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The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
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The Valley of Horses (original 1982; edition 2002)

by Jean M. Auel

Series: Earth's Children (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,400108912 (3.8)113
This 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. 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. Second in the acclaimed Earth's Children(R) series… (more)
Member:MaWhit
Title:The Valley of Horses
Authors:Jean M. Auel
Info:Bantam (2002), Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:fiction

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

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» See also 113 mentions

English (93)  Spanish (7)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Read a long time ago, when it first came out. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Jul 18, 2021 |
Spoilers only if you haven't read publisher summary/back of the book.

This honestly sits between two and four stars for me, and I had a similar ambivalence toward The Clan of the Cave Bear. As with the first book, there are many, many, many passages that are chockfull of anthropological detail and that is either a blessing or a curse, depending on the reader's mindset. What is positive is that Ayla gets a lot more character definition here simply by spending a few years by herself--we learn of her survival and adaptation and in so doing, get to know here more as a character, rather than a symbol of human development. But there are places where it starts to feel like a field guide to surviving alone in a cave, and this can be tedious if making fire with flint and dehydrating meat aren't your favorite pastimes.

The first 300 pages (or so) feature two storylines, and if you read the back cover blurb, you know that they will at some point join each other. This expectation marred the book for me somewhat as 300 pages was too long to wait, but not long enough for me to care enough about the characters other than Ayla. This isn't necessarily a fault of the book, but I wish I hadn't read the blurb. What's more, when the two storylines do...merge....there is, well... A LOT of sex. All of a sudden Call of the Wild turns into a Harlequin Romance. Seemingly, when not hunting, copulation is the no. 1 choice of activity. I'm not bothered by the vivid descriptions as much as it becomes the substantial narrative of the book and distracts from the far more interesting struggle of Ayla's sense of cultural identity. This struggle, through conversation with Jondalar, was for me, the most interesting part of the book, and the commentary on racism and bigotry, although rather obvious, is important for our historical and present consciousness.

The book could be shorter to be sure...trying to maintain the narrative of a journey in one storyline, and a survival epic in another, is a challenge. There are multiple tribes of folks to keep track of, and Auel describes everything with assiduous detail. Just as you get hooked on the secondary storyline, however, she whisks you back to "meanwhile...back at the ranch..", ok....cave. If you really enjoyed Clan of the Cave Bear, this is a worthwhile sequel. Ultimately, however, it tries to be a lot of different things, and not always successfully. I'm intrigued enough to read The Mammoth Hunters in the hope that it gets more into the anthropological differences and socialization aspects promised by the preview. But ultimately, not every book has to be a "saga" and I feel the self-conscious attempts by the author to be "epic" diminish a lot of what is valuable in these books. ( )
  rebcamuse | May 23, 2021 |
3.25 stars

A continuation of “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, I won’t say too much about how it happened, but in this book, Ayla is on her own, trying to survive, and looking for what the Clan call “the Others” – that is, people of her kind. She finds a nice spot to settle and manages to tame a horse, and raise a lion cub! Meanwhile (and I missed the circumstances around it), two brothers, Jondalar and Thonalan are travelling. Thonalan becomes injured, so they find a group of people to stay with while he improves.

I listened to the audio, so I did miss some things. Overall, I liked the story (I preferred Ayla’s chapters), but (and I will use terminology I found in other reviews), I didn’t think the “caveman porn” was necessary (though there was less of it than I expected, based on reviews). I could have done without the majority of it, though. I do hear it gets worse as the series goes on, but I think (for now), the story is interesting enough for me to continue to the next book. I also thought, for a prehistoric man, Jondalar was maybe a bit too contemporary in his attitudes toward women. Not everything was contemporary, but certainly more than I expected, although I guess we don’t really know what prehistoric culture was like. I did enjoy learning about the making of fire, tools, and the survival strategies and I loved Ayla’s animal companions. ¼ star was taken off for the caveman porn aspect. ( )
1 vote LibraryCin | May 16, 2021 |
These books started out well and then turned into little more than pre-historic erotica, alas.
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
2n volum dels fills de la Terra
Desaparescut
  stJosep | Mar 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean M. Auelprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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This 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. 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. Second in the acclaimed Earth's Children(R) series

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