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Cover image for Eon : Dragoneye reborn
Eon : Dragoneye reborn



Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2008.
Physical Description:
531 pages ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
General Note:
Sequel: Eona.
Paperback -Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, candidate Eon is training to become a Dragoneye -- a powerful lord able to master wind and water to protect the land. But Eon also harbours a desperate secret -- Eon is, in fact, Eona, a young woman who has endured years of disguise as a boy for the chance to practise the Dragoneye's art. In a world where women are only hidden wives or servants, Eona's dangerous deception is punishable by death. Still in disguise, Eona's unprecedented talent thrusts her into the centre of a lethal struggle for the Imperial throne. Summoned by the Emperor to the opulent and teacherous court, Eona must learn to trust her power and find the strength to face a vicious enemy who would seize her magic and her life. Inspired by ancient Chinese lore and sharing the wonders of films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this thrilling novel of deadly politics, sexual intrigue and dazzling swordplay is set in a brilliantly envisioned world where both appearances and loyalties can prove so very deceptive...
Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.


Call Number
Goodman, A.

On Order



Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light, readers won't be able to stop turning the pages ...

Author Notes

Alison Goodman is an award winning novelist. Her novels include the Eon/Eona duology, A New Kind of Death, and The Dark Days Club. Singing the Dogstar Blues won an Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2004 and The Two Pearls of Wisdom won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 7

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Middle School) Eon is in a fierce competition to be selected as the apprentice to the Rat Dragon (one of twelve who guard the Empire) and is engaged in a dangerous deception. If anyone discovers that he is secretly a she, not only is her death assured, but so is that of her master and sponsor. Eon is least favored among the candidates -- her crippled hip is considered ill fortune -- but she needs to be chosen or face financial ruin, slavery, or worse. Goodman writes deliberately, fleshing out her Japanese- and Chinese-inspired fantasy world with textures and colors, superstitions and mythology, prejudices and taboos, but the narrative is so driven by the impending contest that the protracted setup doesn't drag. Then, at the ceremony, a surprise, and Eon is plunged into the perilous world of court alliances and struggles surrounding the ailing Emperor. The usual girl-dressed-as-a-boy trope gets a weightier-than-usual treatment here, and readers intrigued by gender issues will find plenty of interest in a pair of supporting characters, a eunuch and a male-to-female transsexual. The setting is so richly evoked and the complications so well paced that readers will be drawn on steadily to the bloodbath coup at the climax -- but the outcome of significant developments in this book will only be seen in the projected sequel. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This mesmerizing story begins where most novels end: in a tension-filled climactic event, in which the fate of the protagonist and a nation hang in the balance. Goodman catapults the reader headfirst into a pivotal moment in the Empire of the Celestial Dragons, a world so richly imagined that it feels real. No detail is overlooked, from the smallest sensory description to the fascinating mythos of the elemental dragons. It is a new year, and 12 boys vie to become an apprentice to the ascendant Rat Dragon. Eon has trained for this moment for four years, but she and her master hide a dangerous secret. Eon is actually Eona, a 16-year-old girl with a singular talent. Females are forbidden to take part in dragon magic, and Eona faces disembowelment if discovered. As the story races forward, Eona becomes the fulcrum of a seesaw struggle for control of the Empire. Entangled politics and fierce battle scenes provide a pulse-quickening pace, while the intriguing characters add interest and depth. Eona's pivotal acceptance of her femininity, so ruthlessly repressed by both herself and her culture, gives this intricate fantasy particular weight. Readers will clamor for the sequel.--Rutan, Lynn Copyright 2008 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

