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The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  36,160 ratings  ·  860 reviews
Jean M. Auel’s enthralling Earth’s Children series has become a literary phenomenon, beloved by readers around the world. In a brilliant novel as vividly authentic and entertaining as those that came before, Jean M. Auel returns us to the earliest days of humankind and to the captivating adventures of the courageous woman called Ayla.

With her companion, Jondalar, Ayla se
Mass Market Paperback, 784 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Kosjenka Quite the opposite in my opinion... first two books are the best, and every subsequent one is a bit worse. This is the 5th sequel, so... if you want…moreQuite the opposite in my opinion... first two books are the best, and every subsequent one is a bit worse. This is the 5th sequel, so... if you want books to enjoy, read the first two. In this book you will get a good idea about what happened in the previous books, but you won't get so much pleasure.(less)
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. AuelThe Valley of Horses by Jean M. AuelThe Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. AuelThe Plains of Passage by Jean M. AuelThe Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
Best Pre-History Fiction
4th out of 149 books — 244 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
219th out of 5,311 books — 20,535 voters

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Crystal Starr Light
Summary: Ayla and Jondalar travel to his homeland.

Oh, you wanted me to be a bit more specific? Okay.

Summary: Ayla and Jondalar head out to his homeland (because while Ayla is supposed to sacrifice her newfound family, the Mamutoi, Jondalar can whine and complain to get what he wants). They stumble upon Mammoths having sex, the Sharmudoi and the Ramudoi who almost immediately induct Ayla into their clan, a group of Femi-Nazis (aka, what many conservatives think Feminists are), a couple of Clan pe
Okay, good. I liked this one slightly better than the last one. Ayla and Jondalar have kissed and made up and are on their way back to his home in Zelandonii. They meet some people, have some laughs, do it in the bushes, and show everyone they meet how awesome they are.

Also Ayla's superwoman transformation is complete. The girl can learn languages almost immediately, control horses and wolves, she practically invented fire, sewing needles, is a master at her weapons of choice- the sling, she ca
I'm still at the very, very beginning of the book, but see that one little star? That's because the book essentially opens with an extremely graphic mammoth sex scene.

Oh, Jean...what am I going to do with you?
Normally I don’t bother with reviews but I decided this time I would. I give this book 4 stars because despite so much repetition it was still a good read and I am eagerly getting to the next one. After I read the last book and read some quite funny reviews about how often things were mentioned (like we’d forget) I decided to keep a tally list for this book for some of the most frequently mentioned things. Enjoy.

7 x we are told Ayla can control whinny with her muscles in her legs.
8 x we get long
The more books are published in this series, the less magical the life of Ayla and Jondalar becomes to me.
First of all I have the feeling that whole text passages are just 'copy-pasted' from (a) previous book(s) into this one, because in my opinion there is a lot of repetition. These books are quite unique, and therefore it is not neccessary to repeat so much. It is disturbing the reading process and has no use: no book (at least not one that I read or heard of) looks like these. There's no cha
Aug 21, 2007 Renee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Botanists & Anthropologists
Shelves: topshelf
I get it. The struggle of the longest journey. The challenge came once I read it for the 3rd time... yes I love the series that much....then I realized I had to skip over 10 chapters, #13 - #23 as I flipped and scanned it was all a tedious and meticulous description of the landscape. The same animals that roamed the stepps, from mammoths, to horses/onagers, aurochs, deer, and mouflon, etc. I enjoyed the natural geographic studies of these sections, as I would any...but I'd already read it in the ...more
Let's start saying that I loved the first three books of this serie. They were just so lovely, and they communicated something...they gave me that "pre-historic" vibe... I don't know, they were quite charming. But I'm having serious issues with this fourth one: I'm currently half way through it and I'm not sure whether to continue it or no, as I'm not sure if I'll read the last two books (I already own 'Shelters of stone' but 'Land of Painted Caves' is still unpublished in Italy...). Why?
Well, l
I still have most of the books in this series. Just could not give it away. Read it a decade or more ago.

Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold 34 million copies world-wide in many translations.

May 13, 2014 Iset rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with insomnia
Recommended to Iset by: No one - liked the first book so continued to read, but liked none of the sequels

Once again, Auel has clearly put a great deal of research into the book, furnishing her descriptions with plenty of attention to detail. However, once again, Auel takes it too far at some points, with some passages reading like they'd been lifted directly from an anthropological academic journal. I don't mind being given information about the environment in which characters move, in fact I relish it, but the way it's written, it really feels like a chopped up academic article forcibly inserted i
This book should've been called How to Pleasure Your Way Across Europe, Righting Injustices Along the Way.

