Saturday, 11 June 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: The Necklace of the Gods - Alison Goodman

Release Date: 02/06/11


Once she was Eon, a girl disguised as a boy, risking her life for the chance to become a Dragoneye apprentice. Now she is Eona, thrust into the role of her country’s saviour.

But Eona has an even more dangerous secret — she cannot control her power. When she tries to bond with her Mirror Dragon, the anguish of the ten spirit beasts whose Dragoneyes were murdered surges through her. The result: a killing force that destroys everything before it. On the run from High Lord Sethon’s army, Eona and her friends must help the Pearl Emperor, Kygo, wrest back his throne. Everyone is relying on Eona’s power. Can she face her own darkness within, and drive a dangerous bargain with an old enemy? A wrong move could obliterate them all.

Against a thrilling backdrop of explosive combat, ruthless power struggles and exotic lore, Eona is the gripping story of a remarkable warrior who must find the strength to walk a deadly line between truth and justice. Full of pulse-racing drama, heart-stirring romance, dazzling fight scenes, and myriad surprises, The Necklace of the Gods brings this extraordinarily imagined and exciting fantasy epic to a resounding climax.


I love it when I get a book that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. So when this book landed from Bantam, I remembered Alison quite well, remembered the clever world building and perhaps most of all the character construction and plausibility of their inter relationships.

As with the first the characters are perhaps Alison’s strong suit, they come alive and they have flaws alongside strengths to help carry the tale on its merry way. Where perhaps it falls down is the overextended use of dialogue almost as filler rather than keeping it clipped and neat. Whilst for some that may not be a problem, when the battle builds up was on its way I kept wishing that she’d get to the heart of the matter and kick the combat into touch.

That said, it is a minor gripe of mine but one that I felt that I had to add with so many positive things to add. As with the original the prose is poetic, the pace reasonable and when added to the fact that Alison is playing for keeps (clearly demonstrated in this title) it’s one that could possibly become controversial with a number of readers as I feel it will fall into the love it or hate it category. Whilst I’m not sure how heart wrenching some of it was for her to write, in my opinion Alison has done the right (or write) thing for her characters, they needed the occurrences, they needed the peril and they needed the adversity, without which they couldn’t grown. It’ll be interesting to see what Alison hits back with next. On a side note, the series and titles have different names in the US from the UK, so to avoid people rebuying the same books it goes:
Eon: Rise of the Dragon Eye – Pearls of Wisdom
Eona – Necklace of the Gods

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