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Authors: Alison Goodman

Eona

BOOK: Eona
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EONA

Books by

ALISON GOODMAN

Singing the Dogstar Blues

Killing the Rabbit

Eon

Eona

PUFFIN CANADA

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Canada Inc.)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Published in Puffin Canada hardcover by Penguin Group (Canada), a division of Pearson Canada Inc., 2011. Simultaneously published in the U.S.A. by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  (RRD)

Copyright © Alison Goodman, 2011

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Publisher's note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental
.

Manufactured in the U.S.A.

                                                                                                               

LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION

Goodman, Alison

Eona / Alison Goodman.

ISBN 978-0-670-06414-4

I. Title.

PZ7.G6353Eona 2011    j823'.92    C2010-907704-0

                                                                                                               

American Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data available

Visit the Penguin Group (Canada) website at
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F
or
R
on

EONA

Ox Dragon

Compass: NORTH

Color: Purple

Dragoneye: Lord Tyron (deceased)

Keeper of Determination

Tiger Dragon

Compass: NORTH-NORTHEAST

Color: Green

Dragoneye: Lord Elgon (deceased)

Keeper of Courage

Rabbit Dragon

Compass: EAST-NORTHEAST

Color: Pink

Dragoneye: Lord Silvo (deceased)

Keeper of Peace

Dragon Dragon (Mirror Dragon)

Compass: EAST

Color: Red

Dragoneye: Eona (Before Eona, the mirror Dragon had been missing for over 500 years.)

Keeper of Truth

Snake Dragon

Compass: EAST-SOUTHEAST

Color: Copper

Dragoneye: Lord Chion (deceased)

Keeper of Insight

Horse Dragon

Compass: SOUTH-SOUTHEAST

Color: Orange

Dragoneye: Lord Dram (deceased)

Keeper of Passion

Goat Dragon

Compass: SOUTH

Color: Silver

Dragoneye: Lord Tiro (deceased)

Keeper of Kindness

Monkey Dragon

Compass: SOUTH-SOUTHWEST

Color: Ebony

Dragoneye: Lord Jessam (deceased)

Keeper of Resourcefulness

Rooster Dragon

Compass: WEST-SOUTHWEST

Color: Brown

Dragoneye: Lord Bano (deceased)

Keeper of Confidence

Dog Dragon

Compass: WEST

Color: Ivory

Dragoneye: Lord Garon (deceased)

Keeper of Honesty

Pig Dragon

Compass: WEST-NORTHWEST

Color: Dove Gray

Dragoneye: Lord Meram (deceased)

Keeper of Generosity

Rat Dragon

Compass: NORTH-NORTHWEST

Color: Blue

Dragoneye: Lord Ido

Keeper of Ambition

THE EMPIRE OF THE CELESTIAL DRAGONS

PREFACE

From the hand of Teacher Prahn, Imperial librarian and tutor of His Majesty, Kygo, rightful heir to the Imperial throne
.

A WISE MAN
once wrote:
In war, truth is the first casualty
. It is for this reason that I write a true account of the seizure of the Imperial palace and throne by High Lord Sethon, a day after the death of his brother, our revered Emperor of Peace and Harmony.

I was present during the army's brutal attack on the palace and saw many of my eunuch brethren slaughtered, although they held no weapons. I saw the harem invaded, the Imperial Guard cut down, and the royal household assaulted. To my eternal grief, I also saw the infant second heir to the throne and his mother murdered by High Lord Sethon himself. It has been officially reported that Prince Kygo—the first heir, who was anointed Pearl Emperor before his uncle's savage coup—was killed in the battle. However, no body has been found, and I have heard that he escaped with the remnants of his guard; may this be a truth from the gods' lips.

I can confirm a report that Lord Ido—the Rat Dragoneye— was instrumental in killing almost all of his fellow Dragoneyes and their apprentices in the quest for their power. I saw the bodies, and we have all felt the tremors in the earth and the thunder across the sky that is no doubt the sorrow of their ten dragons. Now the only Dragoneye Lords alive are the treacherous Lord Ido and the new Mirror Dragoneye, Lord Eon, who was seen escaping the Palace. Lord Ido's apprentice—Dillon—is also believed to have escaped. It is not known if Dillon shares his master's lust for power, but if he is indeed alive, he may become the Rat Dragoneye very soon. Lord Ido tried to double-cross High Lord Sethon and is now in the Imperial cells. It is said he cannot call his power and is at the mercy of the High Lord's rage.

No one knows the whereabouts of Lord Eon. I pray that he is hidden far from the City. I know that he was under the protection of Ryko, one of the elite Shadow Men guards, and Lady Dela, a twin soul with a man's body and a woman's spirit, whose resourcefulness is legendary among the courtiers. It can only be hoped that their combined skills will keep the young Dragoneye safe. Amid all the fear and lies circulating the Palace, a foul whisper has arisen that Lord Eon, a brother eunuch, is in a fact a girl. I have been in the presence of the new lord, and his delicate features and frame are usual in one of our kind who has made the sacrifice so young. I mention this rumor only to stop the profane idea of a female dragoneye from spreading through our wounded land and creating more panic.

I do not know how our Empire can survive with only two Dragoneyes and their beasts to control the elements, especially when one Dragoneye is an imprisoned traitor and the other an untrained boy. Although Lord Eon is quick and clever, he cannot control the earth energies by himself. For as long as can be remembered, it has taken the combined power of eleven Dragoneyes and their beasts to nurture the land. When the missing twelfth dragon—the Mirror Dragon—returned from exile and chose Lord Eon as the first Mirror Dragoneye in five hundred years, it was seen as an omen of renewed strength and good fortune. I pray that this is so, and that the return of the Mirror Dragon to the Circle of Twelve spirit beasts is not an omen of annihilation. A resistance force has long been gathering against High Lord Sethon's brutal war-mongering, but now they will have to stand against the entire army, and such a struggle will tear our land apart.

I will endeavour to get this account out of the palace. If you are reading this, I beg you to spread its truth as far as you can. I also ask that you offer a prayer to the goddess of death for my spirit. One of my eunuch brothers has betrayed me to High Lord Sethon and told the false emperor of my close association with his nephew. I am cornered in my library, and although I know nothing, I will soon be just another tortured body among the many in the High Lord's search for the Pearl Emperor and Lord Eon.

—Written by Prahn, son of Mikor,

on this twentieth day of the new Rat Dragon year

CHAPTER ONE

THE DRAGONS WERE CRYING.

I stared across the choppy, gray sea and concentrated on the soft sound within me. For three daybreaks, ever since we had fled the conquered palace, I had stood on this same rock and felt the keening of the ten bereft dragons. Usually it was only a faint wail beneath the golden song of my own Mirror Dragon. This morning it was stronger. Harsher.

Perhaps the ten spirit beasts had rallied from their grief and returned to the Circle of Twelve. I took a deep breath and eased into the unnerving sensation of mind-sight. The sea before me blurred into surging silver as my focus moved beyond the earthly plane, into the pulsing colors of the parallel energy world. Above me, only two of the twelve dragons were in their celestial domains: Lord Ido's blue Rat Dragon in the north-northwest, the beast's massive body arched in pain, and my own red dragon in the east. The Mirror Dragon. The queen. The other ten dragons had still not returned from wherever spirit beasts fled to grieve.

BOOK: Eona
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