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Publisher's Summary

In The Plains of Passage, orphaned Ayla and wandering Jondalar search for a place on Earth they can call home

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States
  • 01-21-11

Part IV of a great read

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

AND HE WAS SKILLED

WHEN HE FELT THE WARM WETNESS OF HER MOUTH ENCLOSE HIM
The skill we are talking about is not flint knapping. Of the six books, I found this to be my lest favorite. If it had not been for the numerous sex scenes, this would have been a total waste. Just as an old Sci-Fi show has the planet of the week, the river people are the peoples of the week and they were boring. The next two books are better, but not a whole lot. The young outcast girl is now the beautiful, firm breasted long legged blonde who makes weapons and tames wild animals. Her and her huge membered blond Nordic god, became the know it all's to all the people. If it had not been for Ayla, we would all still be living in caves. I don't want to come down to hard on this book or series, it just that I would have thought Auel could have written an interesting series without the cliché romance characters.

71 of 78 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good, but won't be continuing the series

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill Mason
  • OKLA. CITY, OK, United States
  • 07-03-11

Jean M. Auel's series is great

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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For me

Book 4.
I've read these books over and over. I always find something new to enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sharon
  • Mechanicsburg, PA, United States
  • 08-07-11

Addicting

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A True Gem of an Epic Pre-Historic Journey

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Don't waste your time

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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • Columbus, GA, United States
  • 09-03-16

A great read

I really enjoy Auel's exploration of the cultures of the people she writes of in her novels. Even if she may be very liberal with her fantasy attributing so many invention s to Ayla and Jandalar , I love hearing about the different people's way of life. For instance, how they used diverse constructions for dwellings and different hunting methods. Plus the spiritual practices and rituals associated with them are very interesting. The two main characters are of course well developed and lovable. they are amazing people, yet flawed too. I recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E
  • 07-18-15

Predictable

Super humans - befall tragic issues and come out with Disney endings- can't off the lead players Yet I guess - if one wants another book - the sex scenes - boring - make it racy or don't try to explain - good fodder to listen to while doing chores - performance very good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful