Eon: Dragoneye Reborn - Alison Goodman Eon is definitely one of the better YA Fantasy novels I've read in the past year. The story reminded me of one of my all time favorite books, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. They both feature a strong female character who poses as a boy in a royal court, befriends the crown prince, and makes an enemy of an attractive and powerful villain. Eon, however, was written for an older audience and deals with much more complex themes including gender identity, gender roles, rape, and abuse. The Empire of the Celestial Dragon, the setting for the story, is well-developed with a rich and complex mythology. It is clear that Goodman has done a lot of research into various eastern cultures, in particular Chinese culture.

These is also a fantastic cast of secondary characters including a woman trapped in a man's body who lives as a woman and a sword-fighting eunuch. While I do think Eona's characterization could have been stronger, I did appreciate her development over the course of the story. She learns from her mistakes and I liked how Goodman wasn't afraid to let her make morally questionable decisions for the sake of self-preservation.

There were two main reasons this novel was not a five-star read. The first and most egregious problem was Eona's frustrating inability to figure out her dragon's name even though the answer was obvious to me and should have been obvious to her. Flannery's review has a great chart that illustrates my feelings on the subject. The second problem I had with the novel was the pacing. Parts of the novel flew by while others dragged on due to over-description of the setting and info dumping about the mythology.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Tamora Pierce's writing, in particular the Song of the Lioness Quartet. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.