by Julie Eshbaugh
Debut author Julie Eshbaugh’s sweeping prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice—will enthrall readers with high-stakes survival, blinding betrayal, and star-crossed love.
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.
When I selected Julie Eshbaugh's IVORY and BONE as my next read I knew very little about it, but informed that it was beautifully written, that it was great and that I would love it. Having finished reading an "ugly cry" book of epic proportions this description seemed to be perfect. I needed a reading adventure and IVORY and BONE proved to be a good distraction.
IVORY and BONE is unlike any book that I have read before and set in a prehistoric world that I never imagined that I would enjoy, but I did. Julie Eshbaugh's captivating story is unique and a feast for all the senses. The beautifully primitive landscape becoming the perfect backdrop for these nomadic tribes and their traditional gatherings and hunting parties.
At the center of this story is Kol, the eldest son of a High Elder whose tribe has a shortage of women until they day and that Mya and her clan come to visit. Kol is inexplicably drawn to Mya and despite her cryptic nature, he tries his best to win her favor. But even prehistoric mammoth hunting dudes seem to have girl troubles and they only intensify for Kol when another clan appears and eventually girl troubles take on an entirely differently meaning.
Not only was I intrigued by this unexplored prehistoric fantasy genre, but I also enjoyed the setting and how poetically descriptive it was presented. The pulse-pounding action scenes in this book were some of my favorites. I also liked Kol and his more sensitive side and enjoyed how the story was delivered in his POV, making me feel as if I was being told a story. Very well done.
What I did not enjoy about this story was the very slow building romance between Kol and Mya. In fact I think the romance lacked conviction. I just didn't feel it and believe me I wanted to because I am all about the romance. And although I loved the author's writing style I wished some scenes were less drawn out and that the story was a bit tighter.
IVORY and BONE was a solid read worth a try and I will definately read the upcoming novels in the series.