Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (audiobook)

genre: historical fictionish

Kol's clan are settled on a bay in the North.  They hunt and fish, use pelts and skins for their clothing and homes - his people are a tight-knit group.  Sticking together is how they survive and with Kol's father as the High Elder, he knows what his role is.  But when three strangers arrive in their camp, suddenly the world is an even bigger and more astonishing place.  When one mistake comes between Kol and one of these strangers, a girl named Mya, Kol can immediately tell that there will never be closeness between them.  Circumstances keep throwing them together, however, as other local clans reemerge and the stakes get ever higher.  In a land where your clan is your family and the world is a dangerous place, trust is a gift very sparingly given.

This is like a early-man Pride and Prejudice-type story. Not that it follows the plot in any way, but there are interesting elements if you pay attention.  I haven't ever really read a young adult novel set in the time when man is just beginning to turn from being nomadic hunters and gathers to settled peoples.  I liked the storytelling and while sometimes too wordy, scenes are vividly described the plot is thick enough to keep me interested in what happened next.  Sometimes it felt very formal in its language in a way that didn't super seem to fit in my head with the kind of people I was imagining (i.e. hunter-gatherer types) but eventually I liked the story enough that I let that go.  The romantic thread left me vaguely unsatisfied at the end but now that I've looked it appears that there will be a sequel so maybe that was intentional.

The reader did a good job pulling me into the text and I was always anxious to turn this on and listen. 3.5 stars.

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