Readers with an interest in the philosophies and belief systems of the ancient Orient – and endowed with a fair measure of reading perseverance – may well find something of appeal in this lengthy, rambling narrative. Should that interest extend to dragon mythology, eunuchs, harems, sword fights, social and ceremonial rituals, fraternal rivalries, gender roles, sexual politics and the intricacies of Imperial court intrigue and power struggles, then there are potentially even more rewards. The plot is centred around a character whom we think of initially as a 12-year-old boy called Eon, but we are soon to learn that he is, in fact, a girl called Eona, for this is necessary in a society where a woman’s standing is very circumscribed indeed. In a convoluted (and occasionally exciting) procession of incidents, ‘Eon’, in pursuit of his ambition to attain the status of ‘dragoneye’, finds herself entangled in the shenanigans of the Imperial court, where the ailing Emperor is under attack by an ambitious High Lord brother and his clique. ‘I was a girl, a cripple, an abomination,’ ‘Eon’ reflects early on and it is her combat against these perceived limitations that provides the material for most of the novel. As a portrait of a society where, we are told, the ‘land is on a tipping point between enlightenment and the old hard times’, the book is not without its fascination or, if we are thinking of today’s China, its topicality. But, in spite of several episodes of undoubted tension and several passages of fine writing, the action too often drowns in its own detail.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2009-03-01 13:12:012022-12-28 13:14:31Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye