Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 531 pages
Publication Date: December 26, 2008
Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic,, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye--an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.
But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.
When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.
What I Liked:
1. Girl pretending to be a boy. Always love those stories. What was different was the fact that Eon was in an accident when she was little and her hip is constantly hurting her and if you're "crippled" in this world, people want nothing to do with you, they think you're cursed.
2. Cool mythology, although to be honest, I didn't entirely get it. There are twelve spirit dragons and Dragoneyes have some sort of connection to them and the dragons help them keep the world safe from natural disasters. At least I think that's the general gist.
3. Action. There are a lot of fight scenes.
4. Political intrigue. You have the emperor who's in poor health, and his son who's supposed to take over. Then there's the emperor's oldest brother, who's in charge of the military and who wants to take over when the emperor dies. He's aligned himself with Lord Ido, the power hungry Rat Dragoneye, and there's a lot of political plotting and maneuvering going on.
5. Great, very different, secondary characters. Different for YA, that's for sure. There's Lady Dela, known as a Contraire, a man who chooses to live as a woman. There's Ryko, an elite eunuch guard who protects the royal family. Loved both of them!
I did miss the fact that there's no romance (which makes sense given that she's pretending to be a guy), but for those of you who are getting tired of the romance taking over, that is not the case here since there is none. I really enjoyed this one and I can't wait to read the next one (which does have a romantic sub-plot, I believe).
Posted by: Pam