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The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
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The Valley of Horses (original 1982; edition 1982)

by Jean M. Auel

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5,89887709 (3.81)82
Member:wtoomey
Title:The Valley of Horses
Authors:Jean M. Auel
Info:Crown Pub (1982), Edition: Later Printing, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Stone age, fantasy

Work details

The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel (1982)

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» See also 82 mentions

English (74)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Auel greatly damaged the success built from 'Clan of the Cave Bear.' The plot and basic idea are all appealing - individual survival in a harsh environment with limited technology - yet Auel attempts to be all things to all people. Part survivalist story, part dime-store romance novel, the second installment of 'Earth's Children' is a move in the wrong direction.

One of the major problems here are the throwaway characters. We are finally introduced to Jondalar, who is Prehistory's version of Prince Charming. Jondalar's story up through the point that he meets Ayla is excessively verbose, as the characters met along Jondalar's journey quickly enter and exit the reader's view. Basically, they are difficult to care about, and make the first half of the book very difficult to read as the reader gets the feeling that nothing important is going on.

During this time, Ayla's story is more compelling, as she's forced to live with the rather unfair cards she was dealt at the close of Clan of the Cave Bear. Her story moves the book along - up to a point.

Once the two characters meet, the book loses all the richness and complexity that Auel painstakingly built in the previous work. The two characters inevitably move towards gratuitous and constant sex, which becomes almost the sole focus of the book's last chapters. This isn't a problem if you go in wishing for a generic trashy romance novel - but I was hoping for something more along the lines of historical fiction.

Ultimately, it's very difficult to stay involved with this book. The environment and scenery are still well built, but it lacks any semblance of an antagonist (man, beast, or evil force) to make the book suspenseful. This book could have been written in half the pages and ended up with the same result. My only inspiration to pick up the 3rd book is the success of the 1st, as it's obvious that Auel has the potential to tell an interesting and unique story.

Two and a half stars, rounded up to give the author the benefit of the doubt. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
Amazing story. A little hard to follow in the beginning when you are meeting new characters, and I was worried I would not be able to finish it for having trouble seeing how it was going to come together, but the author does so in an amazing way. The last several chapters are full of suspense, as you do not know which way it is going to go and what is going to happen. I am glad I stuck it out because it was well worth it. Can't wait to read the next one. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
Amazing story. A little hard to follow in the beginning when you are meeting new characters, and I was worried I would not be able to finish it for having trouble seeing how it was going to come together, but the author does so in an amazing way. The last several chapters are full of suspense, as you do not know which way it is going to go and what is going to happen. I am glad I stuck it out because it was well worth it. Can't wait to read the next one. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
After The Mammoth Hunters, I probably wouldn't have read this if a friend hadn't passed on her copy. It was as good as the first in the series, however, with well drawn characters. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
After The Mammoth Hunters, I probably wouldn't have read this if a friend hadn't passed on her copy. It was as good as the first in the series, however, with well drawn characters. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean M. Auelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hakala, ErkkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HirokoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mörling, MikaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Karen,
who read the first draft of both,
and for Asher
with Love
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She was dead. What did it matter if icy needles of freezing rain flayed her skin raw.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553381660, Paperback)

This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman.

Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship. One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don’t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Second in the acclaimed Earth's Children series. Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself.

(summary from another edition)

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