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Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future [Kindle Edition]

Mike Resnick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

The ivory of the animal known only as the Kilimanjaro Elephant is the object of a galaxy wide search by Duncan Rojas, a researcher, and Bukoba Mandaka, the last Maasai. The epic novel covers all the lives the ivory touches and alters over the next six millennia as Rojas and Mandaka search for it across both the eons and the galaxy, and the purpose of that search is finally unveiled.
Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future was a Nebula nominee for Best Novel in the United States, and a Clarke nominee for Best Novel in England.

Product Description


Duncan Rojas, a researcher, is hired by the mysterious Bukoba Mandaka to find a pair of elephant tusks that have been missing for more than three thousand years and moved from planet to planet.

About the Author

Mike Resnick has won an impressive five Hugos and been nominated for twenty-six more. He has sold fifty-eight novels and more than two hundred short stories. He has edited fifty anthologies. His work ranges from satirical fair, such as his Lucifer Jones adventures, to weighty examinations of morality and culture, as evidenced by his brilliant tales of Kirinyaga. The series, with sixty-six major and minor awards and nominations to date, is the most honored series of stories in the history of science fiction.
Visit Mike Resnick online at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159102546X
  • Publisher: Kirinyaga, Inc. (14 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047DW748
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #682,051 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Although I gladly admit to being a fan of Mike Resnick, I was a bit uncertain about reading this book - I mean how interesting can a story about elephant tusks be? Well quite simply I think that this book is absolutely tremendous, it's a series of fantastic short stories all linked around the tusks of the Kilimanjaro Elephant, a beast killed in the late 19th century and traces their potted "history" up to their rediscovery some seven thousand years later.
Apart from the ivory in question the two main characters are superbly written, both very believable and in their own way they are both obsessive, brilliant but ultimately unhappy who form a firm tangible friendship. The book works for me on many levels, how a legend is created, the relationship between Bukoba and Duncan, the characters and how human (even the aliens!) and believable they are from the alien surgically altered to look like a human, to the blind but brilliant artist. When all these elements are combined it makes for a cracking good read. If you only ever read one Resnick book, pick "Kirinyaga", but for your second choose "Ivory"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Crusade 12 Feb. 2011
I wasn't prepared to be as enthralled by `Ivory', as I was by`Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia'. I certainly hoped it would prove to be a novel of similar quality, but didn't believe the greatness of Mike Resnick's most renowned debut novel could be repeated. But `Ivory' is undoubtedly as captivating, inspiring and poignant, and is in all respects equal to that great work.

The format for this novel is similar to that of `Kirinyaga' i.e. presenting a larger theme comprised of interlinking short stories. In the case of `Ivory', which spans millennia and introduces characters hundreds of years apart, all of whom participate in the journey of a remarkable artifact- the tusks of a legendary African elephant- you might suppose the reader would feel less inclined to turn the pages while so many characters are being introduced and then discarded. But each is so fascinating and thoroughly unique in its own right that these disparate scenarios only enhance the compelling explorations of the main characters.

