28 April 2009

Book of the Week (11): “Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye” by Alison Goodman

Set in a violent, mythical world that blends the ancient cultures of China and Japan, this is the story of Eon, a girl masquerading as a boy in order to have a chance at being chosen by one of the twelve celestial dragons, and so become apprentice to one of the Dragoneyes - the powerful men who can channel the dragons' energy. In a culture that sees women as lesser beings than men, and where to be discovered would mean certain death, Eon (whose real name is Eona), battles with her own maturing body, the stifling attitudes around her and with the labyrinthine rituals and politics of a country teetering on the verge of civil war. With the friendship of a woman (who is really a man) and the undying enmity of one of the most powerful men at court, Eon can only survive as best she can. And somehow find a way to link with the dragon who has chosen her - a dragon unseen for five hundred years.

This is a great book for 12-plus kids who really like to be immersed in other worlds.

Recommended by Leonie Flynn

• There is a sequel; Eon: Dragoneye Reborn.
• Dragons in myth, legend and story abound - to start with try something else with a Chinese flavour: Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson.
• For something about a mystical version of Ancient Japan, try Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (who, like Alison Goodman, is Australian).

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