Mythical Dragons in Eon

Eon by Alison Goodman


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Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Author: Alison Goodman
Published: August 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 430 {paperback}

Originally published on Goodreads

This review is spoiler free until I state otherwise.

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

This was so much fun!! A page-turning fantasy read filled with plenty of Chinese mythology. Certainly leaves us on edge for book two.


Truth be told, when I first bought this book I had no idea what it was about. Why did I buy it? Well, I happened to be at an author signing and Alison Goodman was just so nice that I was like, WELL – guess I have to read this now. One does not simply ignore dragon books when they jump into your life.

AND THAT ALSO MEANS MY COPY IS SIGNED. I hope you’re all jealous. As a side note, Goodman’s hair is awesome and we should all also be jealous of that. But back to the book.

Eon is the story of a character (who is called Eon) and who is pretending to be a boy. She’s slightly crippled but chosen to basically train to be a representative for a dragon. Because there are these sort of spirit dragons that imbue power in the people that represent them because without them there’s basically chaos – although to be fair there’s chaos with them. But Eon isn’t a likely candidate and just . . . OKAY I’VE CONFUSED EVERYONE. Let’s try again.

In this world, we see a fantasy set-up based of Chinese mythology. There are different “dragons” – just like there are different animals for each Chinese year. There’s a Rat Dragon, etc etc – but one hasn’t been seen for ages: The Mirror Dragon. BASICALLY: each year a dragon “ascends” and there are corresponding humans who are in positions of political power who have powers and act as a sort of vessel for the dragon’s power. All these representatives are called Dragoneyes. They all have power for the whole time they are Dragoneye but they have a more power for the time their dragon is ascended. I think people are Dragoneye for 12 years and then their apprentice takes over, because wielding that magic basically ages your unnaturally fast.


I promise you this is all much less confusing in the book. Someone fire me as a summariser because this is clearly not my calling. Ahem. SO. Eon is in training to be selected as the next apprentice to the Dragoneye who will ascend next: The Rat Dragon. Except Eon is actually a girl. THEN DRAMA HAPPENS. Because of course, women are forbidden from using Dragon Magic so obviously none could ever be a Dragoneye, right? *much eye rolling*

The idea of the Dragoneye is that they use their powers for the good of the people. This means trying to lessen the effects of monsoonal weather catastrophes – and so on. Hands up if you’re ready for a corrupted government plot? *raises all the hands*


I think you’re going to need to trust me in that this book is awesome and inspiring because of a strong heroine challenging societal norms, and characters who are wicked. There’s a transgender character, too, and it just works PERFECTLY.

A Unique Setting!

I loved how well this setting worked. It’s like Goodman just grabbed the bull by the horns and shoved fantasy amazingly well into a medieval-ish society. And there are dragons. Which I love. I love the social issues that are tackled in this book: relationships, power struggles, corruption, the feminine plight, disabilities, gender identity. EVERYTHING. As a whole I feel like this was a lot to swallow upon reflection, but it just worked seamlessly whilst I was reading it.

As seamlessly as I’ve snuck in this completely irrelevant gif

Let’s put it this way – this book had me hooked enough that I decided to pack it on my gallivanting to Europe even though that meant I had to lug around another book. I loved the setting so much and I wish more YA Fantasy books were set in countries (or inspired by) other than America and England. This book just felt like it satisfyingly ticked off the diversity box for me – at least enough to make me nod appreciatively.

I’m hyperventilating. This gif. These men.


Let’s not deny that the big reason I read this was for the dragons. Whilst these are no Eragons, I thought the concept and the way the magic worked was very cool. I liked that there were a bunch of different dragons that all had a Dragoneye and their apprentice. I loved that they invested magic in this person and I loved that the Dragoneyes were these revered people (and rightly so). If I was amazing at art, I’d be making some serious fan art. Just imagine the fun you could have with what the Dragoneye’s little homes near the Emperor would look like. It’s like Hogwarts Houses all over again.

I think one of the really cool things was the way that magic wove its way into the story. But one of the highlights was the fighting. Whilst there weren’t extreme amounts of this – the sword skills and whatnot were to die for. Imagine the final scenes of Disney’s Mulan. Yep. IN FACT. If you like Mulan (and you should because, um, best Disney movie, right?) then do yourself a favour and go get this. It even has the added bonus of a pretty cover.

Basically, I just love the way this worked. But now I need to gush just a little bit about some spoilers so the rest of you hop, skip and jump down to the summary. BE GONE.


I am in love with the way that Eon was thrust into this madness and that the Mirror Dragon chose her. I’m really excited to see where things go in the second book because this was just perfect madness. I loved the power struggles that went on and the help that she received from unlikely friends. It made me sad the amount of effort she had to go to to fit in just because she was a woman – but I think the book makes a bold statement through that. I also loved the self-discovery journey Eon goes on.


My absolute favourite characters were Ryko and Lady Dela. Inspirational! Both of them had their own difficulties fitting into society but my GOD – if ever there was the ultimate, strong woman, it is Lady Dela. I also could not help but picture Ido as Sacha Baron Cohen – it just seems to fit perfectly? I so hope someone makes a movie of this because it would truly be epic. I mean, the chaos of the final scenes. Whew. Fetch me a fan for I am overwhelmed with gloriousness.


I need the second book, that’s for sure. I thoroughly enjoyed this, I appreciated the diversity within its pages and I loved the setting. I loved the fighting, I loved the magic, I loved the dragons, and I loved the characters. This actually ticks so many boxes for me and I think it’s definitely underhyped. COME FORTH, YE FELLOW FANASY LOVERS.

View all my reviews


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


 You might also like . . .

If you love a good dragon story, Seraphina is for you.

If you like a good medieval fantasy, Grave Mercy is for you.

If you like books that delve into mythology, Reawakened is for you.

 Have you read this? What did you think?

Share your thoughts below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~


5 thoughts on “Mythical Dragons in Eon

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