Friday, December 28, 2012


In the kingdom, the emperor rules with absolute power. However, managing the prosperity of the land and its people is under the jurisdiction of the Dragoneyes. Twelve men to match each of the compass points of their corresponding celestial energy dragons. Each Dragoneye mentors an apprentice for 12 years before they take over for their master. Each year a new Dragoneye apprentice is chosen from a group a young boys who have undergone years of extensive training in the arts of magic and sword work. In this land, the privilege and power of the Dragoneye Lords is an honor allowed only to men, much like the leadership of the empire and the armies. Such is the backdrop for the fantasy world created by author Alison Goodman in her very enjoyable novel Eon. Another so-called "young adult" novel that my daughter first read that I latched onto.

The story begins as a group of trainees completes their preparations for the opportunity to be chosen as Dragoneye apprentice for the Rat Dragon. One candidate, however, holds a deep secret. Eona, a girl of 16, especially gifted in dragon magic, is posing as Eon, a 12 year old boy. During the ceremony, new Dragoneye for the Rat Dragon, Lord Ido, moves to consolidate his power and senses Eon as a threat. However, Eon is not selected by the Rat Dragon. It is then that twelfth and most powerful dragon, the Mirror Dragon, which had been missing for over 500 years, returns in a vibrant show of power and selects Eon. Given that there had been no Dragoneye for the Mirror Dragon during its long absence, Eon is immediately elevated to this position. The story then follows the struggles between the powerful and dark Lord Ido and the fledgling and naive Lord Eon.

The other story arc that serves as the backdrop to this conflict involves the royals and courtiers of the palace. The emperor has been in failing health for years and his son, the loyal and noble prince, is preparing to take over. Yet the emperor's brother, who is the commander of the army, sweeps in and lays waste to all in the palace with the help of Lord Ido. Lord Eon and those closest to him barely escape a final dangerous encounter with Ido. There are rumors that the prince has been killed, but there has been no confirmation. If the prince is dead, the kingdom has fallen. Can Eon learn to control his dragon powers? What will happen if folks learn his secret identity? Can the prince be found and the kingdom restored? Just good, old-fashioned story telling. Now onto the second part of the tale in Eona.