Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
I love Eon! I found it very similar to Tamora Pierce’s writing style, quite ironic because it’s her review (“I loved it. Can’t wait for the sequel!”) that’s featured on the cover.
Series: Eon Duology, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Asian Culture
Rating: 4.5 stars
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he’ll become 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 practise the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. But after a brilliant sword ceremony, Eon is catapulted into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where his desperate lie comes to light…
I love Eon! I found it very similar to Tamora Pierce’s writing style, quite ironic because it’s her review (“I loved it. Can’t wait for the sequel!”) that’s featured on the cover. In addition to the actual writing style of the book, the premise is very similar to something Tamora Pierce would write as well — a girl dressed as a boy, warrior training, historical fantasy. If any Tamora Pierce fans are hoping for a book that takes place in the Yamani Islands, this is the perfect substitute until Tamora actually writes it!
Eon does have a rather slow beginning. The prose is very interestingly written, but it doesn’t hook the reader very well. At the beginning I even had to convince myself to keep reading and just get to the next page. However, at other parts (a little later in), I could not lift my eyes from the page, and my initial pushing was definitely worth it!
There is a fantastic twist and surprise at the end of this book that I never saw coming (although smarter readers probably would have), but made the book 100 times better! I loved the characters, who were very diverse in personality and covered a wide range of traits not often featured in young adult fantasy, including the disabled, LGBT, and eunuchs.
In fact, I adored the messages about equality and acceptance this book carries with it. Eon really is a book all teens should read for more than just its engaging story and plot line, but its meaning to our lives as well. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book, which is told to the main character, who occasionally questions her gender and identity, by a transgender leading character.
“I found power in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept, but I cannot live any other way. How would it be to live a lie every minute of your life? I don’t think I could do it.”
In addition, it was very refreshing to read a book about Asian culture, which is not very common in this genre, usually overshadowed by European cultures. The only other good Asian young adult fantasy book I can think of that I’ve read is Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, which is certainly one of my favorites.
Although I don’t currently plan on reading Eona, book two in the duology, mostly because the page count terrifies me, I will definitely listen to it if I ever stumble upon the audiobook version somewhere. For now, I highly recommend Eon to any fans of Tamora Pierce, or anyone looking for a refreshing, unique fantasy!
(This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge in the category of “A Book with a Dragon”).