Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Alison Goodman, Author . Viking $19.99 (531p) ISBN 978-0-670-06227-0

Inspired by Asian culture, Goodman (Singing the Dogstar Blues ) weaves a fantasy with contemporary themes about gender identity and female power. Because women are forbidden to study Dragon magic, 16-year-old Eona disguises herself as Eon, a 12-year-old boy, to compete to be an apprentice Dragoneye, a communicant with one of 12 energy dragons. Crippled years earlier, she is least likely to be chosen. But then the Mirror Dragon, mysteriously absent for 500 years, appears at the competition and selects Eona. Unable to share her secret even with her new friends, the soldier eunuch Ryko and Lady Dela, a “Contraire,” or transgender courtier, Eona must confront the corrupt Lord Ido and save the empire from his schemes—and discover how to invoke the power of the Mirror Dragon. Goodman's characters hold built-in appeal for fans of Tamora Pierce (particularly of her Song of the Lioness Quartet), but they go further than Pierce's in staking out their sexuality; the author's plotting is elaborate, smart and capable of taking the audience by surprise. Enthralled readers will be hard-pressed to wait for the story's second half, Eona: The Last Dragoneye , scheduled for 2010. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 09/29/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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