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Title : The Valley of Horses
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553250534
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 544 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Valley of Horses Reviews

  • Corbin
    2019-04-29 21:30

    Dad: "'s the book?"Me: "Hmn. Well, I like the first two thirds or so, that's all survivalist nerd stuff. But after that, it kind of turns into caveman porn."(Later that week...)Dad: "So...I borrowed your book."Me: "...Oh."(Uncomfortable silence)Me: "So...what did you think of it?"Dad: "Well, you were right, the first two thirds is for survival nerds. After that, though..."(Uncomfortable silence)Me: "Caveman porn?"Dad: "Not just that. *Bad* caveman porn!"

  • Crystal Starr Light
    2019-05-12 21:44

    I've never seen a series take such a downturn so fast!When we last saw Ayla in The Clan of the Cave Bear, she had been banished, sentenced to death by the clan leader, Broud, who hated her. The Valley of the Horses takes place immediately after, as Ayla begins to wander the steppes in pursuit of her people. Eventually, she settles in a valley populated with horses. While she is there, she befriends a horse and ekes out a living.Oh.My.God.I don't think I've ever seen a series shoot itself in the foot so early on. I've seen series suffer burnout, the author tossing up his or her hands and saying "I just don't give a damn anymore", but usually this occurs, oh, say, six books in the series after he or she has drug the main characters all over the universe to death and back again. At this point, I figure the author is thinking, "Looks like I can't write anything but another teenaged emosparklyvampire series, might as well milk this one as best as I can before I hit the unemployment line". (I know Frank L. Baum of the Oz series would agree with me if he were alive.)The Valley of the Horses should be the sixth book in the series by that reckoning. The amount of WTF in this book is near critical levels. Characters bounce all over the place, problems that were hinted at in the first book appear here 10X worse, and generally the story stops being about the person I became invested in: it stopped being about Ayla.Now, that's not to say there aren't good parts. Sure, you might need a electron microscope in order to find them, but they are still there. The Ayla sections of the first half are excellent, exactly what we've come to expect and love from The Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla journeys across the steppes, Ayla must try to fend for herself, to find food and clothing and shelter. Sure, she has started accumulating a rather eye-brow raising list of inventions (the calendar, horseback riding, animal domestication, flint, reproduction--did you know it was Broud's organ that created her son, Durk?), but you know what? Even that I could buy. She is by herself, she must invent or die. She loves animals and has been tending them since she was a child, so it isn't unexpected for her to continue this into her adulthood. The calendar thing is also hinted at back in the first book, when Ayla peppers Creb with questions about days and counting. Yes, Ayla is getting close to Mary Sue territory, but this is her story. I'll believe it.UNTIL Auel adds Jondalar. Who is Jondalar? Let me introduce you to him:Meet Jondalar:Jondalar is the most attractive, strong, intelligent, sexy, wonderful, skilled, muscular, thoughtful, generous, kind man you will EVER meet. He is MINDBLOWING in the sack (but WATCH OUT! Most women can't take it ALL *eyebrow wiggle* if you know what I mean!). His blue eyes are enough to make the cave panties wet. He is the BEST toolmaker EVER (and NO, I do NOT mean that kind of tool!). HE LOVE SO MUCH AND SO HARD THAT NO ONE CAN ENDURE IT. Jondalar is freakin' God incarnate.And THAT is the beginning of what kills the story. THAT is what makes this book, which could have been interesting, absolutely dreadful. Because once Jondalar walks onto the set, the story ceases to be about Ayla and instead becomes about Jondalar.(Hey, I don't know if I've mentioned it...did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? The Clan believed it was a battle between totems, but Ayla is pretty sure it's a man's organ that creates babies.)I don't mind Ayla finding companionship. I don't mind her finding love. I DO mind it when the whole story's emphasis is on a man we've only just met and have no real reason to like. I NEVER liked Jondalar. EVER. The author tries to sell me on how wonderful he is by having EVERYONE gush about him (and trust me, EVERYONE does), but I went into convulsions every time I had to hear all the "wonderful" things about this tool. And *this* is the man Ayla ends up with? I would ask for an exchange!So while Ayla is busy trying to survive, I get stuck listening to Jondalar and his doofus brother doing stupid and pointless things on their spiritual journey. I get to hear a bajillion arguments the two of them have about where they should go ("No, Jondalar, let's go to the mountains!" "No, Thonalan, we should head to the river!" "Let's stay with these people!" "No, we need to move on!"), how awesome Jondalar is, and how much they want to bonk women. Oh, and as if the latter weren't enough, I get TWO fairly graphic sex scenes of Jondalar with some chick on her First Rites and Serenio (or some other woman whose purpose was only to provide another sex scene to show Jondalar's Mad Skilz in the cave bedroom) and Thonalan falls into insta-lust with some woman whom he can't even converse with for several pages.(BTW, I have to mention it, but there is a horse sex scene in this book. Yes, a horse sex scene. And it turns Ayla on. And Ayla, being so bright and intelligent, doesn't know WHY she feels all horny-like.)None of this ends up mattering because a plot contrivance sends Thonalan and Jondalar back into the wild and completely negating the last billion pages Caveman Time Wasting. Thonalan is an idiot and tries to chase after some meat that a cave lion stole (REALLY!?!?!) and is killed. Ayla comes to the rescue and FINALLY, FINALLY after nearly 3/4 of the book, Ayla and Jondalar meet.At this point, I was actually pumped. FINALLY, there was a point to Jondalar! Finally, we would get around to what has been alluded to since the first book. But NO! Instead, now we get hastily contrived resolutions to the language barrier (Creb comes to Ayla in a dream and POW! she speaks Jondalar's language!), Jondalar getting a hard on nearly every other time he sees Ayla (along with groin pains, which tells me he needs to see someone about his urinary tract infection), Ayla wanting Jondalar to sex her up, but Jondalar not doing so because he thinks she is in healing training. Or something. Oh, yeah, and also during this whole time, Jondalar hardly talks about his dead brother and when he finds out it was Ayla's cave lion that killed Thonalan (and she chased the cave lion away), he is like, "Wow, you must be a spirit to have such control over animals".(Did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? Ayla isn't totally sure, but she thinks it is a man's organ that makes a baby, not a fight between totems.)When the two FINALLY talk it over, Jondalar initially can't get past his "Ew, she had sex with a flathead! Flathead cooties!" But this doesn't last too long...Ayla is the PERFECT woman, with the perfect breasts, perfect lips, perfect hair, perfect ba-donka-donk. Jondalar is pretty sure we wouldn't remember this or figure it out for ourselves, so he makes sure to remind us. OFTEN.After a few more sex scenes that get repetitive to the max (which is NUTS, yes, there have been about 6 in this book, but I wouldn't think the sex would get repetitive THAT fast), Jondalar says he is going away...and a dream changes his mind. He declares his TWOO LURVE to Ayla, and Ayla reciprocates. They talk endlessly about wanting to pleasure each other, Ayla suddenly learns how to deep throat, and the book ends with a hint about meeting the Mammoth Hunters.The Clan of the Cave Bear was unique, interesting, and captivating. The characters were well created, the story was fantastic, the setting filled with great details (although at times, these got to be a little excessive). It's become one of my favorite books.THIS book, however, is a disgrace. It took all the things I loved about The Clan of the Cave Bear, set them on fire, and chucked them over a cliff. The characters become obnoxious, the story becomes a standard, not well-written or interesting romance, research is presented for the sake of research, and sex replaces good character moments and character growth. The best parts of this book are the Ayla chapters in the first half. They are solid, well-constructed and bear the most similarity to the first book. Once Jondalar enters the story full-time, the story's quality drops drastically.Normally, I would give up on this series right here, but I have a death wish. This book has, oddly enough, been a delight to listen to, mostly because of the heaps of WTFery in it. Therefore, I am going to continue my journey with The Mammoth Hunters and keep my fingers crossed that it is better (and secretly hope it is not!).ADDENDUM: I've rated this three stars, mostly because I want to see how "The Mammoth Hunters" is before putting a solid rating in place...and YOU thought I was going to take this time and tell you how it was Broud's organ that created Durk! HAH!

