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Ivory and Bone

by Julie Eshbaugh

Series: Ivory and Bone (1)

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281995,355 (2.92)6
Debut author Julie Eshbaugh's sweeping prehistoric fantasy--with allusions to Pride and Prejudice--will enthrall listeners 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.… (more)
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Well, I wasn't expecting a dawn-of-time adventure, and I was delighted to discover that's what this is -- prehistory, set about the time that the ice is receding and Mammoth herds are migrating north and dying out. So that's fascinating.

The part where it is absolutely and agonizingly teen love triangles -- not so much.

Also, I hated, hated, hated that the voice in the story is the voice of a young man telling a young woman the story of their relationship entirely from his point of view -- including and not limited to what she was feeling, how she was acting, how he interpreted everything that she did, without benefit of her input. The story eventually circled back and had that make more sense, but it was a loooooong circle. Also, I really dislike that these prehistorical bands do not take the wishes of the women into account at all. They are allowed to hunt, and seem to rock at that, but they are not allowed to decide who they will marry? There is a gay couple leading one of the tribes, so yay for that, but honestly, why set up such a misogynistic story?

Finally, I had a really hard time with the time spans in the book. For instance, Pek wants to court Seeri, and she liked their sealskins, so he decides to bring her sealskins as a courting gift -- ok, great! He and Kol go hunting and it goes badly, but they come back with 1 seal that trip. 2 days later, Pek leaves for the southern tribe with a kayak full of sealskins -- wait, what now? First you have to hunt them, then skin them, then scrape the hides and tan the hides and that is just not a 2 day process, even if your entire tribe can drop all the survival oriented things they are doing in order to make this happen. Similarly, Mya makes a parka for Kol in 2 days, from a new skin. Even if we assume that he perfectly prepared it and it was ready to go overnight (which he apparently did), sewing in prehistory involves using an awl to punch holes, using sinew and a bone needle to sew the thing together, after cutting the pieces out. That is not a quick process. Things like this bothered me.

Oh, look, and the next book in the series is another marriage against her will plot. No, thank you.

( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Thanks to the publisher for this arc.
I have to admit this one took me about 50 pages to get into the story. But once I was drawn in, I couldn't put it down.
This book is a beautiful story of betrayal and forgiveness...of how strong family bonds and history can shape our relationships and how we see the world.
This would make a great addition to any collection. ( )
  SusanGeiss | Mar 24, 2019 |
I feel like the general summary given for the book is very misleading. It makes it seem much more epic than it actually was. I jumped in thinking I was going to get a paleolithic prehistoric war type situation, not like bloody and gory but tribes claiming their land and giving legitimate threats. Now I'm not saying it wasn't a good story but it wasn't for me.

Oh and...Perhaps if I had known it was supposed to be like a Pride & Prejudice retelling in a prehistoric era I might have been scratching my head less wondering why this sounded so familiar.

Seventeen year old Kol hunts with his clan for survival. It's what his family has done for generations to survive and occasionally trades with other tribes that migrate near them on a regular basis. There's a tribe that they have been at odds with for years that decided to travel up from the south on a peace mission. In the group are Chev High Elder of the Olen clan himself, his sisters Seeri and Mya. Kol's parents (ahem..really his mother) are excited at the prospect of matching their eldest sons to the two girls and of course possibly building ties with the southern clan once again so they play nice and decide to go hunting together as a show of peace.

Of course, things don't go as planned and he almost ends up killing Mya or at least that's how she felt. But all is not lost because the H.E. of Olen didn't see it that way either and they still end up negotiating peace. Soon after they leave to return to their clan. The Northerners (I'm sorry I forgot their clan name) receive a visit from the Bosha clan and at this point the general summary gets really spoilery in my personal opinion. Basically Lo, the daughter of the H.E. comes in and causes, even more, tension between Mya and Kol then poop hits the fan ha.

