Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: Eona

Eona by Alison Goodman

Pages: 448, paperback

ISBN: 9780732284947

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date Released: April 1st, 2011 (Australia); April 19th, 2011 (US)

Genre: Young Adult / fantasy / eastern mythology / adventure

Source: bought

Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the self-styled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power—and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans....(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

Okay, so when I saw this book in stores at the beginning of April, I kind of freaked out. I thought it would release on the 19th of April, like Goodreads said. But lucky me got it early. For once, I'm glad to be an Australian book-lover.

The writing is rich and descriptive. It's beautiful and makes you want to savour the words. I found myself constantly rereading passages because of the amazing descriptions. Goodman certainly has a way with words. From the way she describes the vibrant world that Eona lives in, rich with eastern mythology, it's clear that she's done her research, but there's something more than just that that makes her world-building so magnificent. While Eon was mainly situated within the palace, Eona takes us all across the fantastic world, through mountain passes and deserts and forests, even across the water. This is a tale of adventure, and we explore the land and its people. Every minute detail is vivid and so easy to visualise, every bit of their culture is shown to us and appreciated.
Because of the first person POV, it feels personal, and you really get to know the character of Eona. I mean, not that you need to learn much about her after Eon, but this has far less angsting over her uncertainty about uniting with her dragon. This time, Eona has to deal with not knowing how to control her powers, which cause great strife to the rest of the cast.

It seems that this book has everything: action, adventure, world-building and character growth. It also has a slight dash of romance. I'm not going to say who it is with, but all I can say that Goodman really made it work. She made their feelings so clear, so easy to believe in. There was a lot of tension in the air between them. There were many times where I practically shouted "Oh, Just rip her clothes off already!"
But not only that, she made their relationship realistic. They weren't without hardships. They constantly mistrusted each other, and kept the truth. There seemed to be a hidden agenda with their interactions to each other. But that they were able to work through all those problems showed that they were a truly strong couple that really did deserve to be together. I mean, it's much better than most other YA romances where their biggest problems are keeping away from each other for 18 days and a new hair style (as seen in Torment). So, this realistic romance was done quite well, especially considering the love triangle that tried to separate them time and time again.
The second person in the love triangle, though I didn't want him to be with Eona, man, I loved their interactions the most. They were SEXY together. Rough and raw passion dripping off every word. They too had the same amount of mistrust, but in a different sort of way. They had a sort of... mutual survival thing going on (and before you complain about spoiling this for you, believe me, this person isn't who you think it is.)

A wonderful theme explored in both this book and Eon is what it means to be a woman. Examples of this are Lady Dela, who has the body of a man, but the spirit of a woman; and now Eona, who has come to terms with her femininity--to an extent. She mentions often that she had been denied her femininity for years and has forgotten what it means to be a woman. This installment delves deeper into her psyche and offers insight to the issue of the topic, especially considering the less than stellar views of women that this world has.

Trust is also an important theme, which was also present in Eon when she lies about being a eunuch. Eona constantly finds herself in situations where she needs to keep the truth hidden, despite her dragon's virtue being truth. I think this is an important thing to note while reading the two books.
This theme explore the concept of if you lie to someone once, they will constantly doubt you, even in times of truth, such as Ryko's rocky relationship with Eona. Ryko still hadn't recovered from Eona's betrayal in the first book, and it causes strains in their relationship. Not only that, but because of the lack of truth, everyone's relationships are on edge. This is also the cause for a major upheaval near the end of the book, which changes the course of things.

In this book, there is more history, answering a great deal of questions concerning Eona's ancestors, the red and black folios, and why the Mirror Dragon had disappeared for five hundred years. From this also comes a mystery which keeps the reader constantly guessing. We learn a much deeper truth concerning the dragons and their dragon eyes, and from this, Eona is forced to make the greatest sacrifice.

I loved this book so much. Even though it's only April, and I haven't read many books released this year, I think this is the best book 2011 has to offer. I beg you all to go out and read this book. Your lives depend on it.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Level of Interest: 5

Total: 5/5 stars

I believe that this is the highest score I've given for any book. Almost full marks! So, you KNOW it's going to be good.

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