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.
I picked this one off of the library bookshelf because I’d seen Ivory and Bone everywhere on social media, and thought I’d just give it a go even though I knew absolutely nothing about it. Despite the interesting “Pride and Prejudice” premise, I was skeptical of Ivory and Bone because (in my opinion) it lacks aspects of stories that I enjoy. I love world building and I love feeling so connected to the characters that I could just reach over and high-five them, and this book really didn’t have either of those… and it worked. Being set in a prehistoric time, of course they’re not going to really know a whole lot of the far-off outside world, and other than that of their own clans there’s probably not going to be a lot of culture established since they are mainly focused on hunting and surviving. We didn’t really get to see a whole lot of the world, but the author makes up for it with a fascinating setting.
While this book gave me feels, it was hard to feel connected to the characters as it felt like they were kept at an arm’s length. It was like observing their story rather than being involved, but given the storyteller narration style of the book, I understood and found that I really didn’t mind it. I think the uniqueness of the setting and narration style was so appealing that I realized the things that I typically like to see in books really didn’t apply because of those aspects.
The romance was a central theme to this book but it wasn’t a driving force, instead taking a back seat to allow for the exploration of the characters’ personal growth and strength. Ivory and Bone was certainly different from anything else that I have read so far this year (or a while, for that matter), and I would highly recommend it. I honestly don’t think that it’s a book for everyone as there are some slow moments and I can see the narration style throwing people off, but I certainly encourage everyone to give it a go!