Alright, so I don't know how to say what I thought was kind of lame without spoiling the prologue which I don't think should be spoiled even if it is the very first thing that you learn about the story you're about to read. So I'll put it in a spoiler tag right off the bat, if you've read the summary you know about Kol and Mya, their whole misunderstanding situation but obvious future romantic link so the fact that it starts off with Kol taking care of her wounded makes you think that the story he's about to build up to when we reach that moment in the cave or whatever is going to be epic but it just wasn't. One thing I did like was how Mya was almost redeemed with how strong she was in that moment of weakness and asking someone to tell you the best moment of their life is really sweet when you think about it but then Kol ruined her character by the way he described their interactions it drove me insane. The reason I liked P&P so much was because you could tell that Darcy liked Elizabeth from the start but Kol made it seem like Mya hated his guts up until he killed the saber tooth prowling their colony

Really this should have been marketed as a romance story because that's what it was. It's a second narration POV and basically like an oral love letter. It was verrrrrrry slow and I kept waiting for war and violence to errupt like the summary said it would but it took 3/4ths of the book to finally get there and when it did I didn't feel that sense of danger that I like to get when I read a book of that nature. I liked the setting and the romance between secondary characters was kind of cute but even that felt too convenient.

In conclusion I would recommend this as a romance story with a nice setting and a short adventure/thrill. ( )
  Jessika.C | Dec 25, 2017 |
I picked this up solely because of the A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice. tagline, and it is pretty accurate. This quick and fun YA novel is set in some ambigu-prehistoric era/place, with a P&P-esque plot and slightly more serious ends. I read it over a weekend while camping, and it was the perfect thing to settle in with in front of a campfire.

Our hero, Kol, was a cutie, and refreshingly, not an alpha male or messiah figure or anything like that. His mother wasn't Mrs. Bennett, altho she had five sons she was frantic to marry. Cute, fun touches like that made this story a fun escapist read.

My only complaint is that the buildup to the conflict was so long that the gasp! moment and everything following it just tumbled along too quickly. I wanted a little more lingering. ( )
  unabridgedchick | Oct 23, 2017 |
Ivory and Bone is set to be a prehistoric romance that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. Or West Side Story. I don't really remember if I even read Pride and Prejudice.

For the most part, a lot of this story went by in a blur. Nothing really stuck to me, except the very confusing mixed POV that I wasn't really a fan of. Kol's storytelling was overwrought with descriptions that did not really fit the prehistoric vibe. An 1800s English romance maybe, but not a prehistoric before civilization setting. Example being:

You come closer, and I'm struck by the beauty in the balance of your features. I notice the strong lines of eyebrows and cheekbones tilting up and away from the softer lines of your mouth. Your eyes - dark and wide set - scan the meadow, and I'm startled by the way my heart pounds as I wait for them to fall on me.


As a romance, I didn't really see the romance aspect of it. Any form of feelings from Mya were thrown in towards the end. It was full of miscommunication that could have been solved if people just explained the whole feud thoroughly from the very beginning - all this unnecessary hatred and tension could have been avoided. Mya herself wasn't very likable to begin with - though she had a grudge against Kol's clan, making some of her actions understandable, she was just a rude person in general. Her attraction to Kol more so stems from his heroic actions, without any other chemistry taking place.

It also was a very slow and uneventful book. Most of it consisted of the clan's visiting each other and learning about some shady feud that happened some years ago. Was waiting for some death to happen - does that make me terrible? All the villains get their due, but nothing of immense importance was lost. What I mean to say is that the stakes were not heightened with everyone making it out alive and well.

I'm not really sure how this could continue to be a trilogy, but if purple-prose prehistoric romance is to your liking...

Also reviewed on Wonderland Novels! ( )
  raisinetta | Sep 25, 2017 |
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For my parents, George and Louise Krikorian

Thank you for teaching me to dream big dreams,

and to never stop believing in them.
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The darkness in this cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Debut author Julie Eshbaugh's sweeping prehistoric fantasy--with allusions to Pride and Prejudice--will enthrall listeners 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.

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