Thursday, June 23, 2011
Read for YA Overlooked Book Battle.
If you enjoy Tamora Pierce's Alanna series, I think there is much to enjoy in this book too. Similarities include a woman posing as a man in order to attain a specific military and court position. She will have to use all of her powers to save herself and the ones she loves from destruction. However this is a completely different story with much to enjoy in its own right.
Eona, posing as Eon, is attempting to become a Dragoneye, one of twelve dragons aligned with animals such as the Rat Dragon, Tiger Dragon, etc. There seems to be much that is drawn from Chinese culture in particular and Asian culture in general. Goodman did a great job describing Eona's feelings and building the world around her. Although the book is long, I flew through it because I was able to picture myself in the world.
One of the big themes is exploration of gender. Eona hides as Eon and attempts to sublimate every part of her femininity, described as her moon side while allowing full rein to her sun side. Two helpful companions are Lady Dela, born as a man but who dresses and appears as female, and her bodyguard Ryko, a eunuch who helps Eon immensely in many ways. They open the discourse for these this theme.
There was a lot of action and suspense that thrilled me to no end. I did have one big disappointment (not a spoiler): the book ends with no mention of what happened to Kygo, an almost friend of Eona's; in fact, he seems largely forgotten. I assume he will appear in the sequel Eona but the reviews I've read have been sketchy on details.
Overall: A fast-moving adventure story with a complex mythology and interesting characters.