Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eon Duology - Review

by Alison Goodman 

Eon (Eon, #1)  Eona (Eon, #2)

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. 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 twelve-year-old boy. 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.

First of all, if you haven't seen these covers in person, you should. They are stunning when you hold them in your hands. Initially the covers are what drew me to this book because, as you know if you read my Five Favorite Friday - Key/Buzz Words, I love dragons and dragon mythology.

There is so much complexity and detail woven into this story. The world building is amazing and reading about this fictional culture could keep me interested for a long time. My knowledge of Chinese culture and history is limited. Even so, based on the cover art and the prevalence of the twelve dragons (which are named after the same animals of the Chinese zodiac) historical Chinese culture was a heavy influence in this book. I thought Goodman did an excellent job of submersing you in the world and quickly describing what a dangerous world this was to live in. Throughout the story we follow Eona as she moves in different circles and different social classes. I was impressed with the way Goodman kept every part of society distinct and consistent. It was more realistic that Eona had trouble adjusting to the expectations because they changed so often.

Character development is also fantastic throughout this book. Over the course of the two books characters are tested through physical and mental challenges. Eona and her friends must survive so many different experiences and you can see the wear and tear on them early on. I think one of my favorite parts of this book was the amazing relationships. So many of the characters are so fiercely loyal which made them very endearing to me. The trails and tribulations that Eona must face throughout this story changes her which again makes it very believable.

Lady Dela is my favorite character hands down. She is just amazing and her character is so interesting. Overall this book has amazing side characters that are just as interesting and complex as the main character. I loved the all so much.

That being said, I had trouble reading these books at times. I found it really really difficult to like Eona at certain points especially in Eona. I never became strongly attached to her and I think it was because she was rather hypocritical. I know that one of her character flaws was pride, but her pride made her seem selfish and almost mean rather than strong and confident at times. Overall I was easily frustrated by her character for a number of reasons that I don't want to explain because of spoilers.

This is an excellent set of book though and I definitely recommend them. I liked this series, but a lot of people seem to like it even more than I do! They are rather long (each book is 500+ pages), and I think each book is worth the time!

Rating: 4/5

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