The Shadows of Ivory is a book that kept me up for three straight nights. Get the kids to bed so I can get back to this rollicking tale of archeological digs, magical powers, and family infighting!
Two women from treasure-hunting families:
Eska de Caraval is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the government, but it is her uncle who taught her the drive to discover new things. He has filled her mind with wonders and now she has obtained an extremely valuable reliquary by somewhat illicit means. She also has a dig site to work on… She has money and power and she will use them to gain access to the historical secrets of this dig, that’s if nothing gets in her way.
Manon Barca is the daughter of a jailed and disgraced plunderer. The family is in debt and is hated by many, but Manon sees an opportunity to turn the course of her family’s reputation. She races after Eska’s stake… whereas the de Caravals have the money and influence, Manon has a magical ability that is elevated by some and damned by others. She is a Carrier, having the ability to use the power of certain elements. In Manon’s case it is fire. Will this be enough to tip the scales of power between the two families in this race for treasure?
This is an adventure that races across oceans, dives deep into lakes, and hides in secret tunnels… it is nonstop as Greylock and O’Connor infuse twist after twist in a plot that I was happy grapple with. Eska takes the lead for most of the book with Manon playing the foil in status and ambition. It’s fun to see their parallel routes as they dash about on their own tasks to achieve the ultimate goal of… I don’t want to give anything away!
A few takeaways from the writing: the story starts out quick with an introduction to Eska and her sassy and smart character. The reader gets to know the way things work for her in the capital, which will contrast greatly to when she is on her own. And when the adventure begins the world’s background and magic system are deftly cut into the narrative. I was also struck by the many secondary characters that pop up along the way. Each brings a piece of the puzzle or at times takes those pieces and squirrels them away to make it harder for the women to find that allusive treasure… whatever it may be.
Pick this one up to strike out on a journey with two fantastic characters, and their enemies and allies. It was the escape I needed to take me away from this Shelter in Place.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to the authors for an advanced copy for review.