  • Henry Avila
    2019-04-27 22:32

    She walks away alone, a figure in the vast, savage, uncaring, desolate, almost empty region, of what is now the Ukraine, expelled by her adopted, Neanderthal, cave dwelling band, Ayla, at 14, is forced to leaves her small, beloved child, Durc, behind, cursed by the only people the Cro -Magnon girl can remember, into the unknown, what the young, fearful woman, believes, will be a final, fatal, fleeting journey. With a few belongings , the prehistoric teenager, has, told by the female, who raised her to find her own kind, the "Others", and advised to go north, but the scattered tribes, are so rare, that it is almost impossible to encounter them, an unseen spot in the steppes, the object slowly travels in the glacial cold, for weeks, then a blizzard strikes hard, the despairing human, almost welcomes the freezing end...Yet somehow Ayla, survives, but it doesn't matter, her destruction is near, predators roam by, looking for a kill, until finding salvation, a beautiful, hidden valley, that protects the wanderer, from most of the deadly elements, and feeds the girl, plants, trees, fruit, game, fish, the experienced, able hunter, will not starve, and a herd of gentle, magnificent horses, already live there, their running about , is thrilling, in this paradise, a river meanders by, its sparkling waters, beckons, and a safe place discovered, a small, cozy cave above the stream, a hole -in -the -wall, that a warm fire will make habitable, reached by climbing a steep slope...Survival is not living, though, the abandoned girl, has dreams and nightmares, she needs human companionship, but her only friends are a mare, she raised from a foal, Whinney, ( how she got her name is obvious) and a Cave Lion cub, Baby, (why that alias , is easy , also, to understand) the animal eventually will grow to be a gigantic male, 800 lbs. Years pass, Ayla, prospers, all the tools, clothes, shelter and food she wants, are available, still not quite happy, the now woman, will have to leave her safe, comfortable home, to meet her own species, if the sad girl can ever get out, into the hostile world, and take a big chance, but her pet friends have grown, left to follow their new mates, seldom come back to visit... Two devoted brothers, with the same mother, but not father, unexpectedly arrive in the area, from a faraway cave to the west, the adventurous men, went in a primitive boat, down to the sea, on The Great Mother River, ( the Danube) a hazardous, lengthy trip, just to see where it concludes... Jondalar, 21, at six feet, six inches tall, towers over everyone, blond hair, blue eyes, handsome face, women are always looking up to, and falling in love with, and a few inches shorter, Thonolan, 18, different color eyes and hair, but almost equal to his sibling in charm and features, the now morose man, has suffered a devastating loss...Ayla and Jondalar , have great feelings for each other, when they meet, yet hide them, showing little, apparent emotion, not trusting, both, recently acquainted, strangers, really ....The second in the very popular, Earth's Children, series, is almost as good as the first, The Clan of the Cave Bear, while the magic cannot quite duplicate, the level of the original, because of its unique aspects, this one does deliver what fans of these books want, entertainment in an exotic setting, a place and time that no one today will ever experience, or maybe, even wish to either.

  • Charlotte May
    2019-05-07 22:25

    Ouch. I’ve never known a series to go so downhill in the second book!When I read The Clan of the Cave Bear I was swept up into a prehistoric world filled with spirits, survival and a wonderfully intricate belief system. After the end of that book Ayla is out on her own, battling the elements, wild animals and her own loneliness. It sounded so promising. But parallel to following Ayla, we also follow two men - Jondalar and his brother Thonolan, unsure of how they will fit in to Ayla’s tale. What disappointed me with this sequel were two main things: 1. Nothing happens. Seriously. It’s over 500 pages and all we really see is Ayla’s preparation for season after season alone in her cave, and her adoption of a couple of wild animals. Alongside this Jondalar and Thonolan are travelling - coming across tribe after tribe, once again with no real purpose or anything to add to the overall plot. 2. So many sex scenes! Now - I’m not a prude, and I can enjoy a good sex scene when it is relevant to the story. But they are everywhere in this book! Jondalar sleeps with numerous women on his travels with his brother and then at least 5 times when he meets Ayla! I mean this is fine - have as much sex as you want; but I don’t need an in depth description every time the characters are feeling a bit horny! I’ll also briefly mention the part when Ayla actually gets turned on while watching 2 horses mate - and also has a flashback to these horses while she is getting jiggy with Jondalar. I know right! No further comment. I was so disappointed in this sequel - though I’d love to see how Ayla’s story pans out - there’s no way I could battle through 4 more books like this.

