Obsidian and Stars is the second book in the Ivory and Bone series, and picks up right after the events of the first one. Mya and Kol have survived the battle with Lo and the renegades and are preparing for their life together, but tragedy strikes and changes the clans forever. In addition, Mya's brother Chev decides to marry her younger sister Lees to Morsk, threatening the relationship Lees and Roon have. Lees resolves to run away with Roon, and Mya feels she has no choice but to take Lees herself, so that she'll be safe, while Kol talks to Chev. The story thus involves Mya and Lees fleeing to an isolated island, where they encounter people from another clan and other dangers.
This was a solid follow up to Ivory and Bone, only this time the story is told from Mya's point of view. I liked Mya in this one, I thought perhaps I might have trouble with her POV since it took me a while to warm to her in the first book, but that wasn't a problem. Her and Kol are solid but if there was one thing I didn't like, it was the angst over things like leadership of the clans and the way forward. I can't say too much about that without spoilers, but suffice to say that the tradition of throwing everything but the kitchen sink in the way of our heroes is alive and well! I seriously wanted them to stop mewling over things and just deal.
Having said that, I have little else to complain about. This was a fast read and I blew through it just like with the first one. This is set during the prehistoric era or perhaps the Ice age, it's not really spelled out, but it's clearly in that vein and so it's a little disconcerting when the people behave remarkably like modern people. Other than the fact that they use spears and hunt mammoths, they could be the protagonists in a YA story of another era. This probably sounds like a criticism also but while it's not what I was expecting (I mentioned this in my review of the earlier book as well) I still liked this story a lot.
The sequences on the island are pretty thrilling- you have fights against other clans, natural disasters and even waterfalls. There's an action packed battle on a clifftop, and in general this one has more action. I liked the sense of exploration too as Mya and Lees find themselves alone at sea and then on an island with more dangers than they were planning for. I thought this would be a story of the two of them alone against tough odds, but surprisingly many of the supporting cast show up early on, so we get to see more of characters like Seeri and Pek, as well as Kol of course and a new face that adds something to the mix.
There's a nice examination too of leadership and customs, and the sacrifices one must make. Mya and Kol have to wrestle with their own desires versus their responsibilities to their clan, and if those two things can be reconciled. Here again is where some of the angst came in, but at the same time it really allowed the author to explore the character of these two. The characters here are quite compelling and while, again, I'm a little skeptical that Ice Age clans were this sophisticated, this is a thrilling foray into a savage world, and a fun read.