The land of painted caves

Jean M. Auel

Book - 2011

Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni -- one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers.

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Series
Auel, Jean M. Earth's children ; 6.
Earth's children.
Subjects
Genres
Epic fiction
Published
New York : Crown Publishing 2011.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 757 p. : maps ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780517580516
0517580519
Main Author
Jean M. Auel (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

What began 30 years ago with Auel's best-seller The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), namely the phenomenally popular Ice Age–era Earth's Children series, comes to an end in the sixth installment. Now a wife and mother, Ayla lives among the Zelandoni, the people of her mate, Jondalar, but she hasn't forgotten the ways of the people who raised her. Ayla is training to become a spiritual leader, and her devotion to this calling takes its toll on her union with Jondalar. On their journeys, Ayla and her friends contend with earthquakes, a band of marauding rapists, and even an outbreak of prehistoric chicken pox. When Ayla and Jondalar get wistful for the days when they were alone with their animals, readers might find themselves feeling similarly. As was the case with The Shelters of Stone (2002), there's not a lot of urgency in this final volume, but the millions of readers who have been with Ayla from the start will want to once again lose themselves in the rich prehistoric world Auel conjures and see how this internationally beloved series concludes. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Auel's novels have been record-breaking mega-best-sellers, with 45 million copies worldwide, ensuring that readers will clamor for the series finale. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Auel's prehistoric series debuted to rave reviews and a movie deal in 1980 with The Clan of the Cave Bear. Nine years after The Shelters of Stone, the final book will be released accompanied by a massive promotional blitz (including academic and library marketing). Ayla is the mate of Jondalar, the mother of Jonayla, their infant daughter, and an acolyte of the First of the Zelandonii, the spiritual leaders of the caves of her husband's people. But all is not well with Ayla. She is separated from her husband and daughter while training for her new position, which takes a terrible physical toll on her health, and her innovative ideas and unusual history create conflict among the people. Long, well-researched, sometimes repetitive descriptions of cave paintings, food gathering, hunting, family relationships, and religion will appeal to those with an interest in prehistory. Others may wish there was a bit more story and a bit less anthropology. VERDICT Though one must occasionally suspend disbelief that one young woman, no matter how intelligent, can really be responsible for introducing concepts such as animal husbandry, sign language, and the role of men in sexuality and conception, the book is compelling and will be in high demand by Auel's fans.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK [Page 50]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Thirty thousand years in the making and 31 years in the writing, Auel's overlong and underplotted sixth and final volume in the Earth's Children series (The Clan of the Cave Bear; etc.) finds Cro-Magnon Ayla; her mate, Jondalar; and their infant daughter, Jonayla, settling in with the clan of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonaii. Animal whisperer and medicine woman Ayla is an acolyte in training to become a full-fledged Zelandoni (shaman) of the clan, but all is not rosy in this Ice Age setting; there are wild animals to face and earthquakes to survive, as well as a hunter named Balderan, who has targeted Ayla for death, and a potential cave-wrecker named Marona. While gazing on an elaborate cave painting (presumably, the Lascaux caverns in France), Ayla has an epiphany and invents the concept of art appreciation, and after she overdoses on a hallucinogenic root, Ayla and Jondalar come to understand how much they mean to one another, thus giving birth to another concept—monogamy. Otherwise, not much of dramatic interest happens, and Ayla, for all her superwomanish ways, remains unfortunately flat. Nevertheless, readers who enjoyed the previous volumes will relish the opportunity to re-enter pre-history one last time. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A novel set 25,000 years ago is the sixth book in the author's landmark series and continues the story of Ayla and Jondalar.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A novel set 25,000 years ago is the sixth book in the author's landmark series and continues the story of Ayla and Jondalar. By the author of The Clan of the Cave Bear. 1 million first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

As Ayla studies to become a spiritual leader to Jondalar's people, the Zelandonii, she faces many challenges, including being separated from Jondalar and their young daughter, Jonayla, and experiences a revelation.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, The Land of Painted Caves, is the culmination fans have been waiting for. Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago. The Land of Painted Caves is an exquisite achievement by one of the world's most beloved authors.