This is the second book about Ayla, a fictional character who could very well have existed a long time ago when human beings were taking root in this world. The author, as in the first book--The Clan of the Cave Bear-- extraordinarily shows us life as it was in those long-gone times.
"Shiningly intense...Sheere storytelling skill holds the reader in a powerful spell." --Publishers Weekly
"Cruelly cast out by the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla now travels alone in a land of glacial cold and terrifying beasts. She is searching for the Others, a race as tall, blond, and blue eyed as she. But Ayla finds only a hidden valley, where a herd of hardy steppe horses roams. Here, she is granted a unique kinship with animals, enabling her to learn the secrets of fire and raw survival--but still, her need for human companionship and love remains unfulfilled. Then fate brings her a stranger, handsome Jondalar, and Ayla is torn between fear and hope--and carried to an awakening of desire that would shape the future of mankind.
Loved it. The ostracized young woman not only learns to survive alone, she helps others. She is fearless, sometimes lonely, and incredibly intelligent. Her social skills sometimes leave a bit to be desired. This too she learns quickly. A wonderful story.
This is one of my favorite books, I reread the whole series about every three years or so. When I first read book #1 there was no series, I have read the series every time a new book was published. They are so vivid and real that they are like a wonderful movie in my mind.
The Valley of Horses is the second book Jean Auels Earths Children series and follows the main character of the series, Ayla, after she is banished from the Clan and begins her search for the Others, which are really her people. The writing style in The Valley of Horses is as engaging as the first book of the series, The Clan of the Cave Bear, but the plot and the characters are not as strong.
In this second book, Auel continues to rely on her vivid descriptions of the landscape, as Ayla travels Northwest from The Clan cave to the Valley. In these travels, Auel repeatedly describes not only the landscapes, but also Aylas struggle with new hunting and survival techniques, her various encounters with animals, etc., but these descriptions are reminiscent of descriptions that the reader already experiences in The Clan of the Cave Bear, just with difference scenery. Even more frustrating is when Auel uses a page or two to repeat conversations or events from The Clan of the Cave Bear. These flashbacks are identical to the first book, making the Valley of Horses feel very repetitive at times.
Overall, if you enjoyed The Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of Horses is a good follow-up. However, be prepared to occasionally feel pulled out of the fantasy world Auel creates with passages that are boring and slightly repetitiveall qualities that were not present in the first book.
Ayla's story continues in the Valley of Horses.
Forced to leave the Clan of the Cave Bear, she must survive on her own with only a horse foal and an orphaned lion cub for company until one day when she meets a man of the Others...
This is the second book in the saga of The Children of the Earth, I was warned that I would end up reading them all when I started Clan of the Cave Bear one of my 2011 reading challenge books.
The Valley of Horses, it the continuing story of Ayla, the Cro Magnon child raise then cast out by the Neanderthals after her protectors have died. Leaving behind her child she takes all the skills she has learned and sets out on a trek to find "the others" who her Neanderthal foster Mother told her where to the north. She has the skills to survive and to thrive, but how do you survive loneliness?
In Valley Of Horses the character of Jondalar is introduced, he and his younger brother have set out on a journey to see what lies at the end of the Mother river. Jondalar is the Cro Magnon equivalent of Brad Pitt, and on his trek east leaves many a satisfied woman in his wake.
The book moves back and forth between the two until they are finally brought together by tragedy. Jondalar is near death when Alya finds and saves him. Has he finally found the woman that he can love? Is Jondalar Ayla's mate? She certainly hopes so though she has had her mare Whinney and her cave lion Baby for company she is so lonely! Ya think? After 3 years living alone she fears he will leave her. Ayla's insecurities plague her, almost to much, but it is a testament to Auel's writing that you can get over some of the silliness. Auel's research and commitment to learning all that she could about our early ancestors is truly astounding. I really cared about these characters, and have the third book the Mammoth Hunters ready to read. 4 out of 5 stars.
This series goes downhill after the appearance of Jondalar. Auel seems more intent on writing romance novels with a bit of plot once Ayla finds a mate, rather than keeping up with the good historical story she began with Clan of the Cave Bear. But since Jondalar doesn't appear in this book unil more than halfway through, this book is still a somewhat satisfying conclusion to Alya's fate as it was handed down in the first book. If you're fond of romances, this series ought to be a real gem. If not, stop after the second one.
This is the second book in the Earth's Children series. It continues the story of Ayla after she has been cast out of the Clan for disobeying Broud & daring to stand up to him. She starts out on her journey & is looking for the Others, which is her people. She searches for a long time & doesn't find anyone of the Others. Instead, she finds a lush valley which has all the resources she needs to survive, along with her many skills. She hunts & accidentally kills a baby horse's mother, so she takes it in & tames & cares for it. The same thing happens with a lion cub. The animals help ease her loneliness, but she still longs for human companionship. She misses her son Durc & the rest of her Clan family. Enter Jondalar, a man of the Others, who is on a journey with his brother, Thonolan. Ayla stumbles upon the 2 of them when she is out hunting. She is so excited to finally see people of the Others! She can do nothing to help Thonolan for he is already dead, but Jondalar is still alive, though unconsciousness. She uses her medicine woman skills to help nurse him back to health. Jondalar is astonished, when he regains consciousness, by the beautiful woman who is caring for him. They get to know each other, but it is hard because Ayla has forgotten how to speak with words & only knows the sign language of the Clan. Jonadlar eventually teaches her how to speak with words & they get to know each other & learn about each other's past. They are each others soulmates & have a deep love for each other. They have quite a few adventures in the valley & learn a lot about the earth, animals & each other. Eventually they leave the valley & set off to find more people of the Others. This was a fabulous book! Jean M. Auel is my favorite author & Ayla is my favorite Fictional character. Auel makes you feel like you are part of the story. Kept me turning the pages & wanting more! I just love this series! Read the books, you won't be sorry! Next book in the series is The Mammoth Hunters.
This is my favorite of the series. While Clan of the Cave Bear is better from a plot standpoint, the story of Ayla's solitary life really appealed to me. It's the whole "survival on your own" thing I like, and the first half of Ayla's story is all about surviving on her own. I wasn't as interested in Jondalar, but the journey part with all the various people they meet is still good. The last half...Auel throws in too much explicit sex that is not particularly erotic, it feels like an odd juxtaposition with the rest of the book. I do like the theories, it may be idealized, but Auel does a nice job explaining how they used tools, hunted, and made shelter. Still, this is definitely where the series turns into a romance.