The Valley of the Horses (Earth’s Children #2)

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Book Description: This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman.
Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship. One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don’t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.

This is a book series that my Mom read when she was younger and really enjoyed so I have been working my way through it in between other books on my to read list. Now I don’t do them all in a row because they are really long and I get weirdly antsy when it takes me a long time to read a book because I am typically a finish a book in a week type girl so I space out the long books.

I thought this book was a good follow up to the first one. I do think I enjoyed the first one more, but I still really enjoyed this one. My one thing about these books is that I feel the author Jean M. Auel goes into a lot of detail that I don’t care about. Like descriptions of the area, how the tools are being made, etc. So some of that I end up skimming over.

I like that now Ayla has finally found someone of her own kind and he thinks she is beautiful and that there is nothing wrong with her; which is good since she was basically told since living with the Others how ugly she was. I think the interaction between her and Jondalar is interesting because he is teaching her the culture she should have grown up in, but at the same time she is teaching him that the Others are not actually animals but humans like them. It took awhile for Jondalar and Ayla to finally meet up and I kept reading and thinking oh maybe this part in Jondalar’s journey is where he meets Ayla and then nope. So when they did finally meet I was happy. I am glad that they are in love and are going to stay together and go on a journey back to his place so Ayla can see what her people are like in a group setting.

I loved her interaction with the horse Whinney and the cave lion Baby. It was fun seeing how she tamed them. In the story you are seeing basically how we learned to do what we do now, but some of the interactions and the stuff that is said I feel would not have been said back then but since we know it now it is included in the writing. However, if it was written how communication was done back there it probably would not be a readable book :-). I am interesting in seeing how the story progresses and if Ayla can convince anyone else how baby’s are made ;-).

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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