Title: Ivory and Bone
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
Ivory and Bone is the type of story that you don't need to connect to the characters to enjoy, much like an epic or a fairytale. It takes place in the prehistoric era when clans had to move from place to place in order to find food to eat. The tone of the book is pretty serious, but if you go into it knowing that, then I think that you would really enjoy this book.
I think what I really enjoyed in this book, more than anything else, is the setting of the story. It takes place in a time not typically mentioned in books. It's very unique, and I don't know if it's true to what happened back then, but even so, it felt like having a glimpse of those times. This book showed hunting, arranged marriages between clans, the need to produce heirs, and many other things that was really enjoyable to get a glimpse of.
Although the story is a bit centered on finding a bride for Kol, the son of the High Elder of their clan, this book doesn't really focus on romance. Instead, it focuses on clan rivalry, and all the complicated things that goes between clans. There's also this teeny, tiny hint of mystery, which makes it all the more interesting. While romance is not the center of this plot though, we can still see bits and pieces of it throughout the story.
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't need to feel the connection to the characters for me to enjoy the story. However, I did connect with the story itself. Not because I can relate to it or anything, but I just found myself captivated by the setting, which felt like a whole new world to me because of how different it is from present times.
One of the factors of why I wasn't able to connect well with the characters is because of the second person point of view way that the story was written. Throughout the whole novel, Kol was addressing everything to Mya. Not that I think it didn't work out, it's just that I generally don't prefer 2nd person POVs because I feel either like I'm being called another name, or that I'm intruding on something that I sohuldn't be reading. Other than this, though, the story is deeply enjoyable, and I found myself liking the story.
Overall, the book is not what I expected it to be, but I was given a glimpse of way of living in the prehistoric era. Although written in second person POV, I still found this story enjoyable and intersting.
4 it's-too-interesting! stars.
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Julie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.
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