Valley of the Horses by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book 2 of the Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 21 hours and 46 minutes (592 pages), ASIN: B001AYHPH6

Ayla has been cursed by The Clan, she has been forced to leave the only family she has ever known to go out on her own. She is a young Cro-Magnon woman who was raised by Neanderthals but is now searching for her birth people. All alone, she survives through the use of her wits and her hunting abilities. She finds a sheltered valley which she calls home and where she plans to stay through the winter.  Meanwhile Jondalar and his brother, two new Cro-Magnon characters, have journeyed for several years from the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, meeting people and having adventures.  This novel follows both of these separate story lines following them on their journeys.

The Valley of Horses is the second of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the practical and spiritual life of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on Ayla, but at times also on Jondalar.

Ayla’s journey is well told and interesting.  I really enjoyed the relationship she developed with the wild animals. The details of life during this time period is interesting and the personal interactions of each of these people as they deal with the challenges that they must face was at times heart wrenching but also heart-warming. The concept of prejudice was introduced and continues as a thread throughout the story.

This is a standalone story that alternates between Ayla and Jondalar as they move closer to each other. It continues Ayla’s story as it shows what life was like at the end of the ice age. I recommend this book as a very good read.

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3 thoughts on “Valley of the Horses by Jean M. Auel”

  1. I read this book when it first came out. I remeber finding it a real page turner and fdascinated by the clever setting.
    I was living in Sweden at the time and I read this one is Swedish as well, nothing got lost in the translation and looking at all the tall Vikings around me I kept on thinking of them as the descendants of Ayla! Great review and I agree a VERY good Read!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed the first two books, but I found the third book dragged on too long. I am not sure whether I will continue with the series or not. Do you recall if you read anymore of the books in the series? If so, do you recall anything about them?

      Thanks Linda

      1. I believe I read the entire series. There were times when some of the books got slow or maybe as it often is with a series a little repetitive.
        To me as in life’s daily routine there is tedium and repetion this is something that if done correctly can make the story seem more real.
        I read them as they came out in the 80’s and life was very different then, we were not as stimulated by social media and the demands that everything be quick.
        I can imagine I would not read them today.

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