Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and, above all, courage.
As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on the arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader. The wisdom that Ayla gained from her struggles as an orphaned child, alone in a hostile environment, strengthen her as she moves closer to leadership of the Zelandonia.
Whatever the obstacles, Ayla’s inventive spirit produces new ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life: searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals, experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandoni must take, honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And then, there are the Sacred Caves, the caves that Ayla’s mentor - the Donier, the First of the Zelandonia - takes her to see. These caves are filled with remarkable art - paintings of mammoths, lions, aurochs, rhinoceros, reindeer, bison, bear. The powerful, mystical aura within these caves sometimes overwhelms Ayla and the rituals of initiation bring her close to death. But through those rituals, Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change the world.
Spellbinding drama, meticulous research, fascinating detail, and superb narrative skill combine to make The Land of Painted Caves a captivating, utterly believable creation of a long ago civilization that serves as an astonishing end to this beloved saga.
Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©2011 Jean M. Auel (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Wasn't this supposed to be the last installment of the Ayla story? That was my understanding and, to be honest, the only reason that I fought through it. I have to assume that it is not the last because the same questions that all of us had were not answered. The story had nothing really, it wad quite dull. Occasionally there were story line set-ups that in past books would have gone into a very exciting direction that just went nowhere. If you want to listen, start in the middle of part three and go from there. The beginning could have been titled The Land of Ancient Domestic Life. By the way, I thought that Sandra Burr did a very good job reading.
Jean Auel's Earth's Children series captivated my attention from the beginning and I looked forward to this installment of the story. I feel as though the author lost interest in her characters and their story however and was disappointed as a result.
It seemed the author was more interested in educating the reader about the vegetation, customs and beliefs surrounding the time period as opposed to developing the story and the characters.
I am happy to finally finish this series that I started many years ago- I've read the first four books 3 times now; but, this last book is vey repititive with stories that happened in the first couple books.
Gone with the wind
No, I think the story is now complete
I read all the other books in this series and looked forward to this one. I was very disappointed. The story, like other reviewers say, was a repetition of some of the other books. I kept waiting for something new and interesting to happen but it never did. Still, I might have made it through if not for the narration, which is some of the worst I've ever heard (I've been an Audible member for years.) It sounded like the narrator was reading to a class of first graders, so slowly it made me want to pull my hair out. The accent she gave Ayla was horrible. It made her sound like a prehistoric bimbo. She sounded so childlike. Actually, every character sounded childlike with the slow and tedious way she read their lines, as if they all had just learned how to speak and were struggling to find the correct words. I tried hard to finish this book but just couldn't do it. This series has jumped the shark in a big way and the narrator made it all the more painfully obvious.
Finding Ayla's son finally.
So much more. This is the most boring of the series. The narrator was awful with the accents and trying to mimic a man's voice. For people that were supposed to be intelligent for their time, they appeared stupid. Too much emphasis on the "Mother" and the caves and not enough depth to the people. Would have loved to see Ayla reunited with her son.
By trying to be both male and female voices and the accents were so annoying I thought I would never get this book done. Too much repitition of things past. You would only read this book if you read the others.
Jondalar - what a jerk.
The author did her readers a great disservice. Most wanted to see Ayla reunited with her son and develop that story line. The Painted Caves should have just been a blip in the book instead of the entire book. Women were depicted as too perfect with a bunch of imperfect men to deal with.
I LOVED Clan of the Cave Bear, I really liked Valley of the Horses, I liked Mammoth hunters, I was kind of alright with Plains, and happy with Shelter.... But, this book was so so so inferior. The characters are shallow, the conversations belong in a junior high reading book, the plot is non existant until about the last 10th of the book, the descriptions of caves go on forever, the mother song is sung over and over and over again! If you have to read this book I suggest the library so you can at least skim the majority of the story.
I pray this is the last of the series...
the inane conversations the endless introductions of people was there a plot?
her first 3 books were great I devoured them but I think Ive had enough where else can she go with these characters so I guess Im done
I suppose, I cant fault her for the material she did the best she could
disappointment at first then just complete boredom
can I have my credit back?
I was afraid this would happen. I was hoping for the best. But Jean.. maybe your heart just wasn't in it anymore, so why didn't you just leave it alone. Tell your fans you were sorry and call it a day.
The ONLY decently written part of the book was Ayla's calling to the Mother. That was heartbreaking.
In general I felt my favorite characters were not done justice, Big Z9 was made into a blubbering idiot (like she really would have misread all of Alya's post miscarriage illness, being an extremely competent healer herself -
Yes.I actually understood the new accent, it was supposed to be how the Zelendoni heard her speak. We were supposed to be hearing Alya the way they heard her. Anyway that was my take on it. I appreciated it.
I had waited so long for the sequel to her books and have not even been able to finish! I will continue listening, but only because I need an ending of some sort. She has taken the characters away from what I believe they would have done. It is very receptive - we get she has an
Anything but this.
Engaging, well done.
If you have been waiting to purchase this or redeem your credits for it. Don't - leave your memory of the series at the Shelters of Stone. I wish I had!
We had enjoyed reading all the prior stories but were very disappointed in this version and did not finish listening to the complete book. Too many names, caves and references to books that were published years ago. Very disappoining.
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