Most of the way through this book, I wasn’t sure where it was going, or what the point of it all was, but at the end it all came together, and the reasoning behind all the other stuff that had happened became clear. I know if I went back and re-read this now, I would feel much differently about it.
Eon (sometimes subtitled Dragoneye Reborn or Rise of the Dragoneye) was all about Eona learning to accept her identity as a woman *internally*. It was only after she did that that she was able to do what she needed to do. NOT accepting herself, trying to live a lie, was not only (literally) poisoning her, but also actively prevented her from doing things she needed to do for herself, her friends, and her country.
Eona: The Last Dragoneye is the natural outcome of that arc. Acceptance is only the first step for Eona. In this book, she has to learn how to navigate all kinds of new power dynamics. Her power as a woman, as a friend, as a lover. As a noble lady. As an advisor. And most importantly, as a Dragoneye, and furthermore, a Dragoneye with powers no other Dragoneye has had for 500 years, if ever. Eona’s abilities are seductive and powerful. They also begin to cloud her judgment. She starts to have a hard time distinguishing between the power she actually holds over people, and the power she should hold over them.
She also has to deal with romantic and sexual feelings for the first time, which are complicated by SPOILER her potential lover also being her emperor, and the position he gives her as his advisor, as well as her complicated feelings for Lord Ido, who isn’t *really* a love interest for Eona. It’s only his power and the temptations and pleasures it offers that tempts her, as well as the hints of the good person she hopes he can be. I suppose we could call it a love triangle, but to me at least, it was clear that Eona only ever loved Kygo, and Ido wasn’t an alternative choice for a romantic partner, but instead offered her an entirely different life, one where love would become an impossibility. I also don’t think Eona leads Ido on. I think she’s a very flawed character who was dealt a really hard hand, made some poor choices, but in the end, made it out okay. Ido could have done the same, but instead, he allows his own unchecked ambition to burn himself alive.
I am definitely glad I read this series, and if you have YA fatigue like I did, you should probably check it out, too. Having finished now, I can safely say it was refreshing to read a book with such a flawed heroine, the type of character who usually has to be male. I will for sure be checking out Alison Goodman’s writing in the future, especially her newest book due to publish in January, which is tantalizingly billed as a cross between Jane Austen and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so sign me the hell up for that.