The Two Pearls of Wisdom
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The Two Pearls of Wisdom first edition cover.
|Cover artist||Larry Rostant|
|1 August 2008|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||674 pp (first edition)|
|Followed by||Eona The Last Dragoneye|
The Two Pearls of Wisdom (also known as Eon, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, or Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye) is a 2008 fantasy novel by Alison Goodman. It follows the story of Eon who has potential to become a Dragoneye, being able to control wind, water and land. However, Eon is actually a female concealed as a boy and with females forbidden she becomes a dangerous gamble.
The Two Pearls of Wisdom was first published in Australia on 1 August 2008 by HarperCollins in trade paperback format. It was rereleased under the two different titles of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye in the Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. It has been released in over five different languages and in the United States and United Kingdom it has been released in both hardback and paperback formats. The Two Pearls of Wisdom won the 2008 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel and was named an honour book in the 2008 James Tiptree, Jr. Awards. It was also named a notable book in the 2009 CBCA Awards and was shortlisted in both the 2009 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the Ethel Turner Prize.
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be selected as apprentice to a Dragoneye. Dragoneyes are the human links to the twelve dragons of good fortune, who provide energy to the earth. However, circumstance does not favour Eon; he is a cripple and despised by the trainers and other candidates for the ceremony. They believe his disability embodies bad luck and try to distance themselves, all except a boy named Dillon who is also bullied for his small size. Eon's master, Heuris Brannon, places all his hope and dwindling wealth into his pupil, who is able to see all twelve dragons in minds' sight. This feat is almost unheard of and they pray that the ascending dragon this cycle, who is the Keeper of Ambition, will be drawn by the enormous power demonstrated. However, Eon has a dark secret unbeknownst to all but himself and his master; he is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a lie in order for the chance to become a Dragoneye. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic; this is due to common belief that the female eye, so practised in looking at itself, cannot see other things in life with true clarity. If discovered, 'Eon' faces a terrible death.
The choosing day comes all too quickly and the corrupted Rat Dragoneye, Lord Ido, has seized dominance over the council. He revokes the current practise of ceremonial performances and instead brings back the combat of old. The bloodthirsty crowds approve, but this just adds to the mounting misfortune Eona has to bear. Not only is she given the unlucky number of death, 4, but she has to face off with the one out of the two trainers who bears a grudge against her.
Against the odds, the Rat Dragon chooses her friend Dillon, the smallest of the bunch. Here, it appears as though the protagonist has failed and her master's wealth is all lost; however, as the remaining candidates proceed to the arena to bow to the Emperor, the Mirror Dragon, which has been lost for five hundred years, returns. It chooses Eona, who becomes a Lord due to the absence of a current Mirror Dragoneye. Much to the fury of Lord Ido, all the dragons bow to the Mirror Dragon, including his. This is impossible because his is the ascendant dragon, but the message is clear; the Mirror Dragon, the Keeper of Truth, holds power over all the other dragons. To discourage those who oppose him, Ido poisons Heuris Brannon, Eona's appointed proxy (Eona's adviser until she is of age).
Meanwhile, the country grows increasingly restless. A battle is about the break out between the Emperor and one of his brothers, High Lord Sethon, who wishes to make a claim for the throne. Lord Ido has allied himself with Sethon and as the Emperor ages, it is clear that the empire will soon be under civil war. The Emperor and his heir, Prince Kygo, attempt to use the return of the Mirror Dragon as a good omen for their reign. This throws Eona into the midst of their struggle for power. She panics, without knowledge as for who to trust except her close friend Lady Dela (born a man but who is a woman in spirit) and Dela's bodyguard, the islander Ryko.
Tension mounts and soon the battle begins. Eona finds herself in trouble; Ido discovers her true gender and her dragon fades and then disappears altogether. When talking to Dillon she realises that she does not have her dragon's name and thus cannot communicate properly. She consults the palace professor/librarian, who cannot find the red folio of the Mirror Dragon. Eona suspects Lord Ido and realises he has masterminded his own plan, killing all other Dragoneyes and apprentices in a bid for more power. In his library she meets an almost insane Dillon who finds both the red folio and another black folio, detailing how it is possible to create a 'String of Pearls', with 2 Dragoneyes harnessing the power of the normal 12. She puts the pieces together and is horrified to find that Ido wishes for the two of them to be the only two Dragoneyes left alive. However, Dillon takes off with the black folio as Eona saves Ryko from the pain caused by a dragon-powered hallucination.
Prince Kygo flees and his baby brother, the Emperor's only other heir, is killed by Lord Sethon. In desperation the wounded Dela, limping Eona and injured Ryko try to escape but Ido orders his men to find them. Dela continues decoding the red folio, which is written in Women's Script, for Eona's dragon's name. As the warfare escalates and all seems to be lost in this final confrontation, Dela screams out that the dragon's name is her name; Eona. She summons her dragon, the Queen of the Heavens, and they are united at last, with Eona's crippled leg healing in the process. Together the Mirror Dragon and Dragoneye force compassion upon Ido and the trio make their escape to the river.
- "The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Bibliography: The Two Pearls of Wisdom". ISFDB. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Translations of Alison Goodman's Novels". alisongoodman.com.au. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "aurealis awards, previous years' results" (PDF). Aurealis Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- "Eona by Alison Goodman". alisongoodman.com.au. Retrieved 28 December 2009.