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Ivory and Bone

(Ivory and Bone #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  3,181 ratings  ·  664 reviews
Two clans. Only one will survive.

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behi
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Julie Eshbaugh Hi! I did do a lot of research, but I honestly loved it because (like you!) I'm fascinated by prehistory. I read four books, tons of scholarly article…moreHi! I did do a lot of research, but I honestly loved it because (like you!) I'm fascinated by prehistory. I read four books, tons of scholarly articles, visited museums, and studied a lot of maps. I also read up on hunter-gatherer societies, edible plants, how spear points are made, how to tan a hide, and lots of other details. I'm still reading a lot as I write Books Two and Three.
Thanks for your question!(less)
Julie Eshbaugh I probably should have updated my reply to this question a while ago--sorry about that! In fact, after writing the sequel, OBSIDIAN AND STARS, I reali…moreI probably should have updated my reply to this question a while ago--sorry about that! In fact, after writing the sequel, OBSIDIAN AND STARS, I realized this series was always meant to be a duology. (See my original response to your question, below.) So with the publication of the sequel, the IVORY AND BONE series is officially complete as a duology. :)

Original response from 2016:
IVORY AND BONE started out as the first of a duology, but it has been expanded into a trilogy. :)

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YA Novels of 2016
1,127 books — 9,710 voters
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YA Debuts 2016
256 books — 1,429 voters

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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  3,181 ratings  ·  664 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
“Do you like to hunt for beehives?” my mother asks.

Those bees led us to the shade in the foothills of the mountains. We discovered their hive in the middle of a stunted poplar, growing in a secluded grove protected by sharply rising cliffs at the edge of the meadow.

“This has been one of the best days of my life,” Shava says. Every head turns toward her; this statement is so strong. Shava meets my eyes and her smile is somehow odd. “I’ve seen so many bees but never really seen them—never seen
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This book touts itself as Pride and Prejudice in the prehistoric era. It is an unique concept, for sure, but unfortunately, I didn't find it to be very good.

The Pride and Prejudice element in this book is a far, far stretch. A misunderstanding (and a not very good misunderstanding at all, I literally read the "misunderstanding" part over 5 times just to convince myself that I was reading it correctly and not missing anything). A bad person who is not what they seem. But really, if those are the
Luke Taylor
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hall-of-fame
So what is Ivory and Bone?

An incomparable masterpiece. A bold work of art in a genre saturated with voices of similitude. An antediluvian dystopian love story riding an obsidian knife-edge between life and death.

Shall I elaborate?


Imagine, for a moment, a world with no internet. No cell phones, no wi-fi, no Starbucks, no television, no cars, no Coldplay, no bookstores, no single-serve slices of red velvet cake and the individually wrapped plastic fork to go with it.

And yes, sadly, no Goodreads.
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
I've been excitedly following Ivory and Bone updates ever since I first heard about its sale in 2014, and it's only grown over time as I discovered the cover, the synopsis, and the spectacular author of this book. Opening to the first page of this book felt like an exciting start to a long journey, a blast to the past.

Kol, the eldest son of the clan leader, knows change is coming to him and his clan. As the clan struggles to determine if they should move because of the dwindling food supply, Kol
Taylor Knight
I don't even know how to write a review for this book. I don't know what else to say other than I loved it.
I honestly loved everything about this book. I was a little weirded out by the writing style at first but after I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was different and fit the story really well.
I really liked the characters. They weren't over the top or crazy original but they weren't bland. They were normal but interesting.
I was very u
Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
4.5/5 Stars

I stayed up until 4AM in the morning to finish this book, and I have no regrets!


Ivory and Bone is a study in the basic human behaviors. It's a story of family, love, betrayal, revenge, and tragedy. I really liked the characters and found each of their personal stories and backgrounds extremely interesting. Each ones ties together in a beautiful way, until you're left with a complete tapestry of all their stories.


Julie's writing style really shocked me—the main character Kol talks to t
Trina (Between Chapters)
3 reasons to read Ivory and Bone (video):

I really enjoyed this debut! The one thing I didn't love about it were the infodumps, BUT I still felt like the information about this world was revealed very naturally. Kol learns about the other clans as he meets them so of course he couldn't tell us about the world until he'd been told himself. The infodumps could have been a bit subtler, but I still really enjoyed this story.