I've been meaning to do this write-up since I finished the book (over two weeks ago), but kept putting it off. The Plains of Passage comes in at just under 800 pages, but they're 800 pages in which nothing much happens. It's meant to chronicle the trip Ayla and Jondalar make from Ukraine to France (on foot, across a glacier) that takes over a year. You end up feeling like you're there with t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah (Tail-Kinker)
This one was a relief from the third book, The Mammoth Hunters which I found to be full of "Oh, come on!" with the love-triangle drama between Jondalar, Ayla, and Ranec.

This book was enjoyable and well-paced. Some of the descriptions of the flora & fauna of that ancient world get a bit tedious but you can tell it was extensively researched. I confess to getting very curious over whether any of these medicenes and foods would really work and taste good. If ever the apocalypse came, I would gr
mrs. fig
Oh my God . . . the most boring book I've ever read! and i must give credit to jean auel because i read about how much work and research and time she puts into these novels and i know how accurate her descriptions are of everything . . . but she easily devotes 4 pages (atleast) to describing the terrain, the flora and fauna, the animals . . . and picture this . . . the story is about two people crossing ice age europe from one end to the other . . . and the book is 865 pages . . . the longest on ...more
i love how the main character is so sure of herself, and what she wants in life... but the repetition of what she learned in the books that came before this get a little annoying, but it doesnt happen that often in this book, so i skipped a few paragraphs.

over all, in this book, the author creates a strengthened, comfortable relationship[between the main characters] with new adventures, and has that same rich-in-detail that i love so much.
Rebecca Radnor
Having read the whole series.... book 1 ROCKED, book 2 was not bad... book 3 was cheesy.... book 4 was a bore, book 5 however seems to be getting back on track and is on par with book 2. Ms. Auel has this nasty habit of repeating everything so much that you have the feeling its to compensate for lack of inspiration. Lady, if we've gotten to book 5 all we need is a reminder (think flat heads) you don't have to tell us everything all over again, and DEFINITELY not more than once per book. That and ...more
Colleen O'Neill Conlan
THis is a looong book, but I suppose it would have to be, considering it tells of Ayla and Jondalar's long journey west across prehistoric Europe back to Jondalar's home. There are several long sections where not much happens, so we read about the landscape, the plants, and the animals. The best parts are when they interact with other bands of people along the way.

Ayla continues to impress everyone she encounters, and she is coming into her own not only as a healer, but as a bit of a spiritual/c
A reread to prepare for reading The Land of Painted Caves.

I decided to start with this one rather than Clan of the Cave Bear having read the first three so many times in the past. Jean Auel's later books suffer from much repetition of previous events, so I don't feel like I missed much of the previous three books! The Plains of Passage is interesting for its descriptions of glacial-epoch flora and fauna, but some of it drags and I found myself longing for some interaction with other ice-age peop
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm about 1/3 of the way through this book, but I will be setting it down for awhile. First off, it's not as good as the other 3. I have been able to skip pages and pages of material. She covers so much stuff and gives the background story to everything that happened in the last 3 books. I'm sorry, but I really don't know why anyone would read this who hadn't already read the first 3 - enough with the background into, already! Plus, after 3 full books, I've had enough of the sex scenes. And the ...more
If all the repetitions and tellings of what happened in previous books (same information told and retold several times) were cut out and the scientific explanatins of the flora, fauna, clima and culture of the Ice Age were compressed and the geografic descriptions of areas for ever changed and never to be seen were minimized this book would be half the size and twice the book. The story is compelling but there is just too much you want to skip.
Although this series is one of my favorites, this book was not the best. As I was reading this book, I became utterly bored. I would end up reading about a paragraph a night becasue I couldn't stand reading more. It was highly redundant, as it decribed the SAME THING about twenty different ways. Loved the other books in this series, but this one was pretty dry.
There was still too much discription, but now I think about it, it wasn't as much as the first three books. The third book was a little bit of a dissapointing and therefor, in the beginning, I hadn't really like the motivation to continue reading. But at the middle it got really exciting. What I like was that there finally was some kind of crime wich wasn't really in the first three. In "The Valley of the Horses" and "The Mammoth Hunters" I missed the Clan so I was really happy to meet new Clan ...more
This novel, Jean M Auel's fourth in the Earth's Children series, is my least favorite of the five she currently has published. I've read this book fewer times than its three successors, due mainly because the level of details regarding the landscape dominates the storyline; we see far less of the characters in this book than in any of the others before or after. It's the "traveling" book in the series; its characters are making a Journey from the eastern borders of Asia to the western parts of E ...more
I really enjoy this series, but I would say that this is my least favorite of the Earth's Children series. The scenes where Ayla and Jondalar are with other people are great, and truly do carry the book. However, they are few and far between - with good reason. People were few and far between in that era, and when two people are traveling on horseback, they will not run into other people very often.

