Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1)
by Julie Eshbaugh
Publishing date: June 7th 2016
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.
I love historical fiction books, so can you imagine my excitement when I found out about Ivory and Bone. It is a prehestoric fiction set in Stone Age. I'm sure I haven't come across anything like this book yet, so yeah. For a certain time, I was on an excitement overload. And then I read the book. I can't say it was everything I expected and hoped for, but in the end, it was satisfying. There is one thing though that Eshbaugh managed to do that no author did before her. She wrote a book in second person and I didn't DNF it. Usually, alone the thought of a book wrote in 2nd POV makes me run away, but it actually worked pretty well here. It's hard to explain, but it wasn't your normal 2nd POV. The story is told from the first POV - Kol tell's the story, but he is telling it to Mya. So everytime he goes "I" he's talking about himself, and when he says "you" he is talking about Mya. It was different, but I liked it.
There were no girls Kol's age in his tribe, so when they get three visitors and two of them are girls the right age from the neighboring tribe, the excitement is running high. Kol immediately notices Mya, but the problem with her is that she doesn't really reciprocates those feeling back. She is very rude and cold towards Kol, and once again Kol finds himself desperate to find a wife. He is the oldest son of the High Elder of their tribe and he is responsible for the future of their tribe and family name. But soon they get another visitors from their other neighboring tribe. Kol seems to get much better along with Lo than Mya, but soon all kinds of past fights and disagreements resurface and it all ends with a war.
Writing a historical fiction is always a hard task and the author did a great job with writing a believable prehistoric novel while still making it appealing to the readers. She did quite a great job with showing readers the prehistoric ways of Stone Age. She described mammoths hunting, gathering the supplies and making their own clothes very well. But even though those things were great, I was quite bored throughout the book. I seemed to breeze through the book, but I was also very bored. Now I'm not sure why I was bored, but my guess is because there was not much action. Yes, there was hunting and fights and all those action things, but there were also long paragraphs about lots of unnecessary things and not much dialogue making the book come off as somewhat boring.
I loved Kol. He was so sweet and considerate and brave. He easily became one of my favorite lead male characters. With Mya it was a different story. I thought she was very rude and ungrateful at the beginning and even though I knew there was probably a reason for her acting that way, I never could like her as much as I was supposed to. The romance between them is a slow burning kind of romance and I have to say I was so scared it would be an insta-romance with love-triangle, but I am so glad it wasn't neither of those things.
In most of the books these days, the romance plays the main role, but in the Ivory and Bone, it was present, but it didn't steal the spotlight from other important things. I am really glad the focus was more on tribal history and tribal relations inside the tribe as well as outside the tribe. I loved learning about how they formed relationships with other tribes, and I loved learning the value of family in this book. This aspect of the book was definitely done well.
If there weren't boring parts in Ivory and Bone, I am sure I would have given it much higher rating, but this way, when I compare it to the other books, I realize I like them better and I would choose to reread them before Ivory and Bone. But that doesn't really matter much, I am still very much excited to read the next book!
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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.