In The Valley of Horses, Ayla, the unforgettable heroine of The Clan of the Cave Bear, sets out on her own odyssey of discovery away from the nurturing adoptive family and friends of the Clan. She is in search of others like herself and in search of love.
Sharing a hidden valley with a herd of steppe horses, Ayla finds a unique friendship with animals as vulnerable as herself and ingeniously discovers the complex skills needed to survive - skills no Clan member was ever able to master.
But none of her experiences prepares her for the emotional turmoil she feels when she rescues a young man - the first of the Others she has seen - from almost certain death.
Torn between her desire for human companionship and her fear of the unknown Others, she struggles against her deep attraction to the handsome Jondalar. It is Jondalar who teaches her the meaning of true friendship and love.
Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©2004 Jean M. Auel; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
At seven hours in, I am quitting this deathly tome.
I thought Clan of the Cave Bear (Book 1) was pretty slow but it was downright frantic compared to this book. Ayla survived her first winter alone in a small cave because she is Mary Sue in skins, but can you imagine how boring many of her days must have been?
Well, you don't have to imagine it because Auel is going to make you live...... every ..... moment. Meanwhile, Jondalar and his brother are hanging with the Cro Magnons boinking the girls and stuff and absolutely nothing happens. Yes, there is hunting and fishing and tool making and cooking and sleeping and thinking and thinking and thinking.
But in seven hours nothing much has happened to advance the plot and last night it dawned on me - there isn't one!
Seven hours in and I can't take it any more. I'm giving this and books 3 and 4 back to Audible.
Finally, we find out how A-lah survives without her clan and meets her match. Previous reviewers state how much of the book is too racy...it gets pretty steamy but not until the final chapter. Interesting to think about how early civilizations viewed the Earth and its inhabitants. I'm on to the next book.
Ayla and Jondalar's problem solving skills, especially Ayla's.
When Ayla befriended the mixed-spirits boy at the Mammoth camp -- it demonstrated her compassion.
No, there's too much to take in, in one sitting.
I agree with Rowena (Kista Sweden), on the Kindle, the narration is too fast, I slowed my Kindle down to half-speed and the speed improved greatly. To test the narration on another device, I used the Audible App on my Samsung cell phone to listen to the book and the speed is perfect. Thus, it isn't the narrator who's fast but the electronics.
The first two thirds or so was, as usual, excellent. Then the emotional interplay in the last third became tedious, lasted too long, dragged the book down. A little goes a long way, this was too much. Otherwise, excellent in all regards. Excellent narration. Moving on to "Mammoth Hunters" with anticipation.
When I got into the series, I did not know it would turn out to be a romance prehistoric fiction. Just be prepared- there are at least three very graphic sex scenes in the story. It wss not what I was expecting after loving the first book in this series. Furthermore, it wasn't until chapter 18 that the two main characters finally found each other.
Jean Auel is great and the narrator was very good. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series I bought the entire series from audible.
The Valley of Horses has always been my favorite of Jean M. Auel's "Earth's Children" series. Ayla's trials of lone survival, her innovative adaptations of hunting techniques, and especially her accidental discovery of the advantages of domestication of horses keep the story moving. The introduction, at last, of 'the Others' brings it all into focus. All in all, a very satisfying and well written adventure/romance, presented on the stage of the prehistoric world; a world which Mrs. Auel develops in a very realistic and well researched manner. Sandra Burr's skillful narration brings the story to life, and enhances Auel's vivid narrative. I highly recommend this series.
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