The Necklace of the Gods by Alison Goodman — book review

The Necklace of the Gods by Alison Goodman. Bantam Press, ‘12.99

Reviewed by Karen Stevens

Her previous disguise as a boy abandoned, Eona, the first Mirror Dragonseye in five centuries, narrowly escaped from the royal palace with her life when Sethron usurped the throne from his nephew. Eona has joined the resistance that hopes to put the true Emperor Kygo on the throne, and they believe the power of the mirror dragon, the largest and most powerful of the twelve dragons, will give them victory. But Eona is new and untrained ‘ she does not know how to control the power of her dragon, and every time she attempts to bond with it she is attacked by the angry, grieving spirits of the ten dragons who were murdered. Eona’s only chance is to rescue her old enemy Lord Ido, the last surviving Dragonseye; but can he be trusted?

This is the sequel to The Two Pearls of Wisdom, and as I enjoyed that book I was extremely pleased to review this one. Drawing on several southeast Asian cultures, Miss Goodman has woven them effortlessly together to create a refreshingly unique and exotic fantasy world. The characters are equally well realised, solidly drawn and realistic with some very human failings, and the tension-filled plot draws the reader along effortlessly with beautifully written and extremely atmospheric prose.

In some respects this is a coming of age tale — Eona must learn about trust, treachery and the corrupting influence of power to survive. Although classed as a YA book, it didn’t feel like one; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have put this on my ‘books to keep’ shelf. If you like your fantasy with an oriental flavour, you’d be well advised to read this duology.

The Necklace of the Gods by Alison Goodman. Bantam Press, ‘12.99

Reviewed by Karen Stevens

Her previous disguise as a boy abandoned, Eona, the first Mirror Dragonseye in five centuries, narrowly escaped from the royal palace with her life when Sethron usurped the throne from his nephew. Eona has joined the resistance that hopes to put the true Emperor Kygo on the throne, and they believe the power of the mirror dragon, the largest and most powerful of the twelve dragons, will give them victory. But Eona is new and untrained ‘ she does not know how to control the power of her dragon, and every time she attempts to bond with it she is attacked by the angry, grieving spirits of the ten dragons who were murdered. Eona’s only chance is to rescue her old enemy Lord Ido, the last surviving Dragonseye; but can he be trusted?

This is the sequel to The Two Pearls of Wisdom, and as I enjoyed that book I was extremely pleased to review this one. Drawing on several southeast Asian cultures, Miss Goodman has woven them effortlessly together to create a refreshingly unique and exotic fantasy world. The characters are equally well realised, solidly drawn and realistic with some very human failings, and the tension-filled plot draws the reader along effortlessly with beautifully written and extremely atmospheric prose.

In some respects this is a coming of age tale — Eona must learn about trust, treachery and the corrupting influence of power to survive. Although classed as a YA book, it didn’t feel like one; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have put this on my ‘books to keep’ shelf. If you like your fantasy with an oriental flavour, you’d be well advised to read this duology.