Ivory and BoneWritten by Julie Eshbaugh
(Harper Teen - 6/7/2016)Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC (384 pages)
Source: Author or Agent
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.
FTC Disclosure: This book was provided to me from the author or publisher (Author or Agent), free of charge, with the understanding that my intention is to read it and provide feedback in the form of an honest review. I am not compensated in any way in exchange for positive reviews, and I don’t let anything other than the book's contents affect my opinions and review.
Full disclosure: I met Julie through the book blogging community, and she was gracious enough to send me an ARC of Ivory and Bone. That being said, it took me months to gather up the courage to finally read it. I mean… What if I hated it or something? Awk-ward…
As soon as I started reading it, though, I realized a few things: 1) this book was definitely written by Julie Eshbaugh, 2) I was already enjoying it, and 3) I shouldn’t have been worried. This book is a beauty!
There are so many things that make Ivory and Bone shine bright.
- The prose is rich with a lyrical texture, flowing from page to page. Every small detail, every description evokes the senses and brings the story to life in waya that feels deliberate and delicate and meaningful.
- The narration is so clever and so unique that you don’t even realize the brilliance of it until your heart is aching with FEELINGS! This is one aspect of the storytelling that I loved the most.
- While the setting is unusual – though not unheard of, by any stretch – the events that unfold within this tale are a wonderful exploration of relationships. Yes, there are many details to the lives of these tribal people, but it’s the people (not the setting) that come most into focus.
There’s a lot more I could say about Ivory and Bone, but I’m having trouble avoiding spoilers, so maybe I should stop while I’m ahead. If you’re looking for something different, something rich with gentle beauty, perhaps something reminiscent of Sorrow’s Knot (which I also loved), then Ivory and Bone is the book for you.