Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 1st 2008
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
“How brief and hidden were the moments of destiny.”
Eon was rescued from the slavery of the salt mines in hopes that he would be able to become the apprentice to a Dragoneye Lord. Eon has a crippled hip, but there is an even bigger obstacle in his way, Eon is actually Eona. Females have been forbidden from practicing dragon magic. Eon’s fate rests on his ability to be chosen during the ceremony, and soon the entire empire will rest on his shoulders.
Eon is a weak character. For a main character they feel terribly like an afterthought. The plot moves dragging Eon with it. Eon is one of the luckiest characters I’ve read of. Despite being crippled and having no real charisma or practical skills everything falls into place for them. Eon’s allies are able to carry his weight and do everything for him while occasionally his power will pop in to save him. At no point does Eon do anything useful that isn’t just directly some ancient power moving him. In fact Eon constantly puts more obstacles in his way.
Despite Eon being a disappointment several of the other characters, particularly Ryko and Lady Dela are multifaceted and well written. Lady Dela’s existence as a transgender woman, referred to as a contraire, is handled with wonderful tact. Even the minor cast seems to have their own motives and personality, this is the book’s saving grace. The cast of characters (excluding Eon) is diverse and thrilling. It might be difficult to sympathize with Eon, who takes remarkably well to being a lord and inconveniencing others, but it’s easy to feel for the rest of the characters.
The plot is fast-paced and thrilling. Despite being a longer book there are hardly any lulls. From political intrigue to full out battle scenes, and miraculously none of this time is stolen by some contrived romance. Goodman’s blend of asian cultures to create a fantasy world is pleasing, and the energy dragons at the heart of the plot are extremely interesting. At times the plot does seem to dive into convenience. For a large portion of the book Eon is searching for an object which may contain something important but halfway through without any explanation Eon is certain the object contains what he needs. A battle also ends on a rather unsatisfying note.
It is frustrating to watch Eon constantly fumble for answers that are relatively obvious but the supporting cast, beautifully crafted world and exciting plot more than make up for his shortcomings.