Reading time 4 mins

This book was so refreshingly different. It is set in prehistoric times. The author obviously did a lot of research into what life might have been like. I felt like I was right there. Your clan is everything. The struggles for life and to find a mate are real. The dangerous animals and harsh conditions are brilliantly described. The world building was pretty intense in this book although the whole story takes place in a just a few miles on a coast.

Review: IVORY AND BONE by Julie EshbaughIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Also in this series: Obsidian and Stars
Published by HarperCollins on June 7th 2016
Pages: 384
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, General, Historical, Prehistory, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories, Young Adult, Love & Romance, Family
Also by this author: Obsidian and Stars
eARC provided by HarperCollins

AmazonBook Depository

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.
With riveting action and illustrative prose that leaps from the page, newcomer Julie Eshbaugh will have readers mesmerized. 

The main character in this story is a boy hunter named Kol. The whole book is written as if he is telling this story to someone. Not just any someone, but a girl that changes his whole life. Kol and his brothers are starting to get worried as there are not any females for them to marry within their clan. Then one day two girls and boy show up from a different clan to try to mend relations. Something terrible happened five years ago with this clan, but Kol can’t remember details. One of the girls is Mya, and she becomes Kol’s obsession and his scorn.

Kol is a hunter, but he is surprisingly emotional about the animals he kills. Most of the clan subscribe to the idea that every living thing has a spirit and that each life is guided by a great mother and father. These ideas seem to conflict with hunting, but the people realize that only by an animal sacrifice can they survive. It was really interesting to see that all the people in the clan all have jobs; some cook, some hunt, some butcher, some gather, etc. All of the people have skills that allow them to survive in the rugged terrain. I was sure I would be bored by a book about prehistoric times, but seeing the way these people might have lived was really interesting.

This book has been compared to Pride and Prejudice and I can’t say that this is fair for either book. I think I saw some similarities, but the writing style and period it is in make this a unique tale all on its own.

There is plenty of action in this book. The clans hunt for food and fight with other clans. There are a lot of fight scenes and dangerous animals threatening life for these people. Underneath all of the struggle to survive there is a boy who needs to find a girl to marry. He is the eldest and his offspring are destined to rule the clan. His girl will have a very large part to play in the future of his people. Kol’s version of the story is fantastic and gripping. He only has his side of the story, and it is a tale he needs to tell.

I have to admit that Ivory and Bone is not without flaws. First, the characters speak almost like modern times. I get that we are trying to tell a story but it was a little bothersome for a prehistoric book to have such fluid language. Also, the description of dress killed me. No, they did not call coats made of fur a “parka”. Just no. Those are really minor things though. I still loved this story. I was completely engaged right from the start.

I am so excited to learn that this is the first book in a trilogy. This was a really unique type of story, but I really enjoyed it. I think YA fans will find this to be a really interesting world full of compelling characters. I need Kol to tell me what happens next!

My Rating


About Julie Eshbaugh

8628046Julie 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.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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