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Eon: Dragoneye Reborn    by Alison Goodman Amazon.com order for
Eon
by Alison Goodman
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, the first book in Alison Goodman's Dragoneye duology, is a must for fantasy fans, young and old alike. It does start off slowly, but do not let that dissuade you from reading this amazing adventure. Eon is a twelve-year-old candidate to become the Rat Dragoneye Apprentice. The Dragoneyes are eleven powerful men who can control spirit dragons, representative of each year in the Chinese Zodiac. The twelfth, the Mirror Dragon, has not been seen in five hundred years, and thus that spot is left vacant. All candidates have some dragon power in them, but only Eon is able to see all eleven dragons, which is why his master, Heuris Brannon, the former Tiger Dragoneye, is putting all of his faith in this young candidate.

Though Lord Ido, the ambitious Ascendant Rat Dragoneye rigs the choosing ceremony and the Rat Dragon does not choose Eon, the Mirror Dragon does. No one knows why the Mirror Dragon has chosen to return - and not in the correct year, either - but all acknowledge that Eon is to be Coascendant Dragoneye with Ido. Eon quickly learns that there is more to being a Dragoneye than meets the eye political alliances run deep among the Dragon Council, with Lord Ido leading the faction supporting the Emperor's brother. Eon's quick friendship with the Prince confirms his alliance with the Emperor, increasing Ido's opposition. The fate of the empire quickly falls on Eon's frail shoulders, but it is a heavy burden to carry, especially under the extreme weight of his deep secret he is actually a she.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn starts off slowly. The first few chapters introduce the main characters and the world of the Dragoneyes, in bits and pieces. Once everything is established though, the story takes off on an epic adventure filled with secrets, betrayals, and magic, making the rest of the five hundred plus pages zip by. Goodman has created a unique character in Eon/Eona. Because of her (I am using the feminine here since that is what Eon truly is) dual identities, she has more depth than the typical characters in YA novels. Goodman lets the reader see how Eon tries to keep Eona hidden, although Eona definitely needs to be let out. Eon can also be frustrating at times when he refuses to see what quickly become obvious to the reader. The frustration, though, helps form an even deeper bond between reader and main character, making the pages turn even faster.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is a thrill ride that fantasy lovers will not want to miss. I, myself, cannot wait to see what Alison Goodman has in store for the conclusion in Eona: The Last Dragoneye.

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