The shelters of stone

Jean M. Auel

Book - 2002

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FICTION/Auel, Jean M.
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Series
Auel, Jean M. Earth's children ; 5.
Earth's children.
Subjects
Published
New York : Crown c2002.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Item Description
Maps on lining papers.
Published as a trade paperback (with a reader's guide) by Bantam Books in 2011.
Physical Description
xii, 753 p. : maps ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780553382617
0609610597
055328942X
Main Author
Jean M. Auel (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Twelve years after The Plains of Passage (1990), Auel returns to the prehistoric world she introduced in The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980). The fifth book in the series picks up where the last one left off, with her heroine, Ayla, a young woman who was found and raised by people known as the Clan, and her betrothed, Jondalar, arriving at the place of Jondalar's people. Ayla is apprehensive about meeting her beloved's people--they look down on those who raised her, referring to them as "flatheads." Jondalar's family is welcoming and even impressed by the exotic young woman he has brought home. They are stunned by her ability to command animals; she and Jondalar each have a horse, and, even more impressive, she has a loyal wolf. But not all accept Ayla, and Jondalar's former lover, Marona, plays a cruel trick on her. Ayla's natural gifts as a healer make themselves apparent on a hunt, and Zelandoni, the spiritual healer, sees her potential, but Ayla's focus is on her coming mating with Jondalar and the birth of their child. Although readers will undoubtedly be cheered by the arrival of the fifth book, it lacks the drive and sense of questing of the previous books, since Ayla and Jondalar have reached their destination. But that won't deter fans of the series, so expect this to be in high demand. ((Reviewed March 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

After 12 years, Auel continues her famed "Earth's Children" series with this fifth volume in a planned six-part series set in prehistoric Europe. Ayla, a Cro-Magnon woman raised by Neanderthals, and Jondalar, a Cro-Magnon man, have just completed a yearlong journey to arrive at Jondalar's boyhood home, where they wish to mate and live together among his people. Ayla is quickly welcomed into his family but has to struggle to be accepted by the larger community owing to her unusual upbringing and tame animal companions. With her knowledge of healing and unique interpersonal skills, Alya gains their trust and makes friends. The couple finds many opportunities to retell previous adventures, a recycling of material from the earlier novels that quickly becomes repetitive and tedious. Still, Auel's imaginative and well-researched re-creation of Cro-Magnon life holds the story together despite the lack of plot and character development. Readers who hang on until the last hundred pages will be rewarded with new and interesting plot developments, an obvious setup for the next novel in the series. Public libraries should buy multiple copies for expected demand. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/02; for an interview with Auel, see LJ 2/15/02. Ed.] Karen T. Bilton, Somerset Cty. Lib., Bridgewater, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Now, after 12 years, we have the fifth installment in Auel's "Earth Children" series. Here, Ayla and Jondalar hike across Europe. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The tiny minority of authors with the power to sell millions of novels each time out are a diverse bunch, but they share a talent for ushering readers into previously closed worlds, whether they're the top-secret inner sanctums of the American military or the ancient lands of magic. The best of them craft terrific stories that tap into universal topics, primal fears and deep-seated longings. In 1980, Auel became a member of this elite club. Her first novel, Clan of the Cave Bear, the exceptional and absorbing account of a bright Cro-Magnon girl struggling to understand the ways of the Neanderthals who adopted her, became a huge bestseller and launched the Earth's Children series, which has sold 34 million copies to date. In the next three of an intended six volumes, Ayla the Cro-Magnon girl grew up and put a pretty face on our earliest ancestors, as Auel explored the mother of all human themes: adapt or die. After the fourth bestseller, The Plains of Passage, however, 12 years elapsed, and Auel thereby added the protracted anticipation of her fans to her bestselling mix. Here at last, beautiful Ayla and her tall, gorgeous Cro-Magnon lover, Jondalar, arrive in Jondalar's Zelandonii homeland, to live with his clan in vast caves of what today is France. Travelling with a pet wolf and two horses, able to speak the strange language of the "flatheads," Ayla is once again an exotic outsider. Pregnant with Jondalar's child and as zealous in her desire to help as she is resourceful and creative as a medicine woman, Ayla soon wins the respect of the people she wishes to join. Bursting with hard information about ancient days and awash in steamy sex (though lacking the high suspense that marked Ayla's debut), Auel's latest will not only please her legions of fans but will hit the top of the list, pronto. (On sale Apr. 30) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In the fifth volume of the best-selling Earth's Children series, which began with The Clan of the Cave Bear, Ayla and Jondalar continue their epic journey across Ice Age Europe to join Jondalar's people, the Zelandonii, confronting new hardships and perilous challenges along the way. Reprint.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Ayla and Jondalar continue their epic journey across Ice Age Europe to join Jondalar's people, the Zelandoni, confronting new hardships and perilous challenges along the way.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The Shelters of Stone opens as Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends, Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, complete their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar’s people: the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii fascinate Ayla. Their clothes, customs, artifacts, even their homes—formed in great cliffs of vertical limestone—are a source of wonder to her. And in the woman Zelandoni, the spiritual leader of the Ninth Cave (and the one who initiated Jondalar into the Gift of Pleasure), she meets a fellow healer with whom to share her knowledge and skills.But as Ayla and Jondalar prepare for the formal mating at the Summer Meeting, there are difficulties. Not all the Zelandonii are welcoming. Some fear Ayla’s unfamiliar ways and abhor her relationship with those they call flatheads and she calls Clan. Some even oppose her mating with Jondalar, and make their displeasure known. Ayla has to call on all her skills, intelligence, knowledge, and instincts to find her way in this complicated society, to prepare for the birth of her child, and to decide whether she will accept new challenges and play a significant role in the destiny of the Zelandonii.Jean Auel is at her very best in this superbly textured creation of a prehistoric society. The Shelters of Stone is a sweeping story of love and danger, with all the wonderful detail—based on meticulous research— that makes her novels unique. It is a triumphant continuation of the Earth’s Children® saga that began with The Clan of the Cave Bear. And it includes an amazing rhythmic poem that describes the birth of Earth’s Children and plays its own role in the narrative of The Shelters of Stone.