Beautiful Depiction of Prehistoric Fiction | Review of ‘Obsidian and Stars’ (Ivory and Bone #2)

By Cynthia Ayala

Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh
Image Credit: Goodreads

“After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol. All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place. But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sister Lees to his friend Morsk. The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lees’ place and marry him herself. Refusing to marry anyone other than her beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees. And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed. Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason.”

Published June 13, 2017, by HarperTeen Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh is the second in her young adult Ivory and Bone series that takes historical fiction to new fantastical heights.

What worked so well in the first novel, the interpersonal way of storytelling is what has set this series apart from other novels. It is unfortunate that the storytelling changes, losing the second person perspective, but what works so well is the way the story focuses on Mya telling the story from her perspective this time. It is a thoughtful way to tell the story and in a way give further growth of what happens when all the pride and prejudice falls away. This novel explores the complexities of the relationship between the two given the choices thrust in front of them. It is a love story, yes, but that is only half the story here.

I feel like I am getting away from myself here. So let’s backtrack and talk about Mya. In the first novel, she was cold and unlikable. She felt so strongly about being protective of her clan that she was letting that blind her. In this novel, those feelings have not gone away. However, she has learned how to grow and take them in stride. There’s no mistaking the fact that she would make a great leader because she is very thoughtful about how her actions are going to affect others, but she also cares about the happiness of others. This puts her at odds with her brother who put his happiness before the clan (ex. marrying a man instead of a woman providing an heir to the chieftain title). On some level it makes him a little hypocritical because he had a choice, and he put his heart first. However, when it comes to his sisters, he wants to take away their chances of following their hearts to make sure the clan is taken care of. He is not an evil character, he is complex, and that is what makes the novel so good because all the characters are complicated forcing Mya facing those hard decisions she needs to make, her heart or her people. Moreover, with the past coming back, much like in the previous novel, the characters are faced with even harder struggles as they begin a fight for their lives. This also offers up the chance to see Mya in an entirely new light. Being in her mindset, the reader can see the heart she has; readers can see just how thoughtful, intelligent, brave, and compassionate she is and see how her anger in the first novel was just a mask. It raises her up and makes her almost an entirely new character. There is a richness there that wasn’t there before. It is also delightful to see Kol through this lens as well. That said, it almost feels as though the novel loses Kol’s personality. Even though the first novel offered up depth to his character, it almost feels that by completely changing the POV and way of storytelling caused him to get lost in writing.

However, Obsidian and Stars is an incredible novel that focuses a lot on the complex nature that existed in the past. That is not to say that these issues still don’t exist, but to see them through the lens of this period makes it more engaging and unique. It stands out and giving the reader a more action-packed sequel makes the pace of the novel move quickly and steadily without losing its direction. (★★★☆☆ | B+)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Jun. 13, 2017

Page count: 368pp

Age Range: 14 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-0623-9928-1

Publisher: HarperTeen

List Price:  $17.99

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