  • Kara
    2019-05-08 19:36

    I didn’t mind that it devolved (devolved, get it? hehehe) anyway, I didn't mind that the book turned out to be porn-for-women-who-pretend-they-don’t-like-that-sort-of-thing-because-its-soooo-low-brow, but what I DID mind was that it became CLICHÉ porn. Oooo he’s a man whose been with tons of women but never felt True Love!Oooo she’s a woman who’s been raped in a way sanctioned by her culture and never had an orgasm! Ahhhhh he’s a man who yearns to love a woman who is his equal!Ahhh she’s a woman who is good at everything but good sex!Oooooh he teaches her what real sex feels like and gets her off on the first round!Oooooh they have simultaneous orgasms the first time they Make Love!Ahhhh he’s so big! He hurts women with his hugeness and always has to hold back!Ahhhh she’s the only woman who can totally fit his huge manhood!Oooohh Aaahhhhh Oooooohh! Aahhhhhhh! YES! YES! YES! YEEEEEEEeeeeEEEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEES!.........Christ, someone get me a cigarette....I had way too much fun writing this...

  • Renee
    2019-04-28 00:48

    This one goes down as my all time, #1, best read. I learned SO many things and gained more strength and independence than I though possible. The story is this, Ayla is cast out from her family, leaving behind her only son, to survive in the ice age and the wilderness alone. She has the knowledge of a medicine woman, and the skills of a sling to assist her survival. But the greatest challenge is the loneliness. She teaches herself to hunt with spears, to make knives, baskets, and implements for cooking. And along with her, I learned how to do all of these things. How to test plant foods for nutritional or medicinal properties. How to survive. She adopts a horse foal after killing her dam and then adopts a baby cave lion. The three of them make a family, and they give her the only companionship the empty icy world has to offer. Until finally after 3 years of emptiness, she meets her future mate. This book got me through my divorce, and the first time I ever lived alone. My heart goes out to the Jean M. Auel who reached into my soul and helped me find what moves me.

  • Kinga
    2019-05-08 18:45

    Ayla’s adventures volume two. The writing is as bad as it was in volume one (I detailed all the problems I had with it here : with the addition of hackneyed sex scenes. It makes me almost sad that generations of young girls had their introduction to porn literature through this crap. It’s enough to put you off of both, sex and reading.You might wonder why I read the second volume when the first volume was so bad. It’s a good question and I’m not sure myself. I ordered it on amazon before I had the time to really think about it. I guess, my favourite parts in the first volume were the survival bits. I liked when Ayla was all alone and had to learn to manage on her own. And since the first volume ends with Ayla being kicked out of the Clan I knew there would be a lot of that there. Also I needed some closure, I needed Ayla to get some good caveman loving at last and I was told there would quite enough of that (whether it was good, however, remains debatable).In the Valley Of Horses we have two parallel stories. In one we have Ayla who finds a cave, tames a horse, learns horse-riding, tames a cave lion, invents a laptop, basically kills time while waiting for some 350 pages for LL Cool Jondalar to arrive and give it her good.In the other story we learn about Jondalar, who while on some unspecified self-discovery journey is sexing his way through the prehistorical world. All the ladies love him, which is why it is taking him so long to run into Ayla. He needs to teach a couple of cavewomen “the pleasures of the Mother’s Gift”. This is all to show us that Ayla is in for a treat when LL Cool Jondalar finally finds his way to her. There are some crutch secondary characters that need to die after serving their purpose in moving the plot along so that the main two can finally meet. Initially Ayla and Jondalar can’t communicate properly due to Ayla only speaking Neanderthal which is more of a sign language really. She eventually picks up a few words and they have very basic troglodyte-like conversations but eventually the author tires of writing it so she makes Ayla have a dream in which she suddenly remembers her original language and from then on she and Jondalar can conversely freely which is pivotal to all the romantic complications they are about to have, like who wanted to have sex with who. Ayla acts so cluelessly it’s baffling – I’d really expected a little more from someone who invented a calendar and tamed a freaking Cave Lion, you know? But all is well that ends well and finally, Jonalar can show Ayla the one skill he truly mastered, and it is not tool-making, but foreplay. They all live happily ever after, or that is until Volume 3 which I started reading and read about 30 pages before I realised what I was doing and stopped myself before I caused some serious damage to my mental health.

  • Karen
    2019-05-16 20:45

    5 STARSWritten in the early 80's. I suddenly find myself addicted. LOL. This one had a much different feel than the first book. Read a bit more like a romance book... but no less appealing. Loved it. Looking forward to book 3!