The 3 things I most want you to know
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is supposed to be a gender swapped retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in prehistoric times, and while the premise sounds promising, it falls completely flat.

I felt no connection to any of the characters, and the plot wasn't at all compelling to me. Honestly, I'd finish a chapter and immediately forget everything that happened because I felt that disconnected from the story.

Overall I didn't really have any glaring problems with this book, it was just utterly dull and forgettable.
Heidi Heilig
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mammoth hunts and saber tooth cats may not be as dangerous as falling in love.

Beautifully imagined, IVORY AND BONE is set in the Stone Age, with intriguing interpersonal relationships reminiscent of Austen. It's a compelling hate-to-love story, and the voice is poetic and charming (a story-teller 1st & 2nd person).

The family obligations and marriage maneuvering were rich and charming, especially seen through the eyes of Kol, clan-leader in training. He's a keen observer of the world and emotion
shady boots
Oct 03, 2014 marked it as to-read
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Shadow & Bone, what is it with YA and bones?
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cannot WAIT for this book!!
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An ARC has been provided in exchange for an honest review.

Once in a while a book comes along that sounds like it's been written exactly for you. You cross all your fingers and toes, hoping and praying it lives up to all of your dreams and then some. When I first read the description for IVORY AND BONE, I knew I needed to read it immediately. This book spoke to me. Mammoths. The great ice. Clans of strong, resilient people on the brink of violence mixed with Mother Nature’s own harshness. It brou
April (Aprilius Maximus)
DNF at page 80 because I don't want to keep reading about animals being killed. ...more
Joce (squibblesreads)
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars
So dull. So so so dull. So many promising elements, and none of them came together.
Wren (fablesandwren)
I can't do this. I hate second person. It makes me feel gross and I just can't.

I'm not going to rate the book at all purely because I got like 50 pages in and couldn't anymore. The story is probably fabulous. The writing perspective is just not my cup of tea. Which really stinks because I love pre-historic settings. UGH!
Rosalyn Eves
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Julie Eshbaugh's masterful debut. This is a book I've wanted to read since I first heard about it--a YA novel set in pre-historic era is unlike anything else I can think of in the market right now. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect going in, but that didn't seem to matter--Eshbaugh drew me in almost at once with her sharp prose and interesting characters (and she manages to pull off a second-person narration, which can be extremely hard to do).

Ivory and
Fictional World Dreamer
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing


This book was beyond my expectations. I thought I knew what I was in for. But my GOD, this was Unbelievable........and NOT what I was expecting at all.
Julie Eshbaugh’s writing is elegant, detailed and fascinating. From the beginning of this story I was engaged. One of my favorite elements from Ivory And Bone by Julie Eshbaugh was how it felt as if this story was written for me. It felt like, I come across an old letter. It was really fascinating. It’s something, I NEVER have
Anatea Oroz
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

I love historical fiction books, so can you imagine my excitement when I found out about Ivory and Bone. It is a prehestoric fiction set in Stone Age. I'm sure I haven't come across anything like this book yet, so yeah. For a certain time, I was on an excitement overload. And then I read the book. I can't say it was everything I expected and hoped for, but in the end, it was satisfying. There is one thing though that Eshbaugh manage
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Checkout my full 5 star review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

This book. THIS BOOK. Wow. From the first sentence I was amazed. How can you not be amazed by Ivory and Bone. This is the first book that I have ever known to be set in PREHISTORIC times. DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED TO READ SOMETHING THAT IS PREHISTORIC YA!?! Honestly my wish has been answered. I wonder why more authors don't dive in to the area of prehistoric fantasy. (Note to self: Well if you complain ab
Fafa's Book Corner
Jun 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Mini review:


This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Luke ! Click on his name to read his review.

When I heard about this book I didn't think much of it. It didn't sound like my kind of read so it quickly escaped my mind. It wasn't until I saw Luke's review that I considered reading it. It was in my library so I put it on hold. Unfortunately this book was not for me.

