sure how I would have hidden those secrets better (other than making Eona “wake up” sooner).

In the end, I’m not really recommending this book. It was a great tale and the setting was enough to set aside what issues I had with it, but only for one book. If you’d like a taste of Asian fantasy, have at it! I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural aspect of the book and would’ve loved to return if I felt the sequel were worth it.

~ by R.S.Sharkey on September 5, 2012.

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