Ayla and Jondalar set out on horseback across the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe. To the hunter gatherers of their world - who have never seen tame animals - Ayla and Jondalar appear enigmatic and frightening.
The mystery surrounding the woman, who speaks with a strange accent and talks to animals with their own sounds, is heightened by her control of a large, menacing wolf. The tall, yellow-haired man who rides by her side is also held in awe, not only for the magnificent stallion he commands, but for his skill as an artificer of stone tools, and for the new weapon he devises that makes hunting less perilous.
In the course of their cross-continental odyssey, Ayla and Jondalar encounter both savage enemies and brave friends. Together they learn that the vast and unkown world can be difficult and dangerous, but breathtakingly beautiful and enlightening as well.
Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©2004 Jean M. Auel; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
"The long-awaited fourth installment of the Earth's Children series is as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu." (Publishers Weekly)
"Pure entertainment at its sublime, wholly exhilarating, best." (Los Angeles Times)
"Thrilling....This magical book is rich in details of all kinds....but it it the depth of the characters' emotional lives....that gives the novel such a stranglehold." (Cosmopolitan)
I read the first book in this series shortly after it first came out and was captivated by the story and the setting. Auel had an excellent idea for a story and did a bang up job of telling it. The next four books in this series I grabbed as soon as they were released. When these books became available as audio books on cassette I bought them and listened to them again and again over the years. Now I have the entire series again through Audible. Good investment in money and great investment in time. Personally I think Sandra Burr does a good job with the series. My only complaint is that it has been 31 years since the first book in the series came out and Auel said at that time it would be a six book series. For anyone that's interested book 6 'Land of Painted Caves' will finally be released in book stores on March 29, 2011. I hope Audible makes it available then as well I've been waiting on for 31 years. Actually the five books of this series that have already been published read more like one exceptionally long book. I know a lot of people don???t care for the detail that Auel goes into but I like it. I will admit that this book does get a little slow at times, but not bad.
As an archaeologist, I enjoy the Earths Children series for the authors creative interpretation of the archaeological record. The first few books in the series were good, but this book has triggered a disinterest in the series. I frequently skipped pages to fast forward through the MANY pleasure sessions shared by the two main characters. I feel like this book is the shifting point between decent historical fiction (in a way) to cheese romance. I don't think I will be continuing the series.
As far as performance, more clearly defined breaks between chapters and section breaks could be better made, but this may be an editing issue.
I have had this entire series before, when the first books first came out. Ms Auel did some fantastic research to make her work as accurate as someone in modern times could. The series is extremely well written.
The only "complaint" I would have is that she repeats things a bit too often.
Otherwise, I absolutely LOVE the series.
Started the series with Clan of the Cave Bear. I have to say this is a very entertaining series. I only had a few times it dragged a little. Overall it was exciting and enjoyable. Looking forward to the next book in the series. Hard to stop listening. Find myself making excuses to listen all of the time.
This book is a richly detailed adventure story of an epic prehistoric journey across ice age Europe. As one might expect with any lengthy journey, there are routine parts where the participants just plod along. But the author has filled even these parts of the story with meticulously researched details that add a high level of interest to the story. There is still plenty of action interspersed with the more routine parts of the journey to keep the book moving. As with any journey, the over goal is to enjoy the journey, not just rush to the end point.
The author has an uncanny ability to take the reader inside the heads of the main characters to better understand their dilemmas and related thoughts about other characters in the book. The character development is so outstanding that one feels that the main characters are long time friends, and that you are even following along with them on their journey.
This book provides a reasonable insight into prehistoric life based not only on the author's opinions, but on substantial research as well. Did everything happen exactly as Jean Auel presents it? Probably not exactly, but that doesn't really matter. She has woven an intricate story line around the available research from that time period and produced an entertaining saga to escape into.
I presume that writing this book was perhaps more difficult than the first three books since it involved a long journey. But the author has carried it out in grand fashion. In addition to being a stand-alone novel, it is also a bridge in the Earth's Children series between the wandering couple in The Mammoth Hunters to the end of the journey by the arrival at Jondalar's home, the Ninth Cave of the Zelondonii.
I enjoyed this book immensely as part of the continuing saga of Ayla and Jondalar. If you are a prospective reader looking for input, I would encourage you to try this book and make up your own mind about it.
Review provided by Jonathan for Jodi Lee.
It seems you get decreasing returns with this series. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" was great fun, "Valley of the Horses" was pretty good fun, and "The Mammoth Hunters" was fun enough to not make you want a refund of what you paid for it. "The Plains of Passage," has left the realm of fun and headed straight into Yawnsville. It's dreadfully boring, with far too many overwrought sex scenes and descriptions of native fauna and flora. If you have been caught up into the series, as I was, and now find you have to keep going, as I did, do yourself a favor and skip past "Plains of Passage" straight to "The Shelters of Stone." You won't be missing anything of any importance if you do so.
The story great and the narration is well done. However, the noise in the background of the recording is so annoying that it distracts from the story in some places.
I enjoyed this book the most yet in the series. Lots of suspense, surprises and drama along with the continual building of Ayla and Jondalaar's relationship. I love Sandra Burr's performance of the characters especially Ayla.
Wonderful story. I stumbled across this series when audible was offering a special on the first book in a select set of series. Thought I would give it a try since I had seen and loved the movie Clan Of The Cave Bear. Firstly ... I was surprised to find that it was a series. I fell in love with the "real Alya"! No comparison between the movie and the sieries. I immediately HAD TO HAVE all 5 books. So much was changed and even more was left out that I am still amazed. Well written and while the reader is on shaky ground with the first book ... she improves dramitaclly as she continues the series, finds her footing with it, and develops and makes distinct each character by book 5 ... adding to the charm of this wonderful story. So much so that I can not imagine anyone else reading it. I can't wait for the 6th book. Thank you audible for re-opening my love of the Clan and my interest in pre-history. Well worth listning to!
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