Release date: June 14, 2016
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.
Firstly, great work on the retelling. In simple terms, it is a genderbent retelling of Pride and Prejudice in a prehistoric society (there are mammoths all around) consisting of human clans, with the stakes of life-and-death. The world is also interesting in building – society here is mostly hunting and foraging, and civilization is limited to small clans of people, partly nomadic, living off the land and a little exploration. The plot is centered around Kol’s clan and the two neighbouring clans to them who share a history with them and with each other.
The protagonist, Kol, is telling the story to Mya, the Darcy of this plot, and that is where I first had trouble with this book. Because it is in second person narrative (I think this is one of the very few I have read in this style), it was a bit difficult while reading itself, to remember who is being referred to. While the story is interesting and the writing definitely on par, the style of narrative itself made it a bit cumbersome to read. Nevertheless, I loved how it alluded to Pride and Prejudiced, with Kol’s family desperate to secure brides for their sons and the Olen Clan, the more sophisticated one, with the upper hand. The romance is subtle but also influences the plot immensely, and that makes it for a good read. The ending, though, felt a little anti-climactic to my taste – it didn’t deliver on the building up of the book. Overall, I would give it 3.5 stars.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss.