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The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

The Valley of Horses (original 1982; edition 1982)

by Jean M. Auel

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6,12996668 (3.81)87
Title:The Valley of Horses
Authors:Jean M. Auel
Info:Crown Pub (1982), Edition: Later Printing, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Stone age, fantasy

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


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English (81)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (94)
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Right after finishing The Clan of the Cage Bear I wanted to read this second book The Valley of Horses.

But for me it missed something. Ayla has left the people she grew up with and in search of The Others, but mainly she's just sitting in a cave, personally inventing all kinds of stuff. (It is almost as if she herself invents both the wheel and fire)

I thought it was a bit too much, I liked her better when she wasn't all this perfect.

As for Jondalar, I don't like him either. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Another book pilfered from mom's book shelf. The best book of the group. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
The book starts off from the events at end of The Clan of the Cave Bear. The protagonist, a young woman named Ayla (clearly Homo sapiens, aka Cro-Magnon) must face life after being exiled from the band of Neanderthals, known as the Clan, who had raised her from early childhood. The book follows the journey Ayla makes to find her own people, whom the Clan refer to as "the Others." It also follows the parallel travels of a new character, Cro-Magnon Jondalar of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, accompanying his half-brother Thonolan on a great Journey to walk the entire length of the "Great Mother River" (the Danube).

Ayla, alone and ritually ostracized from the only people she has ever known, travels alone for half a year until finding the book's titular valley, and eventually establishes a comfortable but lonely life there, keeping productive for several years to stave off her lack of company. In her desire for companionship she domesticates the foal of a horse she hunted, naming the filly Whinney and, in time, discovering how to ride her. Emboldened by this success, she takes in and treats an injured cave lion cub, which she names Baby. During the mating season, both of these depart, Baby to find a lioness and his own pride and Whinney to find a stallion, with whom she conceives a foal. Although she later returns.

Meanwhile, Jondalar and Thonolan travel east along the Great Mother River, making friends and facing dangers. The Journey was Thonolan's idea originally; Jondalar decided to accompany him partially to fulfill his dreams of travel, and partially to leave his fiancée, the beautiful-but-shrewish Marona, at the altar. Jondalar, who complements magnetic handsomeness with a quiet, brooding demeanor and supreme skills at pillow play, is often the recipient of female attention along the Journey, though Thonolan, with his candid nature and laughing eyes, is frequently able to charm the most lovely of the women around him. One of these, Jetamio of the Sharamudoi, becomes his mate, while Jondalar attempts to settle down with a woman named Serenio but fails to because of his confusing inability to fall in love. Thonolan's story ends in tragedy, however, when Jetamio dies trying to birth their firstborn child. Thonolan, the original impetus of their Journey, resumes his travels, intent on finding either the end of the river or death, while a worried Jondalar trails after him. The two characters' travels are described in alternating chapters (or double chapters) for most of the book.

Jondalar and Ayla meet when Thonolan attempts to hunt a wild deer but is relieved of his kill by a cave lioness. Reckless with grief, he pursues the lioness to her den, with Jondalar following reluctantly, where her mate attacks them; the screams alert Ayla, who is able to rescue Jondalar when that mate turns out to be none other than Baby. Though Thonolan has already been killed, Jondalar is still alive, if gravely wounded, and Ayla saves the first member of the Others she has ever known.

The remaining chapters of the novel are essentially a love story, as Ayla and Jondalar learn to communicate, get to know each other, overcome the many culture clashes resulting from their differing upbringings, and fall in love. Ayla's language skills take a progressive leap after she uncovers a repressed memory about the earthquake that killed her parents; thereafter Jondalar is able to clear up many of the mysteries of her background. However, this creates its own set of crises when he learns who raised her—and, furthermore, about the "child of mixed spirits" she left behind—and must fight the prejudices of his culture and upbringing to accept her for who she is. He also administers her First Rites after coming to understand her unusual circumstances. Despite all obstacles, the two fall in love, and decide to leave the Valley of Horses and strike out for civilization. The story ends with Ayla and Jondalar meeting a group known as The Mammoth Hunters
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
This is the second in the Earth’s Children series. I was impressed with the first. The second started off well, but ended up way too steamy for me. Ways and means for living in the stone age was well researched and intriguingly interpreted into the novel. The descriptions of the sex scenes didn’t seem to fit, didn’t flow with the descriptions of life in the rest of novel. It was a disappointment. ( )
  countrylife | Feb 8, 2016 |
Being a young teenager at the time of reading - I absolutely loved the 'idea' that Ayla was the first person to ever ride on a horse - AND she was a woman! Yeeehaa! ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 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
Snoey, G.Translatorsecondary 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:46 -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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