  • Tim The Enchanter
    2019-05-13 21:39

    Thank God it is over - 2 starsSilver Broken Gavel for Worst Book Read in 2014Random Ramblings I cannot recall the last time I was so happy to finish a book. I felt as if I had gone up against a ferocious beast and emerged as the winner. Having recently read,REVIEWEDand loved The Clan of the Cave Bear, I fully expected another magical story set it the distant past, long before recorded history. I liked The Clan of the Cave Bear so much, it was my 7th favorite read of 2013. Unfortunately, the Valley of Horses turned into a prehistoric romance novel. I felt duped and angry with how the series had progressed. What looked to be shaping into an exciting and memorable series has turned into a series that I will not finish. Plot summary Our intrepid female hero from the first book, has struck out on her own after the events at the end of Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla is forced to use all of the knowledge she has gained over the course of her short life to eek out an existence on her own. In a parallel story, we are introduced to Jondular, a male from the "others", as he and his younger brother set out on a journey of self discovery. The Good Despite this book, Ayla is one of most memorable characters from any book I have read. She is plucky, smart and resourceful in an environment that does not understand these traits. Up until the storylines converge, Ayla's story was interesting. I enjoyed reading about her and I felt invested in her wellbeing after the first novel. This is the only reason the book avoided a one star rating and the only reason that I read the book until the end. Had the story simply focused on her and her fight for survival, the book may have been a 4 star read. The Bad Jondular.Seriously, I could not stand the character. In Jondular, we have a 21 year old man without a mate and without a purpose in life. He cannot commit to a woman, loves to make tools but his true calling in life is giving women their "Pleasure" (yes, it is supposed to be capitalized) with his organ/manhood/woman-maker. Seriously, at one point a wise Shaman type woman tells him that some people have the gift of making boats, or hunting or carving but he has the gift of pleasuring woman and he should not despise this. I was ready to stab myself in the eyes at this point. This guy was so torn up by the fact that he could make a woman happy in bed but no woman could make him happy in his heart..............I didn't care.The tone of the story was far more modern. The speech, attidudes and actions of the characters would not have been out of place had the story been of a few people trying to win the game of Survivor. While the first book did a masterful job of making the reader feel as if they were in an ancient and unknown time, this book lost the mystical quality.While Ayla's inventiveness was endearing in the first book, it seemed in the second book as if Ayla wsa to be the inventor of every great discovery of prehistoric man. In chapter after chapter she was disovering or improving on the tools and materials of the her world. As far as I could tell, the wheel had not yet been invented but I assume that Ayla will invent it in a later book.Romance, Romance, Romance. It is simply not my cup of tea. Books focusing on the love and relationship between two characters does not interest me. Like many historical fiction novels, this falls into the trap of simply trying to convince us that love is the tie that binds the eras together. As the first book was not written with romance and relationship as a major plotline, it was disappointing that this book changed direction.Finally, the storytelling was lazy. In the first book, we were able to watch Ayla learn and grow. When she was adopted by the Neanderthals, she had to learn their way of life, their custom and their unique language. In this book, Ayla is faced with similar circumstance but the author cheats us by cutting corners. For example, (view spoiler)[ Ayla was learning spoken language from Jondular. Her speech was rough and her understanding was incomplete but she was trying and learning quickly. She could vaguely recall speaking as a 5 year old but it was not more than a fleeting memory. After having a dream about her initial cave lion attack and a dream about her parents, she suddenly recalls how to speak and she has not issues with language and understating language.(hide spoiler)]It was dizzying how quickly this series became unpalpable. It was a huge disappointment after the first book. That said, if you like the Outlander series and you enjoyed the romance and sexual content of the first in the series, you may in fact like this series. Unfortunately, two is enough for me.Content AdvisoriesIt is difficult to find commentary on the sex/violence/language content of book if you are interested. I make an effort to give you the information so you can make an informed decision before reading. *Disclaimer* I do not take note or count the occurrences of adult language as I read. I am simply giving approximations.Scale 1 - Lowest 5 - Highest Sex-5 I have to apologize but I lost count of the sex scenes. There were 5-7 scene that were graphic in nature. Mr. `Don Juan` Jondular was also Mr. Pleasure so he certainly took his time. The scene were far more graphic than I appreciate and they were were plentiful. Hence the 5 rating. Outside of these scenes, there was significant discussion of sex. Avoid if you are not comfortable with this type of material. Language-1 While some may consider sexual terms as adult language, I have included that in the rating above. As for swearing and other adult language, it was non-existed although Ayla may discover and invent the f-word in a later book Violence-2.5 There were several graphic scene of animal deaths that occurred as part of hunting excursions. Animals were constantly being killed for food and material. The book may not be PETA friendly. On top of this there were a couple of scene of animal attacks but none were especially graphic. There is also some non graphic discussion of rape. One such discussions was not considered rape by the character but in a modern setting, the perpetrator would most certainly be behind bars.

  • Amber
    2019-05-19 20:25

    I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but this was only partially it. Clan of the Cave Bearcertainly didn't set the bar high, literarily speaking. However, I was taken aback by the shift in tone and emphasis. Whereas Cave Bear seemed genuinely interested in being taken seriously, Valley of the Horses is more interested in titillating housewives whose macrame plant holders still boast spider plants and ferns galore. The whole book smacks of repressed seventies feminism; politics and speculative anthropological fiction make for awkward bedfellows. Or should I say bedpersons? Or should I crouch submissively at the feet of someone whose diction I admire and wait for Er to make the decision for me while simultaneously awakening in me desires and capabilities I never knew I had? No, seriously. Cave Bear was hilarious, and Valley of Horses was gross porn for women who don't want to seem like they're reading porn.The upshot is that my cat liked this book better than I did. Either someone at the library rubbed catnip into the binding, or the aforementioned macrame housewives managed to smear so much yearning, musk, and housepet dander onto the pages that my cat went completely feral whenever this book was in the room.

  • Summer
    2019-05-07 22:20

    So far, many complaints. Whereas Clan of the Cave Bear kept me turning the pages, wondering where Ayla was going to toe the line next, its sequel is bland and predictable. Okay, Ayla's got hangups about men and halfway across the continent comes an obvious stud who's never been in love. Gee. I wonder what's going to happen? I honestly want to see Ayla in a better relationship but how much to I have to go through to get there?An inordinate amount of paper was spent on rehashing events in Clan of the Cave Bear - some understandable (Ayla's worry about her son, mourning for Creb, and recalling useful knowlege) but they get tiresome after a while.Also tiresome are Auel's tangents into geography, fauna and prehistoric life, which form speedbumps in the action and stilt the dialogue. There are places when she educates us without interrupting the story (for example, when the travelers predict the severity of the winter by the migratory habits of the wooly mammoth, Ayla's difficulty starting her first fire) but many times these expositories just break up the flow and cause me to glaze over. When she pauses to explain the migratory habits of the woolly rhino about to charge Thonolin, that really takes the cake. I was interested in the world as perceived by the characters and thought the vast historical perspective diminished them somewhat.The sex is getting old really fast. I appreciate that this culture has very different mores, but how much sex and in how much detail do we really need? We start out with the First Rites scene: we get cultural information and establish Jondalar's studmuffinry, both real contributions to the story. Excellent. Then there's the incident where the all girls molest Jondalar. Less of a point to that, but it's amusing. But by the time we get to Serenio... how does this further the story? And I'm not even halfway through, *and* I think I've probably left someone out.I have enough interest in the story that I'll probably finish it eventually. I want to know how Ayla reacts when she finally meets her own people, and whether the brewing trouble between her people and the neanderthal/ Clan/ 'flatheads' comes to a head. I just really wish the book was about those things, without so much prehistory lesson crammed into every random crevasse.

