Pages: 430, paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Released: December 1st, 2009
Genre: Young Adult / fantasy / Asian mythology
Where I got it from: bought
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and if discovered Eon faces a terrible death. (Taken from Goodreads)
There were a million things that I loved about this book. The fact that it was centered around Eastern mythology basically blew me away and had me begging for more. I've been able to find very few fantasy books with dragons and the Asian cultures being an influence, so it was very comforting to finally find something of interest.
The writing was brilliant, I found. Goodman writes in a very poetic way, describing every detail so perfectly, much like I wish could. Everything is very detailed and colourful, and she provided the reader with all the neccessary information, avoiding the feared 'info dump'. I could literally feel like I was in this fantasy world, as if I myself was seeing all those dragons, smelling those whiffs of frangipani, feeling all the pain that Eona was feeling (actually, on that note, it was so detailed in fact, that I felt queasy whenever I came across a part about pearls being threaded through the skin of the royals, and during some particularly graphic fight scenes).
Though, sometimes it seemed that despite all the intricate details, it was somewhat hard to decipher what was happening in the story. I found this happened most often when Eon entered the domain of her energy; it just wasn't explained properly, or maybe it was described too much.
The characters were well developed, and I loved how Eon was the opposite of what a hero is seen to be: female, the submissive sex in the society; and a cripple, which needs no explanation.
In a society where both are shunned, Eon has to pretend to be male or risk death. It was an interesting concept, and well played upon.
The role of genders in this world was a heavy theme, as shown by Sun energy for males and Moon energy for females. Also presented in the novel was Lady Dela, a transvesite (who provided most of the entertainerment, I found) and eunuchs. Honestly, I was blown away by that. This is the first YA novel I've read that has transvestites and eunuchs as characters, and talks about such mature themes. And I loved it. It shows that someone finally realises that teenagers shouldn't be shunned from such things. Plus, it was just so interesting, being told small pieces of information, new facts about this whole world of people I had barely known existed.
The plot was somewhat predicatable in some places, but completely unforseeable in other parts, so I guess it balances out. I did not expect Eon to not get chosen by the Rat Dragon, or to wake the Mirror Dragon, but then again, I did correctly assume that the Sun drug and the tea inhibiting her period had something to do with why the Mirror Dragon refused to show. That part was way too obvious for my liking.
What I disliked most was the ending, how Ido seemed to reform magically. It seemd almost unrealistic. I sort of loved him as a villain, he was fresh, devious and just interesting. Who doesn't love a villain that wants to rape the main character?
Overall, this book is something I would love to reread over and over again. I really can't wait for the next book, I'd love to see how things will pan out, and know what the hell happened to the prince (I was annoyed when it wasn't told).
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5