Reviewsday: Eon by Alison Goodman

Dragoneye: A powerful lord selected by one of the twelve dragon spirits, is able to control wind and water in order to protect the land from natural disaster.

eonEon wants desperately to be chosen as an Ascendant Dragoneye. His training has been intense and sometimes cruel but is finally coming to an end, to the ceremony that will decide his fate. But Eon harbours a terrible secret – for he is in fact a she. Eona has endured years of disguise as a boy to achieve her dreams despite the fact that her deception could be punished by death if ever discovered. She’s prepared for the worst case scenario if her ceremony goes wrong but what she never expected was to bring the elusive Mirror Dragon out of its 500 year slumber.

Having no one to guide her footsteps, Eona is thrust into the maddening Imperial court, summoned by the Emperor himself – but she is a mere youngster amongst the other grown Dragoneyes, who treat her with disdain and don’t take her seriously. Even more distressing is trying to hide her secret from those around her, especially with the young, charismatic prince eager for the company of someone his own age. Trapped in a friendship that Eona feels is beginning to blossom into more and failing miserably at commanding the powers she’s supposed to have, she is relieved when the Rat Dragoneye, Lord Ido, offers to take her under his wing – but Eona is starting to get the sense that all is not right in the Imperial court. Something sinister is lurking beneath the surface and Eona is determined to get to the bottom of it, no matter what.

Eon is the sort of fantasy novel that is so rich with detail and knowledge that you can picture yourself living in it. Using the Chinese Zodiac as inspiration for the intricate web of dragon spirits that hold this story together is a brilliant idea and the author has obviously done her research well, incorporating a lot of key cultural values into the universe she has created. If you’re in the mood for something a little different that still has all of the tense, dramatic, action-packed elements that you love, Eon is right up your alley.

-Karen