Monday, February 27, 2012

Eon by Alison Goodman

BOOK DESCRIPTION: For years, Eon's life has been focused on magical study and sword-work, with one goal: that he 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; the penalty is death. When Eona's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a struggle for the Imperial throne. Eona must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

MY OPINION: Can I just take a moment to appreciate how well done this book is? It really is so well done. Goodman crafted such a wonderful cast of characters...she created such a beautiful and intricate story world that I just dove in and swam among the words, never wanting to come back up to the surface. Even though it is a fantasy novel, set in a fantasy world with fiction characters, I literally felt like I was walking through the ancient streets of China and talking to all the people that Eon was talking to. It was magnificent.
The settings and imagery used in this novel are just spellbinding. I could see the training grounds, I could feel sweat beading on my forehead, on the nape of my neck. One of my favorite scenes is the one in the bath house where the dragons are at the rim of the tubI really cannot even begin to express how vivid that scene was in my mind as I read.
The author is very good with her words. She seemed to string them together almost effortlessly, building the scene and describing the air around the character. I thought that was fantastic, really. I would love to live in this book for a while.
That's another thing. The characters were flawless. I loved Eon (I'm eager to see how she was pulled off as a girl in the second novel), I loved Lady Dehla(?), I loved Ryko. I'm hoping that we get to see a little romance grow between Eona and the prince in the sequel. One character that really stood out to me a lot was Lord Ido. Oh, my. He was so well written, I could see him in the flesh as I walked through the novel. It was unbelievable. He was so aggressive and sensual, in such a villainous way. He terrified me but he was so intriguing, too. I loved how (small spoiler) when he found out that Eon was actually a female, he sort of relished in that fact and he would put his face a little closer to hers, or breathe her inbut not in a romantic way (end small spoiler). Well, I didn't like it, per say. I just liked how honest that was.
Besides everything else that was going on, Goodman created a constant tension by making Eon's gender a secret. There were so many instances where I was holding my breath, thinking that she was going to be found out...but she wasn't. That was a very smart thing for the author to do.
The only thing that I didn't like too much about this story was the length. Don't get me wrong, I like a long book, but I feel like there was no reason for this story to be as long as it was. In some parts, it did feel very stretched out and I don't think it was necessary. It had a slow pace, and I would have liked to see them go to more places. They were in the same area for the vast majority of the book and I think that with a big book especially, you should be able to take your readers to more places. I think that's just preference, though.
All in all, this was such a wonderful novel. And it was so original, or at least it's not like anything that I've ever read. If you haven't read this, I suggest it.

Note: Somebody find the person who made this cover and give them all the awards. it is stunning. 

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