I’m becoming burned out with YA Fiction. I took a YA Literature and Children’s Literature class last semester and had to read over thirty YA novels; not to mention all the ones I read on my own time. Therefore I think it’s time for me to step away from this genre for a while.
All that being said, I still enjoyed this book. It was fun and it did a great job of creating a strong and believable political environment and instituting political intrigue. I’m not an expert on the ancient oriental countries, but Alison Goodman seemed to have done her research into the behavior and beliefs of the culture. I learned a couple things. Like how eunuchs were very common as imperial servants. I had never heard of them outside the Bible.
The storyline: Eon is facing a test that will change the rest of his life; to become a Dragoneye apprentice and possess the power of one of the twelve Spirit Dragons. With a crippled leg and the persecution of almost everyone around him, his chances seem bleak. But Eon has a dangerous secret that will only become more dangerous as he becomes an apprentice. Eon’s real name is Eona, and Eona is a girl.
As she mingles with the aristocracy of the nation she becomes the center of a plot to take over the thrown. With the constant fear of being discovered she must protect herself from the nation which she is trying to save.
Writing from the perspective of a girl pretending to be a boy can be a challenge as her thoughts are female and her actions male. Believe it or not small things like the way men walk could give a woman away in a situation like Eona’s. Goodman does it well and I was impressed that she took these small things into account for her character. I will admit that at first I didn’t think she was doing the best job. I just couldn’t see Eona as being a boy very often, but then it occurred to me that I had access to her thoughts and wasn’t seeing her from an outside perspective.
Like any teenage character, they will make decisions that can often be reckless. Although it can drive me crazy it wouldn’t be the same without it. In these cases, I must step back and realize that these characters are supposed to be relatable to young adults, meaning teenagers. And I must remember that I am no longer a teenager, but am a twenty-three year old married man.
Goodman gave her characters significant depth (many characters who were not crucial to the storyline received more depth than I expected), which gave the story a much fuller feel.
Eon wields a strong heroine with an equally strong moral sense; an admirable role model for young woman in a world where the lines of morality are becoming less and less defined. Though it lacks a romance in this first book it does give a slight hint for the possibility of one in the sequel. It kept me enthralled until the end with new twists, deception, and slight hints that kept me eager to read just one more chapter.