FredTownWard's Reviews > Eona: The Last Dragoneye

Eona by Alison Goodman
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's review
Feb 22, 2011

it was amazing
Read in February, 2011

Desperation, Deception, and Dragons

If Lady Eona, the first Mirror Dragoneye in 500 years, thought that her deceptions could end once she united with her dragon and dropped her masquerade as a boy in Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, she was sadly mistaken. Once having set foot upon the path of lies, it is difficult to step off it. Those you’ve lied to never quite believe you again, even when you are telling them the truth, and because you know they will doubt whatever you say, you are tempted to avoid complicated truths.

Her closest friend, Lady Dela, the transvestite Contraire Eona entrusts with the deciphering of her ancestor’s Red Folio, cannot quite trust Eona because he/she knows that Eona is holding something back.

Another (former?) close friend, Ryko, the spy for rebels who willingly became a eunuch in the Imperial Guards, no longer trusts Eona, though he owes her his life, in part BECAUSE he owes her his life, under circumstances he would have chosen to die if he’d been given the choice. Worse, the price for that saved life turns out to be very high and keeps climbing.

Kygo, the rightful heir to the throne, doesn’t know how far he can trust Eona, though his only chance at regaining the throne from his murderous uncle is through her powers, because he is unsure whether the secrets she is keeping from him are more dangerous than the secrets he is keeping from her. Besides, she is a woman,…

a naïve, argumentative, authority challenging, infuriating, beautiful, desirable woman.

Finally, Eona is uncertain how much of the truth she can trust her friends and allies with:

that while she can finally call her dragon she dares not do so.
that to be able to call her dragon safely she needs training.
that the only one who can train her is the Rat Dragoneye, Lord Ido, the traitor who murdered all other dragoneyes in pursuit of HIS twisted schemes, currently being tortured to death by the Usurper, Kygo’s uncle.
that she needs to recover the Black Folio, currently in the possession of Lord Ido’s renegade apprentice, WITHOUT revealing what it is for or why she cannot allow it to fall into the hands of the royal family.
that the reason the Mirror Dragon disappeared, the reason women were ever after forbidden from becoming dragoneyes was the fact that her ancestress, Lady Kinra, the last Mirror Dragoneye, was apparently a traitor,…
that Kinra’s angry spirit is now trying to force Eona to commit the same treason,…

and that however much she might protest, Eona is starting to enjoy exercising her power,…

almost as much as Ido does.

Of course she doesn’t have to worry about trusting or being trusted by Ido because she knows she can’t and he won’t, but can they work together at all?

So how do you top the horrendous pressure you’ve piled upon your character in the first novel? You crank it up a notch… or three… or ten. Ms. Goodman continues to develop her unique fantasy world that is based on Chinese and Japanese (but mostly Chinese from what I can see) history and culture and mythology, the Empire of the Celestial Dragons and to further flesh out her characters. Despite all her quite real powers, Eona is still a very young lady tasked with an impossible job for which she lacks knowledge or experience. In the end she is largely forced to rely upon her own instincts and intuition with only the support of her closest associates. As it turns out, Ryko provides her with less support than expected, becoming something of a one note critic, and Kygo with more, both for the obvious reason and perhaps also because of their shared experience of being forced to take on too much too fast and having to cope with the horrendous cost of their own mistakes. Interestingly Eona gets the most support from Dela who despite spending most of the book outside his comfort zone (dressed as a man) and coping with his own relationship tragedies becomes the rock they all lean upon, the one who does more to hold their fractious coalition together than all the others combined.

Can Eona save the Empire, save the dragons, save her friends, AND save herself? Or will she have to choose? And what will that choice be?
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Yesenia Ah, your review makes me want to read it so badly!It's the best one I've read so far.

FredTownWard Yesenia wrote: "Ah, your review makes me want to read it so badly!It's the best one I've read so far."

Thank you, kindly, Yesenia. Once Eona: The Last Dragoneye goes off "pre-order" status, I will also post this review on Amazon where I post most of my reviews.

One piece of advice I'll give you regarding this book once you finally obtain it: don't start reading it right away. Wait until you've got a lot of free time ahead of you...

because you won't want to put it down!

message 3: by Yesenia (last edited Apr 13, 2011 09:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yesenia Yeah, I usually do that. When I bought the third book to the Eragon series, I waited until my happiness from owning it was over before I started to read it. Thank you again for your review, it's really amazing.

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