The novel is set in 3000 A.D. After colonizing Mars some time ago and planning to populate the terraformed planet with ancient animals from Earth, humans had disappeared. One of the animals now left to fend for themselves is Icebones, daughter of Silverhair, who as the only adult mammoth taken to Mars also has responsibility for the herd.
Kirkus Reviews said in their review that its "impossible not to cheer for Baxter's plucky pachyderms: a saga that, even at its most improbable, engages the reader's heart and mind." Jackie Cassada in her review for Library Journal said that "Baxter brings the great creatures of Earth's prehistory to life."
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