I read Eona by Alison Goodman in three days, including one night of reading until the near-dawn hours. Reading a 637-page book in three days is a rather impressive testament, either to my inability to stop reading or the absence of any social life whatsoever, I’m not really sure which J
Eona has escaped the palace with Ryko and Dela, leaving Ido behind in the attack led by the late emperor’s brother, High Lord Sethon. The commander of all armies and ruthless to the bone, he murdered everyone associated to the emperor in his siege; except Ido. Luckily the Emperor’s son, Kygo, has escaped with his life and has taken refuge with the resistance armies. Eona and her gang go to find them as more and more natural disasters slam the earth due to the loss of the ten other Dragoneyes, which Ido had killed in the attack. What’s worse, every time Eona tries to enter the spirit world, the ten dragons attack her and destroy everything around her. Desperate to learn how to control her power, they free Ido and he begins to teach her, whispering treacherous promises in her ear the whole time, but nevertheless helping her develop her power. Eona’s ancestress, Kinra, the last Mirror Dragoneye, is coming through to her thoughts, telling Eona to steal the Impreial Pearl, and Eona has no idea why; all she knows is that Kinra was executed for treason over 500 years ago. And the worst thing? No one trusts her, not even her closest friends; she has never felt so alone. What will Eona do with her world crumbling around her? Will she follow the path of ultimate power or ultimate sacrifice? There can be no in between.
Ido was definitely my favorite character. Sure, he was ruthless, harsh, and a murderous traitor, but I couldn’t help but like him. Goodman was amazing at demonstrating his overwhelming charm because even I couldn’t help but fall in love with him, at least a little bit (well, after I found out he was only 24, not a creepy 50-year-old like I had previously thought…). Plus, I think I liked him because he was the only one whose actions made sense. Sure, his actions were mostly bad, but they fit in with his character and they were charmingly horrible. Frankly, the rest of the characters frustrated me. I’m not saying the book was bad by any means; I actually quite enjoyed it. But none of the characters trusted each other and all of them seemed to think Eona was this terrible person when she never really did anything to hurt anyone. Like when she healed Ryko: when she SAVED HIS LIFE a bond was formed where she could compel him to do things. She had no idea that would happen. Plus, everyone was begging her to heal him and all she thought would happen was that she would save his life. She only compelled him a total of three or four times times (mostly on the emperor and his own orders) and he was making it seem like she controlled him all the time. He just needed to calm down. The only person that was consistently nice to her (kind of) was Dela. And occasionally Kygo, but he doesn’t even count because half the time he treated her like garbage and the other half like a queen, but I’m not even going to go into that right now… But I did like Kygo when he was nice to her, which was eventually consistent for the last third of the book, but a part of me wanted her to end up with Ido, anyway.
Overall, Goodman’s writing was good because it drew me into the story; I literally could not stop reading! All of the events that occurred were so exciting and I actually stayed up until 4:15 AM reading because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! Sure, the characters frustrated and infuriated me, but at least they got me emotionally invested in the story and characters. However, I was surprisingly stoic when two of the kind-of-main characters died… I’m not really sure why… I really liked the ending, but I think that there should have been an afterward that explained how Eona fit into court after all of this happened. There are so many questions left unanswered and they’re not even the kind that I can imagine an answer to because there are so many different possibilities… Whatever, I guess I’ll just imagine the one want to happen and be satisfied with that J
One thing that bothered me A LOT was the repetition of a few key words. For example, “cinnamon,” “vanilla orange,” and “portent,” were used more times than I could count. But the worst example? “Bereft.” I kid you not, that word had to be in there at least 400 times. It was ridiculous. It’s not even like there aren’t any synonyms for that word, either! I can think of at east ten off of the top of my head. Though I did not mention it in my review of Eon, she did the same thing with the same words, as well as “brazier” and “kowtow,” but that’s not what we’re talking about right now…
All in all, a really good book! Though my rantings in this review may not make it seem like it, I actually really enjoyed reading it!!