  • Werner
    2019-05-12 18:24

    This second installment of Auel's massive prehistoric saga has many of the same strengths and weaknesses, IMO, as the series opener The Clan of the Cave Bear; my review of that one ( ), similarly, has content that's relevant here, and might be worth reading first. The books are definitely intended to be read in order; I'm assuming that most people reading this review have read the first book, and both this review and the pretty accurate Goodreads description may/will have spoilers vis a vis the first one.Ayla remains the strong, intelligent, capable, and good-hearted young woman readers fell in love with in the first book. Here, however, Auel takes her out of the Clan (Neanderthal) context, and puts her on her own on the steppes of the Ice Age Ukraine. (This edition has a helpful map.) That means her major challenge is physical survival without any help, using the skills she's previously learned or observed. If you like tales of man (or in this case woman) vs. nature, this theme is handled very well. An alternating plot strand follows two young Cro-Magnon men, Jondalar and Thonolan, brothers from what is today France, traveling eastward on their Journey, a kind of cultural rite of passage similar to the walk-about of the Australian aborigines. When we first meet them, they're in the Danube area. (view spoiler)[Thonolan won't survive to actually meet Ayla. (hide spoiler)] Once they leave the habitations of other Cro-Magnon tribes behind (and that's not relatively far into the book, considering that it's pretty thick), there aren't any other human characters in the novel; so Auel doesn't have as large a cast of characters here to develop with her usual vivid brush (though a few of the Sharamudoi people are vividly drawn). We're also not much in the realm of large group interactions; our cross-cultural interactions are basically between the Clan-raised Ayla and Jondalar, who's prejudiced (like the rest of his people) against the "Flatheads." The exploration of that theme isn't less strong here; it's just put on a one-on-one basis.As always, Auel's research is solid (and as usual, sometimes too much on display). One aspect of Cro-Magnon archaeology that she puts to use is the fact that in sites all across Ice Age Europe, from the Urals to the Atlantic, we find essentially identical figurines of a stylized pregnant female with the sexual features emphasized. From this basis, Auel infers a continent-wide shared cult of the Mother goddess, in which sex (in or out of marriage) is seen as a sacramental act that honors her. The inference, as far as it goes, is plausible; but all fertility cults actually known to anthropology connect sex with pregnancy (DUH!) In Auel's world, however, neither Neanderthals nor Cro-Magnons have figured out that connection. This is one part of her world-building that I personally consider implausible; without going into a long digression on this subject, I don't believe there ever was a human culture that was unaware of this (I've heard the claim on one TV documentary that some Australian aborigines don't know this, but I find that dubious), and I don't believe a primitive Mother goddess cult would regard sex as sacramental without that connection. But this is a key concept here and in the rest of the series.The point above relates to two other differences from the first book. Here, Ayla gets a love interest, and he and she happen to be the only two humans around for most of the book. So romance will play a big role in the plot, though not the only one. And (both before and after Ayla and Jondalar get together) there's a LOT of explicit unmarried sex here. Like the natural history lectures, those parts can be skipped over with no loss of narrative coherence (and that's what my wife and I did), but they're a drag on the story-telling. As my four-star rating indicates, this wasn't a deal-breaker (but it cost the book a fifth star). Apart from the overly descriptive aspects, and the lack of sex-pregnancy connection awareness, though, Auel's characters are believably trying to figure out for themselves what love and commitment actually means, in the context of a culture that has no real concept of either and that glorifies sexual looseness. In that respect, they're very much like a great many modern people, which is why many modern readers probably find them so easy to relate to.Compared to the first book, some reviewers have complained that this book doesn't convey as strong a sense of prehistoric culture, that the characters are too modern. That's true, but I think it's an inevitable result of the fact that human nature is the same today and in the Ice Age; what differentiates us is our various cultural factors, and here Ayla and Jondalar are outside their cultural contexts, except for what baggage they have in their heads. (And Cro-Magnons are inherently more modern-like, in any era, than the backward-looking, Memories-dominated Clan.) Also, some have felt that crediting Ayla with both discovering that fire can be produced by striking rock with flint AND domesticating a horse is too much, and that her recovery of her childhood memory of verbal speech being triggered by a dream is too facile. Personally, though, I didn't have a problem with those aspects. Both of the first two achievements were the result of fortuitous accident --and believable accident, in the circumstances, IMO-- rather than Edison-like research. And nothing is ever forgotten by the subconscious, which comes out to play in dreams; being exposed to verbal speech again after so long (Clan language, in Auel's world, is mostly a matter of hand signs), to me, would seem like a very plausible trigger for such a dream. I do, however, have a degree of sympathy with critics who find Jondalar less than ideal. He's well-drawn, and he's got his good points; and he grows in the series. But he's got his flaws; there are times when I'd like to clout him upside of the head, and Auel's evident fascination with his sexual prowess can be eye-roll inducing.A word about the rest of the series might be in order (since it's taken me this long to actually review just the first two books). The third book, The Mammoth Hunters, would get five stars from me. (That's probably a minority view.) Its sequel, The Plains of Passage, would be lucky to get two. IMO, it should have been reduced by 80% and incorporated into the following book (and probably would have been, if the publisher hadn't wanted to sell another doorstop-sized book). The Shelters of Stone, the fifth book, would have made a fine conclusion to the series. My wife read the actual concluding sixth volume, The Land of Painted Caves and almost didn't finish it, though she did and finally allowed that it was okay, though not up to standard. From her feedback, I'm not interested in reading it!

  • Danielle
    2019-04-30 01:30

    I liked this book for the story of a girl surviving on her own and her learning experiences but I thought the sex was a bit over the top. I guess I just wasn't expecting that much sex and that much detail. I mean, I really don't need to know that Ayla was turned on by watching horses mate or that Jondalar's "woman maker" was too large for most females. I was under the impression that this series of books was for the "young adult" audience, mostly because I knew lots of people who read The Clan of the Cave Bear for a class in high school. I probably would have enjoyed the sex bits a lot more in high school but now at age 30 they just kind of creeped me out. I would be creeped out knowing my high schooler was reading this (however I wouldn't stop him, I'm all for reading whatever you want). I am still giving this book 4 stars though because I thoroughly enjoyed Ayla's relationships with Whinney and Baby.

  • Me_LissaH
    2019-04-25 01:18

    I'm loving this series. The author does an amazing job with the world and the characters she created. Ayla is such a strong character, having been kicked out of her clan she is forced to survive on her own. She does an amazing job with every obstacle thrown her way, she faces it head on and comes out on top. When she meets Jondalar she learns a lot about herself, I loved the interactions between them and how they both teach each other new things. Overall this was a great read, really enjoying this series.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-07 01:30

    If you skip every page that mentions Jondalar, this is the best book ever!Minus one star for Jondalar's existence.

