Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Published by Harper Audio on 2016-06-07
Length: 8hrs and 20mins
Reviewing Audiobook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, 2019 Audiobook Challenge
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.
I received an eARC of this book three years ago before it was released. I attempted to read it on more than one occasion and just couldn’t get into it. Then I grabbed an audio copy of the book from my local library via Overdrive. Y’all this book is meant to be listened to in my opinion. Julie Eshbaugh has written Ivory and Bone as an oral story from the POV of Kol.
Kol is the eldest son of his tribe’s chief, meaning he will one day lead. His tribe however is in some trouble. There are no women/girls his age. Unless they cross paths with another nomadic tribe that has girls Kol’s age (and his brothers’) they may die out. This is a constant burden on Kol, who two years prior didn’t consider it. When two sisters arrive at their tribe with their elder brother, he believes they are there seeking a betrothal. He attempts to woo Mya the eldest sister and fails miserably.
I really like Kol. He’s kinda clueless when it comes to girls. But everything he does is done with good intentions. He wants Mya to feel comfortable in his home, and he wants to develop a good relationship with her, one based on friendship. Kol is kind, brave in a nontraditional sense. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses. He isn’t ashamed of them. Kol shows the potential to be not just a good leader but a great one for his tribe.
Mya is a contradiction to Kol. She is surly, bitter, and refuses to accept any of Kol’s advances/gifts. She’s cold, like ice cold towards him and his tribe. Why would she come if not to form an alliance between their tribes? It bothers Kol, probably more than it should.
The plot of the story revolves around Kol and Mya, but also around a third tribe that arrives. This third tribe creates a lot of conflict between Kol and Mya, but also among the tribes themselves. War is looming and it may end badly. I enjoyed every aspect of this story. It’s steeped in history and what we know of the nomadic tribes during the Stone Ages (which is truly little). The writing style reflects it as it is written in an oral tradition. Kol is telling Mya a story, how they met, how he fell for her. It comes full circle, it has too as the end is the beginning.
Michael Curran-Dorsano brings Kol to life. He is a fantastic story-teller. I found myself on the edge of my seat and holding my breath as he weaved Kol’s story. I’ll be listening to more stories narrated by him!
Overall, Ivory and Bone is unlike anything I’ve ever read….or I guess in this case, listened too. It’s a sweet story about falling in love (well maybe lust) set during the Stone Ages. I fell in love with Kol and Mya, their tribes, and the world around them. I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys historical fiction, adventure, and romance.