The novel begins in the far future and introduces the last remaining member of the Maasai tribe, Bukoba Mandaka, and details his desperate quest to obtain the tusks of the greatest elephant ever to walk the Earth. But it is the researcher whom he has hired to locate this most elusive of treasures who acts as the main protagonist in the novel. It is the discoveries Duncan Rojas uncovers in relation to the diverse history of the tusks, described over the course of the story, that are the substance of the novel and from whose perspective the author returns to periodically throughout. Both these characters are incredibly well drawn and sympathetic, and the far-flung-future setting they inhabit is phenomenally absorbing and authentic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY Interesting... 15 Feb. 1998
By "rukhus" - Published on
Okay. This book takes you for a ride. In a way,It's remenisent of the "Star Wars" books because of all the wierd alien species. In other ways it reminded me of "the Fifth Element", though I have no particular reason why. The only reason I didn't give this book a 10 is because Its jumping around from present to future gets confusing and repetitive. I noticed that doesn't have a description of Ivory. Well, here's one for you: "It is the year 6303 of the Galactic Era, and Duncan Rojas, Senior Reasear -cher and authinticator for Braxton's Records of Big Game,has recieved a most unusual visitor. He is Bukoba Mandaka-the last of the Maasai. He searches for Malima Temboz,the Mount- ain that walks...known to the world as the Kilamanjaro Elephant.His bones are but dust. His spirit remains, restless and incomplete-his spirit, and somewhere in the vast reaches of the Galaxy, his tusks..." " Bukoba Mandaka must find those tusks, and find them soon. Rojas can- not resist the challenge. And the quest soon becaomes his own,as he begins to catch a glimpse of the elusive power of ancient Africa and the magic surrounding the greatest hunting tropy ever taken." That about wraps the book up. It's a VERY good book;recieving praise from Analog,the Cincinnati Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Locus, and the L.A. Times. Analog says: "A marvolous satisfying SF novel...A definite 'Don't miss!'" L.A. Times says: "Thought-provoking, imaginative,mordantly funny, and-above all-galactically grand." - Karli L., Raptor Girl
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breaking out of the ghetto 11 Dec. 2007
By Steven Saus - Published on
Sci-fi's ghettoization is a well-known and discussed problem. Often that ghettoization is because of the characterization - or lack thereof. Concentrating on plot and splendid worlds is great for fans - but makes the work inaccessible to others.

_Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future_ does not have this flaw.

Do not take me wrongly - this novel sweeps across time and space, flashing from the past to the far-flung future light-years away. Both the grandeur and the skill with which these worlds and societies are painted. Neither, however, is what drives the book.

Instead, the characters - both the ones in the encompassing story arc and those in each of the fascinating vignettes that tie it together - draw you in. They are tightly written, and I found myself engrossed in them, the overarching mystery, and each little story as well.

You may notice that I do not tell much of the plot. Like many stories, any brief summary will sound flat and stale - perhaps even improbable. But it is not the plot that draws us in here - it is the engrossing characters interacting in this dazzling world. Summarizing the plot would be like saying that a Frank Lloyd Wright building has four walls and a roof - technically true, but totally missing the point.

This novel is the literary equivalent of an architectural marvel rising from a ghetto. It is something that all people should experience - even if you have to travel across the tracks to get there.

And once you have, maybe you'll find it's not so bad over here after all.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unsung classic of Science Fiction 24 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This books deals with heart wrenching aspects of honor as seen by two men from entirely different societies. It tries to illuminate for the reader such differences as are seen between the way American Anglo-Saxons view the world (a total disregard for the past), and the way others view it (holding the past in great sanctity). On the way, you'll be in for a treat of a story and some great writing.
The whole tie-in about Mountain that Walks is pretty good, to.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent story that loses momentum 2/3 way through 14 Jan. 2007
By Anastasia - Published on
Half-way into the book, "Ivory" was turning out to be a very enjoyable detective-type story.

It starts with a gambling game on a far planet between various human and alien criminals. As the outcome, a pair of huge elephant tusks changes hands. The rest of the book (told in the format of multiple stort stories) revolves around the history of the tusks across 6,000 years, from 1892 AD on. The story is framed as a research quest by a scientist who must find out the current location of the tusks for some unknown reason.

As I said, reading the exploits of various criminals and fanatics was entertaining. Too bad about 2/3rds through, the story loses momentum. I can tell you when. On page 230, when for the first time, we take a step back in time instead of forward, the fun of the chase wanes.

By then, you know why the tusks are important. Plus, reading historical accounts of men is much less interesting than the made-up ones.

So, it was a decent read. Resnick's writing is descriptive and delightful. It would have been better if the stories/findings were arranged in a more chronological order to build up the excitement & drama and the chapter "Hunters" omited altogether. Still, the stories are excellent and even on their own make the book worth reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ivory again +20 years later 6 Sept. 2012
By KD0711 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Ivory again, having last had the pleasure some +20 years ago. It is a story written in the Resnick style of heroes and villains. A story painted across centuries, and giving both the small and the large important parts of the story. Ivory is in my view one of the best Resnick novels, and the familiarity with the style and scope of his universe makes for a comforting and settled reading experience, leaving one with a feeling of 'I know all this', even though his glorious scope is a modern day fairytale.

Two thumbs up.
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