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.
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...
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.
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.