Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh was such a surprising read in the best of ways. I would not have thought that a pre-historic love story would be so gripping. Kol and his family live a simple life; hunting and fishing and trying to forge their clan’s future. A small issue is that with only 24 people in the clan there are no girls of marrying age. Fate intervenes when Mya and her family arrive from the south and Lo and her clan arrive from the north. However, fate is a cruel mistress and past betrayals lead to current conflict and some may not make it through.
Wow, was this ever a rich and detailed book. I could picture the icy river and see the smoke rising from the cook-fires. I loved how I felt truly pulled into the past with every nuance of the descriptions. The characters were also equally detailed. Each person was very distinct and had their own quirks and personalities. The action abounded, from mammoth hunting to running from saber-toothed cats to canoeing down frozen waterways. This was such a different type of YA read and it is hard to liken it to anything else. The time period alone made it unique then a distinct creation myth for each clan was added and then the varying ways of everyday life for each clan stood out. The romance in it was also very fresh. There was no insta-love here and each time the characters grew closer a battle had to be fought to gain the small ground.
Ivory and Bone is Julie Eshbaugh’s début and what a winner it is. She has a very fresh voice and I can imagine that whatever time period she sets her stories will be different that the normal read. This is one that I can see myself returning to in the future as I have a feeling with each read I will discover more in this world to love.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.