Saturday, 22 July 2017

Book Review: Eon - Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye – Alison Goodman

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: David Fickling Books
First published: 2008
Edition: Paperback, 2010 edition
Pages: 430

Blurb:    Two swords, angled for slicing, came whirring towards my chest. My block was simple: a step of the back leg, a shift of weight, my right sword joining the left in front of me, cutting side slanted down. His blades hit mine. The impact resonated through my arm bones.
               Does young Eon have the power to become a Dragoneye? Now the years of gruelling training, under a ruthlessly ambitious master, will be put to the test: it’s time for the terrifying Rat Dragon to choose his next apprentice.

History of my copy: I picked this up on a trip to Looe a year or so ago. I’m a fan of dragons and picked it up without even reading the blurb. Once I started reading it, however, I wondered if I would enjoy it – I’m not a huge fan of Asian and oriental books. I was surprised, and loved it!

Plot: We follow Eon as he becomes the first Mirror Dragoneye in centuries. Although, he is hiding a big secret – he is actually Eona, a woman, who are not allowed to be a Dragoneye. I get a little tired of the usual ‘girl pretends to be boy’ trope, but Goodman pulls it off wonderfully – it makes sense in this world, and it added to the story for more reasons than just romance. In fact, I found Goodman’s version of it refreshing.
         Things become more dangerous as Eona must fight against the current Dragoneye, Lord Ido, and we are thrown into a world of politics and belief as Eona tries to stay alive, remain connected to her dragon, and prevent Ido from carrying out his treacherous plans.

Setting: As I mentioned, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the setting, but I ended up loving it. Goodman took advantage of the culture at her hands, although I feel like a little more could be done perhaps.

Characters: I really enjoyed Eon/Eona as a protagonist. Her portrayal was realistic and down to earth, and whilst she did sometimes feel a little flat, for the most part I adored her.
               Lady Dela was the only other character who particularly stood out to me. For the most part, the characters were typical in their characteristics and mannerisms, which was a shame.

To read or not to read: Read. Despite the fact that my review doesn’t portray this book as amazing, something clicked with this book and I absolutely loved it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! It was well-paced and planned out, with the right mix of action, politics and character development. On top of that, we had a great main character who we actually cared about, with some fantastic scenes.