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Review: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

ivory-and-boneTitle: Ivory and Bone

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Series: Ivory and Bone (Book #1)

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 006239925X (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062399250 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: Likened to Pride & Prejudice but don’t get your hopes up.

Opening Sentence: The darkness in the cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Not only did I receive an arc of Ivory & Bone from Dark Faerie Tales, I also received a copy of this book in one of the book subscription boxes I ordered (Fairyloot, I think…). The cover is gorgeous, the title intriguing and it’s likened to Pride & Prejudice so I was expecting a lot. Sadly, it wasn’t great.

The story is told from Kol’s eyes and I could see some clear resemblances to Pride & Prejudice because his character is based on Lizzy, whilst Mya ‘is’ Darcy. Kol has several brothers but their clan is low on women so the clan’s future is unstable but everything changes when Mya and her sister come to visit.

Between Seeri’s clear interest in Pek and your even more obvious disdain for me, I had already given up hope of finding someone from within your clan.
Of course, if all the girls in your clan are as arrogant and rude as you are, I would rather be alone forever.

Ivory and Bone has an interesting storyline of clan rivalry. There’s action, drama, unexpected twists and turns BUT it was so difficult to relate to the characters, which ruined it for me. In Pride & Prejudice it was all too easy to fall in love with Lizzie / Darcy and I know I shouldn’t compare the two but when the story is likened to that of a classic, you automatically set yourself up for high expectations. I often found my attention wandering when reading this book, and unlike the classic, I couldn’t relate to the characters or their situations. It didn’t grasp my interest for long and although it is supposed to be a fantasy, I found that there was very little magic to speak of.

Another annoyance was that the story began with so much narrative and little else. It’s told from Kol’s perspective but he isn’t the most exciting guy in the world. Don’t misunderstand me, Kol is lovely, caring and perfectly likeable but too plain. Kol is attracted to Mya but his loyalty wavered a leeetle too much!

If only I could protect your mother and change the violent history between our clans.
But I can’t. I can’t change the pain you suffered in the past, but I can do everything possible to prevent the pain you might suffer in the future.

In fact, all the characters were difficult to fall in love with, not just Kol. Mya was okay-ish, she certainly had more depth than he did but was difficult to empathise with until the very end and there was no wow-factor.

One of the few things I did like was the turn of events in the second half of the story. There is a small amount of confusion to begin with but then all of a sudden it’s like a switch is turned on and the book comes to life. To say the action picks up is an understatement, it skyrockets and then before I knew it the book ended! Urgh… In the end it wasn’t a bad read but nowhere near as good as I expected with rather flat characters.

Notable Scene:

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this question. There are countless things that could be said between us, and probably countless more that should be left unsaid.

Ivory and Bone Series:

1. Ivory and Bone

2. Obsidian and Stars (June 13, 2017)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy Ivory and Bone. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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