  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    2019-05-04 21:27

    I am reading this series for the second time now. It has been something like 8-9 years since I last read The Valley of Horses, and I still love it. I am an earth scientist by education (geologist) and profession (water resources/environmental), and I just love Ms. Auel's attention to detail when it comes to botany, animals, and the ecology of the environments that she writes about. Additionally, she is very well versed in the latest advances in anthropology, archaeology, human evolution, paleo-climatology, paleontology, and so forth. Some may find the novel's descriptions of the ice-age environments, Ayla's interest in plants, etc. to border on minutiae; but not me. I am truly fascinated with this stuff!Reading each of these books has caused me to sit back and reflect on our own human origins. How did we actually become the species that we are today? Ms. Auel, to her great credit, gives us a 'field guide,' if you will, for a period of human history in what is now western Russia and Europe that is as plausible as any that I'm aware of. It is not so much that you have to suspend belief and accept that her protagonists, Ayla and Jondalar, discovered everything and rewrote the course of human history; you just have to realize that the narrative that Ms. Auel has constructed is comprised of a series of monumental events that allowed anatomically modern humans to be successful; much of which has been validated through advances in archaeology and anthropological research. Her characters, Ayla, Jondalar, and others are merely representatives of those nameless individuals that did so much to ensure the survival of the human race. Someone during that period of time invented the spear-thrower (atlatl); someone probably did begin to domesticate animals like wolves or horses. Bands of humans did live together on the Ukrainian and Russian steppes hunting the great migratory herds of animals; developing sophisticated cultures and societies whilst scratching out a living in incredibly harsh conditions.These stories that Ms. Auel has fashioned into her five novels (so far) almost have the feel of being one the great mythologies that have been handed down over time. The amazing story of young Ayla's lonely journey to her valley, her survival, her domestication of 'Whinny,' and her eventual meeting of Jondalar is just wonderful and thought-provoking; and a story that resonates and has meaning for all humans today. It is worth realizing, every once in a while, that we all, every living thing on the planet, really are the 'Earth's Children.'

  • Tania
    2019-05-05 20:29

    Unfortunately this was not as good as it's predecessor, The Clan of the Cave Bear, there was a lot less showing and a lot more telling. I still liked Ayla, even though she was perfect in almost every way (and I don't mean that in a good sense), her emotions where very real. I am totally fascinated by this era, and I'm so glad I was introduced to it by Jean M. Auel. Even though I probably won't read more of this series, I have already added some similar titles to my to read list. The Story: Ayla shares a lonely valley with a herd of steppe ponies, harnesses their power, and discovers speech and love with Jondalar, a member of her own race.

  • Diane
    2019-05-16 19:27

    I kind of cringe to admit I bought this book with my babysitting money and read it when I was 14 thinking it was about a young woman and a horse. The salesclerk valiantly did try to discreetly inform my mom that it wasn't really YA reading, but failed to stress that it was because of the sex. Fortunately my mom was right in that I was mature enough to realize that while I was mature enough for the G-rated portions of the book, the intimate scenes were for adults. Granted when I read the series again in college I didn't hold back at all! *chuckles* Granted, viewing sex as a beautiful sacrament that should be celebrated and treated as something special event that society must see you as ready to participated in (even if it isn't within the current mores of marriage) helped me to wait to have sex until I was much older than I think I might have otherwise been. I have loved the epic saga of series from the first time I read it and still find myself occasionally lost in imagining Ayla and Jondalar's journey and life together, and the alternate paths it could have taken, especially since I now have a horse of my own and am learning Natural Horsemanship. The images of Ayla actually help me a lot, and even gave me some pointers for helping my kids envision what they should be trying for in their own heads.

  • Nikoleta
    2019-05-20 00:35

    Το δεύτερο βιβλίο της σειράς δεν μοιάζει σε τίποτα με το πρώτο. Και ενώ κ πάλι περιγράφει αναλυτικά τη ζωή των προϊστορικών ανθρώπων, αυτή τη φορά όχι όμως των νεάντερνταλ αλλά των κρο- μανιον. Η αφήγηση χωρίζεται σε δυο ήρωες, που εναλλάσσονται ανά κεφάλαιο, την γνωστή και αγαπημένη Άυλα και τον υπέροχο Τζονταλάρ της φυλής των Ζελαντόνιι που κατάγεται και μεγάλωσε με τους Άλλους. Το Ουρσους μπορεί στην πλοκή του και την ιστορία του να είναι πολύ πιο έντονο, γρήγορο και συναρπαστικό, αλλά νομίζω ότι και το δεύτερο μέρος είναι αρκετά καλο, καθώς έχει πολλά να πει. Σαν ιστορία είναι πολύ πιο τρυφερό και εσωτερικό. Ναι, μου άρεσε αρκετά.

  • Sarah705
    2019-05-01 23:45

    I thought that this was a really interesting and thought provoking book. Watching Ayla discover the nature of the world around her was genuinely exciting.This book really made me think about the way things are. Although Ayla's world is different from ours, she too has to deal with learning new things. I've always wondered why things are the way they are- why do we speak different languages? Why do we speak at all?Ayla does consider the first question. When Jondalar tells her that only his people speak the language that she spent so much time learning, she is angry and confused. All of the Clan people speak with simmilar gestures, and this makes communication simple.Whenever I go to a foreign country, it's SO frustrating if I can't understand what's going on. Not only their language, but their customs and beliefs. Why do different people have different beliefs? It's just one of those facts of life that we've come to accept.It's easier not to question something when you're told that that's the way it is, but sometimes the harder way is more beneficial. No one really knows why things are the way they are, and there's not really any way to get an explanation.Learning to live with it is one solution, but Ayla takes the opposite approach. She questions everything that goes on around her, and won't accept an easy answer. I think that this makes her character interesting and fun to read about. She's also really inspiring. She's incredibly modest and curious, and I think that more people should question nature the way she does.People are too accepting in our world, and I am not excluding myself in that generalization. That might have been part of Jean M. Auel's purpose in writing this book. Ayla is used to having to accept things and do what she's told in the Clan, but her instincts tell her otherwise. When she is alone with Jondalar, she has no trouble questioning every little thing he does.And without question I think that it is normal for people to be curious and unsure when introduced to something new. This is repressed in us, as are many things. When little children ask too many questions, their parents are quick to reprimand them. It's hard to overcome these habits that are stored in our earliest memories. When I am curious about something, my mind tends to just move onto a new topic, rather than me being annoying.Things are the way they are. It's an easy statement to accept without further explanation. I guess the truth is that there is no explanation, so we have been programmed to think that it's not important. But curiosity is important, and it is people like Ayla who make great discoveries in the real world.

