My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you, like me, loved Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, you can't possibly miss this sequel in which the epic story of The Empire of Celestial Dragons comes to a conclusion. - and YES! only two books, isn't it one more reason to read them?
On the GR synopsis up there it says this is a standalone but don't believe that, you can't possibly enjoy this book without all the background information from Eon.
I enjoyed this much more than the first one, many of the things that stressed me out in Eon were already taken care of in Eona.
First of all, the consistent amount of information about the world-building that I had to take in for this story, had already been digested: background info, protagonists' characterization, settings and so on and so forth. I was more relaxed and didn't have to pay as much attention as in Eon, where I had to build my knowledge of this world - which is quite articulated, believe me - from scratch.
Second, I was already acquainted with Eona. And since I don't like her, I knew pretty much that, as she had annoyed me before, she would annoy me in this book as well. She didn't disappoint. It is actually pretty amazing that I CAN like a story where I totally despise its main character. Well, maybe not TOTALLY but, in many instances, especially in Eon, I thought Eona was bordering on Too Stupid To Live. She sure was dense. In this one, she is still being a coward and a liar and, while being caught up in a love triangle where she shamelessly makes out with both other factors in the equation, she also acquires instant wisdom and is made the new Emperor's Naiso, responsible for advising His Majesty and being his truth bringer. Are you f***ing kidding me?
But, since I already knew her, I didn't spend my time wanting to throttle her and she was almost completely consistent with the person she was in Eon. I say almost because I was a bit disturbed by the sudden outbreak of hormones which took over her sanity after she "became" a woman. First she was a boy, then she was a nympho. Ok, I am exaggerating here but you get my point. Since she gets discovered, there is no more Eon, her past five years as a man are forgotten, if not for her outspokenness. Is this possible?
Dela, while acting as a man for the whole book, is still a woman inside, is always referred to as a "she" and I liked how Goodman kept the intrinsc difference in the Contraire. Actually, maybe I should quote:
"her head turned, stubbled cheek brushing mine."
Ok, this sentence sounds SO wrong. I laughed 15 minutes. But I digress.
The character that really came out and that I liked the most is certainly Ido. While Kygo is a pompous, childish, spoilt kid - true, he IS the Emperor but does he have to act all the time like everything is due to him? Eona included, I mean
So truly, this book was stunning. The storytelling is superb, the plot is intricate with twists and turns that will keep you glued to the pages, the pace is breathless and the battles epic.
There is also a lot of violence and gore and they're very visual, so be warned: not for the squeamish.
I have just one last complaint. While the cover of Eon was simply gorgeous, this one I didn't like much. What's with the skinsuit? Eona could't possibly have worn that.
And most importantly: what's with the blue eyed, Caucasian Eona?
I hope Alison Goodman is planning to keep on writing fantasy so detailed, well plotted and original because if so, I am going to buy each and every of her books. For lovers of Eragon, you will be blown away by this.
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