Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Eon has been training to take the Dragoneye Apprentice test. Her master discovered her when she was very young and took her under his wing because Eon can do what no apprentice has been able to do--Eon can see all 12 dragons. Normally, a dragon only makes itself visible to its Dragoneye and his apprentice. Girls aren't allowed to take the test, though, so Eon has disguised herself a boy. But Eon is a cripple and the test is physically demanding. Will she be able to call the Dragons and, if she does, will she be able to continue to hide the fact that she is a girl?
This book, at least to me, is a clear example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Eon sat on my shelf for two months before I picked it up. I'm not sure what I thought it was about...maybe dragons that could talk, or some sort of prehistoric tale, or strange one-eyed monsters. I definitely didn't think it was a teen-centered tale about a sword-wielding girl who could call dragons to her and who would save a kingdom. Eon (or "Eona" when she's admitting that she's a girl) is a fierce heroine, afraid of revealing her true sex and intent on succeeding so she can restore the riches of her master. The story is set in an alternate history that could be feudal China or Japan. I thought that this setting was particularly exciting because it brought in some of the mythology from that area. It actually reminded me a lot of Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn, although I enjoyed Eon quite a bit more. I was never compelled to finish the series by Lian Hearn, whereas I am very excited to read the sequel to Eon. And the best thing about the Eon series is that it's a duology so I only have to wait for Book 2 to come out.
Sidenote: In Australia, where it was originally published, the title is Two Pearls of Wisdom and here is what the Australian cover looks like. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the cover. Which one do you like better? If you haven't read the book, what impressions does the US cover give you? If you have read the book, how do you feel about the covers in comparison?