To fill the gaps, we are given a large amount of descriptions of plant and animal life (much of it
The fourth installment in Jean M. Auel's great Ice Age saga the Earth's Children series is The Plains of Passage, which tells of Ayla and Jondalar's epic journey across Europe. Aided by the horses domesticated by Ayla and her pet wolf, the duo hunt and gather their way westward. They encounter people that Jondalar met on his first journey eastward as well as meeting new people. Some of them are friendly and others are terrifyingly criminal.

Auel continues to craft and develop her core characters
...Does that mean it's a good book? No, not really. The novel just has too many flaws for that. At best, I'd call it a guilty pleasure. It's a book that at a rational level, could be burnt to the ground in a review without requiring any great effort from the reviewer. Nevertheless, I have a soft spot for it. I don't think I would have bothered with The Shelters of Stone and The Land of Painted Caves without enjoying this book at some level. It is still more than a few steps down from The Clan ...more
Delicious Strawberry
Having read the first three books in this series (the first being the best, hands-down) I was excited to read this book and see how Jondalar and Ayla would continue their journey.

Auel is very imaginative and descriptive, but she definitely overdoes it in some parts. You could easily cut out a couple of hundred pages from here (the original volume is over 800 pages) and not miss anything because she goes in such lavish, long descriptions of the landscape and flora and fauna. Now, I'm happy that s
This is the last of this series that I read. I was interested in what happened to Ayla, but after reading this book I felt like it was an awfully long book for nothing to have happened. It's Ayla and Jondalar traveling. It didn't really go anywhere, plot-wise. Which actually would normally be okay with me if the rest stops on the journey are interesting, but it's kind of the same thing over and over. Ayla has sex with Jondalar. Everyone who meets Ayla is impressed with her, and those who are mal ...more
More adventures of Super-Ayla, who cures all, invents all, and saves all while having the most graphic intimate life possible (read: skim skim skim skim...turgid member...skim skim folds-ew...skim..ok, back to the story). Jondalar continues to obsess over only liking virginal young girls which, given that he is 23 and admittedly a middle-aged guy, is really creepy. He even gets all flirty with his younger sister.

Also, if Auel tells me one more time what a ptarmigan is I may lose my m
Aug 06, 2011 Suzie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Suzie by: Lee Ann
I really struggled with this book. Out of 700 pages, 100 was a rehash of their sex life, which was described the same way over and over and over and over again. 100 pages would have been rehashes of story lines previously covered in earlier books. 200+ pages were wasted on the same descriptions over and over and over again of every plant, animal, insect and blade of grass they passed by. The remaining 300 pages were great. I waited so long for something interesting to actually happen and when it ...more
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Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold 34 million copies world-wide in many translations.

Author Jean Marie Auel (surname pronounced like "owl") is the second of five children of
More about Jean M. Auel...

Other Books in the Series

Earth's Children (6 books)
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)
  • The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2)
  • The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children, #3)
  • The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5)
  • The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1) The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2) The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children, #3) The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5) The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)

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“The other mammoths were as protective of the dying as they were of newborns, and they gathered around tying to make the fallen one get up. When all was over, they buried the dead ancestor under piles of dirt, grass, leaves, or snow. Mammoths were even known to bury other dead animals, including humans.” 9 likes
“In a world so empty of human life, there was comfort in the thought that an invisible realm of spirits was aware of their existence, cared about their actions, and perhaps directed their steps. Even a stern or inimical spirit who cared enough to demand certain actions of appeasement was better than the heartless disregard of a harsh and indifferent world, in which their lives were entirely in their own hands, with no one else to turn to in time of need, not even in their thoughts.” 3 likes
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