Jun 6th

ARC Review of Ivory and Bone

Posted in Reviews
Ivory and Bone

Title: Ivory and Bone
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date Published: June 7, 2016
Where I got the book: Received in a giveaway from Sajda

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.


Ivory and Bone is one of my most anticipated 2016 releases and I am outrageously happy to report that it met my expectations! I can’t think of a more original setting, or a more interesting retelling than a prehistoric Pride and Prejudice. The story is told in first person, which took a little getting used to, but in the end was the absolute best way to tell this story. The spirit of the story was familiar. There is arrogance, a misunderstanding, hasty judgement, and a slow burning love story tinged with tragedy. The setting was completely original, the characters were gender-swapped, and there was less wealth and status motivated issues. Instead, the root of the arrogance and judgement found in Ivory and Bone comes from clan loyalty, a need to marry and a lack of people to marry. The allusions to Pride and Prejudice are all over. Kol speaks often of Mya’s arrogance, they discuss what an ideal mate would be like, and Kol’s mother’s need to see her son’s married rival’s Mrs. Bennet’s fervor to see her girls wed.

Kol is our narrator; he is also playing the part of Lizzie Bennet. He is the son of the High Elder of his clan, the Manu. His brother Pek is the Jane of this story, quickly falling in love with the newcomer, Seeri, of the Olen clan. Seeri is the Mr. Bingley to her sister Mya’s Mr. Darcy. Kol is unwillingly attracted to Mya, finding her capable, intelligent, but insufferably rude and arrogant. Then we have the beautiful Lo, who plays Wickham of course! She may be beautiful but she also has many secrets. The story is told solely from Kol’s perspective, which can be difficult at times. I couldn’t get as attached to the other characters as I would have liked, but it didn’t diminish my love for this novel any. It is also told as something of a flashback; the story begins at a future point then has Kol telling the history of what happened to him and Mya. I couldn’t help but root for them to get their happy ending. It really took me back to when I originally read Pride and Prejudice, I would alternately get so mad at Mya or Kol and want to smack the back of their heads and tell them to kiss!

I think the setting and the details were by far my favorite part of this book. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the history, but with no written record of that time there is no real way to know exactly what their society was like. We know a little about the tools they used, what they ate, what they made their clothes and houses out of and I believe Julie Eshbaugh did an incredible job of including that in Ivory and Bone. To me, the society seemed pretty realistic, with the exception of the language, but I believe more primitive language would have made a very unreadable story!! I love the descriptions of the land, how different it is in such a small amount of area. I also love the way she describes the kayaks and canoes and how each is made and used. Then there are the mammoth bone spears, the mammoth and saber tooth hunts, and the huts they sleep in and meals they eat. If you can’t already tell, I’m a huge history lover and this book made me so very happy because of the amount of detail it included! The story gripped me right from the beginning and wouldn’t let me go. It combined a unique time period with a classic love story and created an epic young adult historical novel that I believe everyone should read! Ivory and Bone is a stunning debut that has me eagerly awaiting more of Julie Eshbaugh’s literary masterpieces.

Ivory and Bone

Title: Ivory and Bone
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date Published: June 7, 2016
Where I got the book: Received in a giveaway from Sajda

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.


Ivory and Bone is one of my most anticipated 2016 releases and I am outrageously happy to report that it met my expectations! I can’t think of a more original setting, or a more interesting retelling than a prehistoric Pride and Prejudice. The story is told in first person, which took a little getting used to, but in the end was the absolute best way to tell this story. The spirit of the story was familiar. There is arrogance, a misunderstanding, hasty judgement, and a slow burning love story tinged with tragedy. The setting was completely original, the characters were gender-swapped, and there was less wealth and status motivated issues. Instead, the root of the arrogance and judgement found in Ivory and Bone comes from clan loyalty, a need to marry and a lack of people to marry. The allusions to Pride and Prejudice are all over. Kol speaks often of Mya’s arrogance, they discuss what an ideal mate would be like, and Kol’s mother’s need to see her son’s married rival’s Mrs. Bennet’s fervor to see her girls wed.

Kol is our narrator; he is also playing the part of Lizzie Bennet. He is the son of the High Elder of his clan, the Manu. His brother Pek is the Jane of this story, quickly falling in love with the newcomer, Seeri, of the Olen clan. Seeri is the Mr. Bingley to her sister Mya’s Mr. Darcy. Kol is unwillingly attracted to Mya, finding her capable, intelligent, but insufferably rude and arrogant. Then we have the beautiful Lo, who plays Wickham of course! She may be beautiful but she also has many secrets. The story is told solely from Kol’s perspective, which can be difficult at times. I couldn’t get as attached to the other characters as I would have liked, but it didn’t diminish my love for this novel any. It is also told as something of a flashback; the story begins at a future point then has Kol telling the history of what happened to him and Mya. I couldn’t help but root for them to get their happy ending. It really took me back to when I originally read Pride and Prejudice, I would alternately get so mad at Mya or Kol and want to smack the back of their heads and tell them to kiss!

I think the setting and the details were by far my favorite part of this book. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the history, but with no written record of that time there is no real way to know exactly what their society was like. We know a little about the tools they used, what they ate, what they made their clothes and houses out of and I believe Julie Eshbaugh did an incredible job of including that in Ivory and Bone. To me, the society seemed pretty realistic, with the exception of the language, but I believe more primitive language would have made a very unreadable story!! I love the descriptions of the land, how different it is in such a small amount of area. I also love the way she describes the kayaks and canoes and how each is made and used. Then there are the mammoth bone spears, the mammoth and saber tooth hunts, and the huts they sleep in and meals they eat. If you can’t already tell, I’m a huge history lover and this book made me so very happy because of the amount of detail it included! The story gripped me right from the beginning and wouldn’t let me go. It combined a unique time period with a classic love story and created an epic young adult historical novel that I believe everyone should read! Ivory and Bone is a stunning debut that has me eagerly awaiting more of Julie Eshbaugh’s literary masterpieces.

By Kate Woods

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