Review: Eona by Alison Goodman


Eona by Alison Goodman

Title: Eona (Eon #2)
Author: Alison Goodman
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: FIREBIRD (29th March 2012)

Once she was Eon, a girl disguised as a boy, risking her life for the chance to become a Dragoneye apprentice . .  .

Now she is Eona, the Mirror Dragoneye, her country’s savior – but she has an even more dangerous secret. She cannot control her power. Each time she tries, she opens herself to the ten spirit dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered, and her ability twists into a killing force. Worse, more destruction is on her tail, for she and her friends are on the rune from High Lord Sethon’s army. They must find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power if he is to wrest back his throne. But to help, she must drive a bargain with an old enemy, which could obliterate them all. Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama, unforgettable fight scenes – and many surprises – brings to a close an epic story.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Eona brings to a conclusion the story started in Eon, where a girl disguises herself as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Eon had everything I love in a good sword and sorcery fantasy, so I was really looking forward to reading Eona. However, Eona didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I will admit that going into Eona my expectations were high. To be honest they were probably a little too high. For me Eon really worked as a story, and I was hoping that Eona would be the same. Unfortunately, Eona didn’t quite work for me.

Eona is a thick book – my copy has 637 pages – so it is not a light read. Goodman did a good job at keeping the action flowing through the book and the tension high. Goodman also did a good job with the mystery aspect of the plot, and kept me guessing about how things were going to unfold and what the future held for Eona and her friends. As in Eon, the world building in Eona was brilliantly done and it was inhabited by some really brilliant characters. The ending of Eon was very tense, and Eona continues that tension. There is a very definite feel in the book that things are coming to a head, and whatever the outcome things will change – whether this change will be good or bad is open to question. Goodman also chose to throw in a romantic sub-plot in Eona, and I will be honest – it threw me. I can see why Goodman did it, as it definitely created tension in the narrative but I couldn’t help but wonder what it really added to the story.

On the whole Goodman does a brilliant job with character building through the novel. Kygo is a young man who is just coming into his power, and who has to fight to hold on to it. Although at times his motives are a little oblique, Kygo is a very strong and honest character and I found myself rooting for him. Dela was also a really strong character in this book, and actually one of my favourites. I really admired the lengths Dela was prepared to go for what she believed in – and I also loved the moments between Dela and Ryko. Sethon was a well written bad guy, who was definitely scary. And Ido was perhaps the most interesting character in the book – it was very hard to discern his motives for most of the book, and he was not a simple man. Eona . . . well, at times I really liked Eona and thought Goodman was doing a good job showing Eona coming into herself. However, there were times in the book where I found liking Eona hard and this made reading the book difficult. Some of Eona’s choices in this book were very different to those she made in Eon; the warnings about power and corruption spring to mind.

Eon and Eona tell an epic sword and sorcery fantasy set in an Eastern world (a cross between China and Japan) with magic and dragons and sword fighting. They also feature a skillful kick-ass female lead. If this is your type of fantasy then be sure to check them out.

4 thoughts on “Review: Eona by Alison Goodman

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