Wednesday, 20 April 2011

review: Eona

by Alison Goodman
Puffin Canada/Viking Children's, April 2011
young adult fantasy
ARC received from publisher (thank you!)

Eona's revealed her gender and status as Lady Dragoneye of the Mirror Dragon to the resistance -- the side of the empire fighting against Sethon's illegitimate rise to emperor. She travels to meet Kygo, the true Son of Heaven and emperor, and the resistance, all the while avoiding Sethon's searching gaze. Because Eona's dragon powers are untamed, they risk their lives to sneak into the palace and free Lord Ido, the Rat Dragoneye and the only Dragoneye left alive besides Eona out of the original twelve. A mysterious text written in Woman Script by ancestor Kinra foreshadows the triangle Eona is caught up in with Ido and Kygo, and may hold the key to restoring the dragons' power while reuniting the land under Kygo's rightful rule.
The cover:

Is it just me, or is that girl NOT Asian? Yeah. Huh. Her expression also looks like one of those role-playing games, like the character was made in World of Warcraft or whatever. The pose is very nice -- the blad looks sufficiently dangerous -- but I can't tell at all what the background image is supposed to be.

The book:

A disappointing follow-up to Eon (2008), the opening begins with a display of dragon power and a hint about the fate of Lord Ido in Sethon's hands. After the first chapter, however, the pace is dropped considerably. (Travelling across the countryside does not make for interesting reading.) The clues as to the dragons' fate left in the Woman Script intrigue the most, while the Eona-Ido-Kygo love triangle is (barely) made tolerable by seeming fated. However, because the triangle is developed so, the twist ending of the relationship between Eona and Ido seems unrealistic, and the love between Kygo and Eona never seems rooted.

Eona's moral indecision becomes tiring and irritating, especially since she never seems sure of herself. She's never a fully likeable character, especially once she begins to focus more on power. I continously confused Kygo with Ryko -- the similar y and o and the number of letters kept me wondering whether I was reading about the emperor or the eunuch. After the love triangle and the dragons is resolved, a tie-in to Kinra's written message would've made for a more wholesome, circular feel.

Rating: 2 out of 5