SCIENCE FAIR A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog. By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Disney Editions. $18.99. (Ages 10 and up) Mean rich kids, heavies from the Republic of Krpshtskan and a "Star Wars" memorabilia collector in a Darth Vader mask are some of the bad guys in Pearson and Barry's hilarious new novel. Toby Harbinger has to win the $5,000 first prize at the Hubble Middle School science fair to make Darth Vader go away, but much more is at stake: a plot to steal top-secret technology, unwittingly aided by hypercompetitive parents. Somehow it all makes sense. ABSOLUTELY WILD By Dennis Webster. Illustrated by Kim Webster Cunningham. David R. Godine. $17.95. (Ages 5 and up) A father-daughter team assembles a menagerie, wild and garden-variety. Cunningham's hand-colored linoleum prints complement the jaunty poems ("The snail's a funny little fellow/Whose body seems to run on Jell-o./He slips and slides along the ground /And never makes the slightest sound"). The text is simple enough that the book could double as an early reader, and lines about the yak's "hairy top and hairy bottom" should go over big. LET IT BEGIN HERE! April 19, 1775: The Day the American Revolution Began. Written and illustrated by Don Brown. Roaring Brook. $17.95. (Ages 6 to 10) "One of the most famous days in American history" comes to life in this account. Using a blunt, expressive style - except for redcoats and splashes of blood, the watercolors are mostly in shades of brown - the author conveys the human scale of the revolution that began in a field in Lexington (some images make the age guidance of 6 seem on the young side). The book's sourcing could be more informative, but as history lessons go, this one is fast-paced and accessible. THE PENCIL By Allan Ahlberg. Illustrated by Bruce Ingman. Candlewick. $16.99. (Ages 4 to 8) A creative cousin of Harold's purple crayon, Ahlberg and Ingman's "lonely little pencil" busily draws a dog, a cat, a family, a paintbrush (which brings color into the story), a boiled egg named Billy and other characters who insist on taking over their own story and rudely ordering up revisions. ("'Get rid of these ridiculous sneakers!' yelled Elsie.") Finally the pencil is forced to come up with the only possible solution: an eraser or two. EON Dragoneye Reborn. By Alison Goodman. Viking. $19.99. (Ages 12 and up) The odds are stacked almost too heavily against Eon, a girl masquerading as a 12-year-old boy - a would-be "dragoneye apprentice" to one of the "12 energy dragons of good fortune" (Goodman's fantasy world is based on East Asian astrology). But this novel includes plenty of exciting sword fights and plot reversals, and the dragons themselves, which only mystics of Eon's ability can see, are beautifully described. Eon's rise and fall take an unpredictable course, and a surprise awaits at the end, setting up Book 2. HATE THAT CAT By Sharon Creech. Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins. $15.99. (Ages 8 to 12) Creech's new novel - a companion to "Love That Dog" - once again uses poetry to talk about poetry in the voice of a boy named Jack. In his one-sided exchange with his teacher, Miss Stretchberry (we get traces of her presence: "O.K. O.K., O.K. / I will learn how to spell alliteration"), he argues, cajoles and remembers, and arrives at an understanding of what words are for. Along the way we learn about his favorite writers (oddly, repeating some verses from the previous book) and why William Carlos Williams, "the wheelbarrow guy," still sounds new. JULIE JUST

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-In this Asian-inspired fantasy world, political power belongs to the emperor, but also to the Dragoneyes: men who harness the power of the 12 energy dragons named for animals from the Chinese zodiac. Each year, a new one comes to power, and the dragon itself chooses a new apprentice from a pool of 12-year-old boys. Physically lame Eon is thought least likely to be chosen and also has a secret: Eon is truly Eona, a 16-year-old girl. At the ceremony, the Rat Dragon chooses fellow trainee Dillon for the role of apprentice. Eon thinks that all is lost until she sees a dragon no one has seen in 400 years: the Dragon Dragon-also known as the Mirror Dragon. The Mirror Dragon chooses Eon as an apprentice, and because there is no current Mirror Dragoneye, she must serve on the Dragoneye Council herself. She is thus plunged into the dangerous world of the court, which is sharply divided between the emperor and ruthless Lord Ido, the powerful Rat Dragoneye. Fans of Tamora Pierce will appreciate both the strong female protagonist and the cast of shrewd misfits who support her. Although the pace is initially slow, patient readers will be rewarded with high-stakes action in a well-crafted fantasy universe. A second volume will follow, but this one has an ending satisfying enough that readers will not feel cheated.-Megan Honig, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Eon knows his chance of becoming the Rat Dragoneye is almost nonexistent. Crippled by an old injury, he can scarcely manage the sword forms Dragoneye candidates perform. More importantly, everybody knows that Dragons won't choose girls, and that's just what Eon is, though heshehas been in disguise for so many years she barely remembers what it means to be female. Indeed, the Rat Dragon doesn't choose Eon; the Mirror Dragon, lost for more than 500 years, chooses him instead. Raised instantly from slave to lord, Eon is thrust into deadly court politics. In a fantasy world loosely and uneasily based on Imperial China, Eon's unexpected presence disturbs those who would overthrow the Emperor. Fast-paced excitement carries Eon through this tension-packed adventure, where victory can only come with self-knowledge. It's too bad this excellent portrayal of a disabled action-heroine concludes by retroactively turning disability into a metaphor for ignorance. Nonetheless, this adventure, filled with intrigue, friendships, combat and magical allies, is a winner. (Fantasy. 12-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

In Goodman's fantasy kingdom, power struggles both worldly and magical combine in a zodiac of dragon energies. Each year, one apprentice is chosen to bond with a dragon. Crippled and frail, Eon has little hope of being that one apprentice until a mysterious dragon appears and makes its choice. Now Eon must survive his enemy's ambitions while harboring a deadly secret: 12-year-old Eon is really 16-year-old Eona, a girl hiding in a man's world. Why It Is a Best: Because the publication of this book has been delayed (it appears this December), it may not earn its rightful place on 2008 best-of lists; that is a shame. The combination of complex world building-the result is a setting reminiscent of ancient China and Japan-and an edge-of-your-seat plot rank it among the top fantasy reads in this or any other year. Why It Is for Us: Eon is also a sophisticated examination of the relationship between sex and politics. Fighting alongside Eon/Eona are the transgendered beauty who tutors her in palace politics and a very manly eunuch. In a genre so often peopled with brave ladies and valiant men, it is a pleasant surprise to meet characters for whom gender is a matter of choice.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.