Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. 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.As soon as I saw that this novel was blurbed my Tamora Pierce, quite possibly my favorite fantasy author in existence, I knew that I HAD to have it. As soon as I started reading it I knew that I would love it. Right away the tone of the novel, the voice, everything had me. I just couldn't put it down.
But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. 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.
Eon/a was a hero/heroine that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can see why Tamora Pierce blurbed this novel, I really can. There is so much of what I love in her own stories in Eon. Eon/a is a strong character. S/he makes mistakes like anyone else, s/he has flaws and doesn't always make the right choices. But deep down s/he has a strong heart, a good heart and wants to do the right thing. S/he's likeable. As I said from the beginning, I was drawn into this novel and couldn't put it down. I had to see it through to the end.
My only minor flaw with this novel is Eon/a's cluelessness. I had figured out one of the major, and I mean major, twists fairly early on in the novel and though he got close to it time and time again Eon/a didn't figure it out until close to the end. Pretty much at the absolute last possible second. Mildly irritating on my part but not enough to make me want to slam the book down; really and truly I only set it down when I absolutely had to. Despite that minor flaw it was still an amazing read.
Also, the mixture of people/characters that Eon/a comes in contact throughout the novel are incredible, and in my opinion, handled amazingly well. Eon/a comes in contact with cross-dressers [is one him/herself!] and transexuals; as other reviewers have said before me the novel deals quite a bit with personal identity and how society reacts to your choices as well as sexual identity. Eon, the novel, questions the notions of feeling more like a boy than a girl or vice-versa despite who you may "physically be". And I have to say it was refreshing to see this kind of variety in characters in a young adult fantasy novel.
And the setting, oh the setting. Alison Goodman truly makes you feel like you've been transported to the world she has created through her writing. Its beautiful. You hear the sounds, you feel the fabrics, you can see it all so clearly. I was just blown away by the setting. Like, had I read this novel awhile back I would have named it in the Top Ten Tuesday list for settings in novels that I would love to visit. Because I would seriously love to visit this one.