The writing style is written as such that Kol is narrating the book to Mya who is the love interest. This did not
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Ivory and Bone is set in the mammoth hunting era of prehistory, and the constant cultural infusion was easily my favorite part of the book. It was doubtless a lot more fanciful than life in that era would’ve been, but I didn’t mind because it kept the plot light-hearted and fun, and allowed story focus on the relationships. The book is supposed to be a creative retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Interestingly enough, it was only after finishing the it that I was clued into this fact (sometimes it ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
No spoilers in this review of Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh! I give it 3.75 stars. I thought the plot was simple overall, yet there were some small twists and turns that kept me guessing as the tale unfolded. The prehistoric setting was the most attractive thing about the whole book to me.

The story centers on Kol, a young man growing up in a clan with no girls close to his age. For the small tribe to continue, Kol and his three younger brothers need to find mates from other clans. It’s a big
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a quick but entertaining book. I have had it on my bookshelf since shortly after it had came out but didn't get around to reading it. I finally read it when the second book came out so I could read the series. I actually was really into the plot and enjoyed the characters. It is a prehistoric setting, which always turns me back into the four year old version of myself just waiting on the dinosaurs to show up. LOL no dinosaurs but still a really good read! ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
Ivory and Bone is a prehistoric fiction (not fantasy as it says in the summary) tale about three different clans reestablishing contact with each other for the ostensible purpose of finding good matches for some of the younger members, but in doing so, they also have to face the difficult history that exists between them. The book is quite elegantly written as a story told by one character to another, and while it starts out as slow burn drama, it really picks up around the two thirds mark.

Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Mar 08, 2015 marked it as books-i-own-but-haven-t-read-yet
When I saw that IVORY AND BONE was set back in the ice age, I wrote it off . . . *turns up nose at cavemen, etc.*

Which was stupid and incredibly short-sighted--I'm fascinated by frozen prehistoric mummies and bog people. *shakes head at self*

The preview introduces us both to Kol, a surprisingly sensitive hunter in his tribe, and one of his tribe's biggest concerns, a shortage of females.

BUT. Today there are visitors from a Southern tribe, two of them young, unmarried women.

The combined group go
Lois Sepahban
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an advanced copy of Ivory and Bone.

I love historical fiction, and I was so excited to read this book, set during prehistoric times. The main character is Kol--seventeen, compassionate, and strong. I liked him from the very first page.

The world-building in Ivory and Bone is amazing--with lovely sensory details and descriptions. A prehistoric setting is something new for me, and reading this story was a lot of fun. In addition to this, I found the message of the story to be p
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Oct 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
BookBuddyAThon read #1 - buddy read a book with your buddy: COMPLETE!

Honestly this book was such a let down. I had heard such great things so I was really excited for a prehistoric gender-bent Pride and Prejudice retelling, but honestly every aspect of this was disappointing. I feel like the prehistoric setting wasn't at all well done; it didn't feel any different to me than any other typical YA fantasy novel setting. I hated the 2nd person narration; it kept pulling me out of the story. I also
Nov 24, 2015 marked it as dnf
Shelves: historical

I'm sure that everyone is familiar with that terrible situation when you are reading the same paragraph over and over again for minutes and there's no connection at all. That is exactly what happened to me with this book. I picked it up 5 times and I was never able to read further than couple of first chapters. So I gave up.

Ivory and Bone is a story about teenager living in prehistoric age when his only worries are how to get food and whether he can meet at least one female of his age so his
Kristina Horner
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ivory and Bone started slowly but ended with a bang. It took me two months to read the first 100 pages and I finished the rest in two days. Prehistoric fantasy written in the second person - this is a book unlike any I've read before. I enjoyed it. ...more
An Electronic Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review. Quotes have been pulled from an e-ARC and may be subject to change.

Honestly, I requested this based on the cover and the title alone. Didn't even read the description because I love going into a book blind! And I was mildly surprised at how much I liked it. Some parts are told in second point of view and I didn't have a problem because I've read books with that viewpoint and loved it.

Set in the prehistoric
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Julie Eshbaugh is a YA writer and former filmmaker. She made two short films and then spent several years producing an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Her new YA fantasy standalone, CROWN OF OBLIVION, was released by HarperTeen in November 2019. She is also the author of IVORY AND BONE (HarperTeen 2016) and OBSIDIAN AND STARS (HarperTeen 2017). Yo ...more

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