  • Larry Bassett
    2019-05-03 00:30

    It didn’t really take me four months to listen to this audible book but I definitely must have misplaced or forgot about it once or twice! This is the second book of a I don’t know how many books series and my intention at this point is probably not to continue with the series. I know at least one time while I was listening I fell asleep maybe for as long as an hour. But I didn’t feel obligated to go back and listen to the part that I had missed. I thought about why that was and decided it was because although I had missed a few plot aspects I could pretty easily figure out what had happened and already was getting what I thought was for me the overall message of the book. In the last book the female protagonist had left the Clan that had basically raised her after finding her wandering alone as a young child. She strikes out on her own into an unknown world and finds that she has many strengths and abilities and awarenesses that seem in conflict with what she had learned as a part of the Clan. She finds a cave and settles down and makes herself a most interesting life. I thought one of the fascinating things about the book where the many instances Of speculation of how prehistoric people may have advanced in skills and practices.Then a man comes into her life who it turns out is one of the Others often alluded to by the Clan. And of course the woman is an Other too. But with all the cultural beliefs of the Clan And the mental capabilities of the next rung up in the evolutionary chain. So with the man and woman coming together we have two very different cultures and experiences thrown together in a very isolated environment who need to work things out.There is a fair amount of fairly graphic sex that I would classify as more erotic than pornographic. The woman had grown up in a society of male dominance but there is a good deal of Literary tussling between the man and the woman to find an egalitarian relationship. This book was first published in 1982 and equal relationships between the sexes had been battled out but not yet firmly implanted. The book tries to portray both characters as extraordinarily talented and struggling with how to have a relationship given their different backgrounds but relatively equal desires to do the right thing as best as they can figure out what that is!I thought the main outcome of the book was showing how two different cultures came together in the form of two people and how they struggled through their differences and came out in a good place. It was also interesting to see how the evolution of skills and mannerisms might have happened over time. It was all very condensed in the book of course. When the female protagonist left the Clan, those close to her urged her to go out and find her own kind. And that is what she did. And that way the book was pretty simple and straightforward. The fact that different levels of the evolutionary chain where in existence simultaneously is now a fairly well accepted fact but it has not always been so. In your life you hear a lot about the “caveman” And the popularity of this series benefits from a general curiosity about that time. The sex in the book probably brings it into many hands as well as keeping it out of many hands. It seems like a appropriate topic with much coverage given to lore and speculation about where babies come from.

  • Tara
    2019-05-02 22:18

    Jondalar is a boring, annoying Gary Stu. Reading about him and Thonolan bored me to tears.Ayla is still sometimes interesting, but her feats are becoming absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, being the first person to tame a horse, create a cart (without wheels, but still), create fire with stone sparks, tame a cave lion (sure, he was a baby, and close to death, but why wouldn't he have eaten her when he got a little older? Don't believe it), and use stitches on a wound? Her sudden grasp of Jondalar's language was stupid as well, like the author said, 'well, I'm getting bored with all these language barrier issues, so Ayla's just going to get it now.'And the sex? Totally unnecessary. I don't consider myself a prude, but I like my novels to be mostly sex free, because it's really hard to write good sex (and this was not good sex). Jondalar the Sex God seems to be the author's fantasy man, and why in the world would Ayla, who's only every had sex with one man before, and only every had one child, be able to take his huge p*nis more easily than all the older, more experienced women he'd had before then? I understand now why the reviews I read before starting the series called it caveman porn. And it's all Jondalar's fault - hate that irritating character.

  • Sarah F
    2019-05-07 00:45

    What started out with so much potential in Clan of the Cave Bear, begins to rapidly fall apart in The Valley of Horses. By the time the 4th and 5th books of the series are reached, it's really best to just avoid reading them at all, and try to remember the better moments. Seriously, they aren't even worth reviewing, if only because Goodreads doesn't offer a negative star option.But here, Ayla still retains some of the qualities of her childhood self. This is set just after her banishment from the Clan, the only home and family she has ever known. She has had to leave everything, including her own son, after being cursed with death. But instead of dying, for Ayla is not the type to die, even if she isn't always the chipper, positive, up-and-at-em type, Ayla begins to head north in search of her own kind, her fellow homo sapiens. She eventually comes to a valley, with a conveniently located and sized cave. She is smart and innovative and lucky, and over the three years she spends there, she comes up with crazy new ideas (like where babies really come from), develops the art of breaking a horse, and learns that you can start fire by striking two particular stones together. It is in this novel, of course, that her inventiveness begins to become absurd and tedious. By the time one reaches the fifth book (which again, I do not recommend they try), one is ready to throw it out the window, for Ayla has figured out exactly how the world works, even though her fellow humans have not, and has invented five million new things, and is the model for about half of the pre-historic art that has ever been discovered. Still, the second book hasn't reached such a level of absurdity, and it's almost believable (until Baby comes along -- I had forgotten that, and cried out, "A cave lion??? Seriously?!?) The scenes describing her with her animals, who are her only companions, seem realistic and charming, and Auel continues to describe the prehistoric world is vivid details. Of course, there's still the other side of the book, where Jondalar, one of the most handsome of homo sapiens to walk the face of the earth, and his brother travel across the continent on a Journey. Their travels are unfortunately brought to life in all their dull details. There is something about these humans that Auel just can't pull off, and I can't put my finger on. But I found them almost in their entirety to be annoying, fake, two-dimensional, and useless. There is also a heavy interest in sex throughout their travels and their homo sapien culture, which comes off as Auel's overwhelming desire to write smut. The forth book, Plains of Passage, is so smut-ridden, I refer to it as Plains of Passion. Books 3-5, and part of book 2, read like fanfiction written by a horny teenager. Eventually, Jondalar and Ayla meet, Jondalar teaches Ayla how to talk, and Ayla teaches him the fifteen new advances to the race she has discovered in the last three years. They misunderstand each other in the most tedious and ridiculous ways, but finally admit that they lust for one another, and then the poor reader has to start enduring the many page long sex scenes that will haunt the series to its end. Not recommended except to those who truly loved the first book of the series.

  • ~M~
    2019-04-22 01:27

    This is the 2nd book in the Earth's Children Series, a series I began reading in high school. As I wrote in my review of The Clan of the Cave Bear, this book and other early exposure to archaeology thanks to my mom led to my getting a BA in anthropology and working in anthropology museums for several years.Out of the entire series, this is the book I reread most often. I keep it on my bedside table and read bits and pieces of it every few days or weeks. When I do so I always skip over all the Jondalar parts, because he bores me. What interests me -- which I also mentioned in my review of The Clan of the Cave Bear-- is how a human adapts and survives in an unknown and alien environment. I always love to read how Ayla discovers the valley, begins to find food, makes herself a home, teaches herself to hunt large animals, makes friends with a horse, begins to train the horse to help her while hunting, and so on. Every once in a while I like to read the end parts where Ayla and Jondalar meet and fall in love too -- because I am just as much of a romantic as most women. :-)

  • Margitte
    2019-04-23 19:48

    Loved this book. Read many years ago.Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold 34 million copies world-wide in many translations.

