Alison Goodman, author of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, is an Australian author who has received praise for her first science fiction work, Singing The Dogstar Blues and followed that up with the crime thriller Killing The Rabbit. Goodman wrote Eon as part one of a fantasy duology with part two expected sometime in 2010.
Synopsis from book: Twelve-year-old Eon has been training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, which is based on Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. 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.
But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading for the chance to become a Dragoneye. 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.
Alison Goodman starts with some rich history and culture of the East, adds in some fantasy elements and creates a one of a kind world, the Empire of the Celestrial Dragons. Her descriptive tales of the 12 Dragons and their associated Dragoneyes, the Hua or life force of the people, and the swordplay makes for a dynamic fantasy novel. Where Goodman rises above the rest is the way she intermingles so many problematic concerns of today into the novel. We get to examine the inner turmoil of ambition, despair and sacrifice, political intrigue, gender roles, and personal prejudices of "lesser" people. The only surprising thing is that this book is found in the Young Adult section - do not let that stop any adults from picking it up - this is one of the best books I have read in quite a while. I have now put Goodman's earlier works on my to-read list and I can hardly wait for the second part of this story.
Note: The above review was based on a book provided to me by the publisher and/or author. As always, I thank them from the opportunity to enjoy some new literature.