  • Asheley
    2019-05-18 18:38

    This was way different than The Clan of the Cave Bear, but I stuck with it because I wanted to see what happens with Ayla. Lord. For most of the book, Ayla is alone out on the steppes, fending for herself after being banished from the Clan at the end of the previous book. She is able to create some innovative systems for her survival and we are able to see some recognizable inventions from what she comes up with: a way to track time, more modernized injury treatment than she had before, weapons for hunting, ways to start fire, that sort of thing. THIS is the part of the story that captured my heart and kept me turning the pages. It's so doggone exciting to me. I also love the bond that Ayla has with animals-we saw back in the first book that she loved animals a great deal, so it shouldn't be a surprise that she has a rapport with them, a certain gentleness, that allows her to raise a cave lion cub to adulthood (even though it is dangerous) and to capture and tame a wild horse. Alternating with Ayla's story is that of Jondalar and Thonalan, two brothers who are on some huge spiritual journey. They visit many places over the course of a year or so and are apparently very popular with women, particularly Jondalar. I wasn't as enamored with their POV's, to be honest. I was actually bored with their portions of the story-until the thing happened that brought them in contact with Ayla. FINALLY. FINALLY. FINALLY. (Over. Halfway. Into. The. Book.)It really picked up from this point, but it took far too long for this to happen. Deceptively long. Like, when you read the synopsis for the book, you don't realize how long it will be. I almost DNF'd this doggone book just because I was tired of waiting. But I'm glad that I didn't. It was really nice to see Ayla find another person like herself, one of the Others. Since she left the Clan, she's been all alone and she thought she was "big and ugly" and she thought she would never find someone that looked like her and WHOOP NOW HERE HE IS. So Ayla is able to use her skills as a Clan medicine woman to heal some injuries and then there are some pretty major language barriers to overcome, but before too long the two establish some trust, begin to learn about one another, and there are feelings popping up all over the place. But because of the differences in the way the Clan acts on "feelings" and urges versus the way the Others act on these same things, it is almost torturous with the back and forth and between these two. THIS part of the book almost reads like a dramatic modern day soap opera. (And the repetition in this part both kills me and makes me giggle. If you've read these books, you know Jean Auel repeats herself in her narrative, right? Aye.)Overall, I AM glad that I stuck with The Valley of Horses. It isn't as amazing as the first book, but it does carry the series to the next place. It also has some very cool moments in it. Ayla is super cool to read (even though she is pretty much perfect in every way). I only hope the next book in the series is a little better than this one. I'm not sure any of them can possibly live up to the first book, but I would love to be enamored from the beginning again like I was the first time.

  • Michael Gardner
    2019-04-29 20:36

    I really liked The Clan of the Cave Bear. Jean Auel's research brings the stone age to life, wrapping around the story like a perfect mammoth skin blanket. The plot was good. The details and activities of the characters' life were gripping. We felt Ayla's struggle, her plight and so forth. For a big book, it rocked along.This second outing to the distant B.C. grinds along like Ayla is dragging a big stone block behind her. Sure there's plenty of interest in survival stories, but for the length of the book, it feels pretty padded. Then, quite out of the blue, it turns into a caveman blue movie. Did the critics of The Clan of the Cave Bear say something like, "Great book, but there weren't any explicit sex scenes. Please try harder next time, Ms Auel. Perhaps also throw one in that involves horses."She did. Where it really loses its way is when it stops being Ayla-centric. As soon as Jondalar takes the prehistoric stage, the book becomes a soap opera. He's just a bit too amazing for words. He's all man. In fact, he's such a man, he's more man than Ayla can take.And of course, now we get inside Jondalar's head... Dear Lord, help me finish this review... we discover Ayla is also perfectly proportioned... and he develops groin pains. It ain't kidney stones and the cure is for him to go at it hammer and tongs with the newly discovered catwalk model Ayla.I suppose you could argue that Jondalar has to be amazing because he got all the good family genes. His brother Thonolan is monumentally dumb. Chasing a cave lion that stole your meat is worthy of a Darwin Award. The early death this book delivers to the series probably does too.

  • Sonja Arlow
    2019-05-10 01:24

    2 1/2 starsAfter thoroughly enjoying the first book in the Earth's Children series, The Clan of the Cave Bear , I was really excited to get my hands on the second book. This book is quite different from the first one, as Ayla is alone and we are introduced to the ways of the "Others" (the Cro-Magnons) through the experiences of traveling brothers Thonalan and Jondalar. While the first book gave lots of insight into the prehistoric world and Clan culture, this one focused on survival in the harshest of conditions of one individual however towards the end it went downhill and became nothing more than ....for lack of a better word...Caveman Porn!Now I am not against any rompy pompy between characters when it fits the storyline but there was WAY too much time and detail spent on what went on between Jondalar and Ayla for my liking and it was inconsistent with the overall story.If I wanted to read this type of thing I would have finished Fifty Shades of Grey or read Mills n Boon Swoon books. Overall this book is not bad but I will not be reading more in this series.

  • Janet
    2019-04-26 20:18

    I wanted to read this, the second book in the Earth Children series, because I enjoyed the first book in the series. Unfortunately, this book has quite a bit of pornish/explicit stuff in it that I ended up just skipping over to get to the end...However, there were a couple of passages that I loved:p. 459: "You beautiful, wild, wonderful woman!"p. 501: "You are strong, self-reliant, entirely able to take care of yourself and of me... You are fearless, courageous; you saved my life, nursed me back to health, hunted for my food, provided for my comfort. You don't need me. Yet you make me want to protect you, watch over you, make sure no harm comes to you. I could live with you all my life and never really know you; you have depths it would take many lifetimes to explore. You are wise and ancient... and as fresh and young as a woman as... And you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I love you more than life itself."Would love to hear those words from a suitable suitor some day - maybe!

  • Dyana
    2019-04-30 23:46

    I really expected the book to jump right into Ayla's life and for her to be the main character and focus on her. I was extremely disappointed, however, to read about an entirely weird fantasy that didn't make sense to me. The next chapters went into Jondalar's life, and he seemed to be a bit boring. The chapters jumped around too quickly, telling me information which I did not find useful at all, especially since Ayla and Jondalar do not meet until about the end of the book. And the entire pet concept? It was as if the great book changed into a Flintstones children's book. I eventually stopped reading it. Still, how a great book had a great downfall surprises me to this day.