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Earth's Children #2

The Valley of Horses

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Librarian note: See an alternate cover edition here.

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.

544 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1982

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About the author

Jean M. Auel

116 books3,784 followers
Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American author 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. As of 2010 her books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, in many translations.

Auel attended University of Portland, and earned an MBA in 1976. She received honorary degrees from her alma mater, as well as the University of Maine and the Mount Vernon College for Women. She and her husband, Ray Bernard Auel, have five children and live in Portland, Oregon.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,853 reviews
Profile Image for Corbin.
89 reviews55 followers
November 18, 2007
Dad: "So...how's the book?"
Me: "Hmn. Well, I like the first two thirds or so, that's all survivalist nerd stuff. But after that, it kind of turns into caveman porn."

(Later that week...)

Dad: "So...I borrowed your book."
Me: "...Oh."
(Uncomfortable silence)
Me: "So...what did you think of it?"
Dad: "Well, you were right, the first two thirds is for survival nerds. After that, though..."
(Uncomfortable silence)
Me: "Caveman porn?"
Dad: "Not just that. *Bad* caveman porn!"
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,350 reviews820 followers
February 2, 2012
I've never seen a series take such a downturn so fast!

When we last saw Ayla in The Clan of the Cave Bear, she had been banished, sentenced to death by the clan leader, Broud, who hated her. The Valley of the Horses takes place immediately after, as Ayla begins to wander the steppes in pursuit of her people. Eventually, she settles in a valley populated with horses. While she is there, she befriends a horse and ekes out a living.




I don't think I've ever seen a series shoot itself in the foot so early on. I've seen series suffer burnout, the author tossing up his or her hands and saying "I just don't give a damn anymore", but usually this occurs, oh, say, six books in the series after he or she has drug the main characters all over the universe to death and back again. At this point, I figure the author is thinking, "Looks like I can't write anything but another teenaged emosparklyvampire series, might as well milk this one as best as I can before I hit the unemployment line". (I know Frank L. Baum of the Oz series would agree with me if he were alive.)

The Valley of the Horses should be the sixth book in the series by that reckoning. The amount of WTF in this book is near critical levels. Characters bounce all over the place, problems that were hinted at in the first book appear here 10X worse, and generally the story stops being about the person I became invested in: it stopped being about Ayla.

Now, that's not to say there aren't good parts. Sure, you might need a electron microscope in order to find them, but they are still there. The Ayla sections of the first half are excellent, exactly what we've come to expect and love from The Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla journeys across the steppes, Ayla must try to fend for herself, to find food and clothing and shelter. Sure, she has started accumulating a rather eye-brow raising list of inventions (the calendar, horseback riding, animal domestication, flint, reproduction--did you know it was Broud's organ that created her son, Durk?), but you know what? Even that I could buy. She is by herself, she must invent or die. She loves animals and has been tending them since she was a child, so it isn't unexpected for her to continue this into her adulthood. The calendar thing is also hinted at back in the first book, when Ayla peppers Creb with questions about days and counting. Yes, Ayla is getting close to Mary Sue territory, but this is her story. I'll believe it.

UNTIL Auel adds Jondalar. Who is Jondalar? Let me introduce you to him:

Meet Jondalar:

Jondalar is the most attractive, strong, intelligent, sexy, wonderful, skilled, muscular, thoughtful, generous, kind man you will EVER meet. He is MINDBLOWING in the sack (but WATCH OUT! Most women can't take it ALL *eyebrow wiggle* if you know what I mean!). His blue eyes are enough to make the cave panties wet. He is the BEST toolmaker EVER (and NO, I do NOT mean that kind of tool!). HE LOVE SO MUCH AND SO HARD THAT NO ONE CAN ENDURE IT. Jondalar is freakin' God incarnate.

And THAT is the beginning of what kills the story. THAT is what makes this book, which could have been interesting, absolutely dreadful. Because once Jondalar walks onto the set, the story ceases to be about Ayla and instead becomes about Jondalar.

(Hey, I don't know if I've mentioned it...did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? The Clan believed it was a battle between totems, but Ayla is pretty sure it's a man's organ that creates babies.)

I don't mind Ayla finding companionship. I don't mind her finding love. I DO mind it when the whole story's emphasis is on a man we've only just met and have no real reason to like. I NEVER liked Jondalar. EVER. The author tries to sell me on how wonderful he is by having EVERYONE gush about him (and trust me, EVERYONE does), but I went into convulsions every time I had to hear all the "wonderful" things about this tool. And *this* is the man Ayla ends up with? I would ask for an exchange!

So while Ayla is busy trying to survive, I get stuck listening to Jondalar and his doofus brother doing stupid and pointless things on their spiritual journey. I get to hear a bajillion arguments the two of them have about where they should go ("No, Jondalar, let's go to the mountains!" "No, Thonalan, we should head to the river!" "Let's stay with these people!" "No, we need to move on!"), how awesome Jondalar is, and how much they want to bonk women. Oh, and as if the latter weren't enough, I get TWO fairly graphic sex scenes of Jondalar with some chick on her First Rites and Serenio (or some other woman whose purpose was only to provide another sex scene to show Jondalar's Mad Skilz in the cave bedroom) and Thonalan falls into insta-lust with some woman whom he can't even converse with for several pages.

(BTW, I have to mention it, but there is a horse sex scene in this book. Yes, a horse sex scene. And it turns Ayla on. And Ayla, being so bright and intelligent, doesn't know WHY she feels all horny-like.)

None of this ends up mattering because a plot contrivance sends Thonalan and Jondalar back into the wild and completely negating the last billion pages Caveman Time Wasting. Thonalan is an idiot and tries to chase after some meat that a cave lion stole (REALLY!?!?!) and is killed. Ayla comes to the rescue and FINALLY, FINALLY after nearly 3/4 of the book, Ayla and Jondalar meet.

At this point, I was actually pumped. FINALLY, there was a point to Jondalar! Finally, we would get around to what has been alluded to since the first book. But NO! Instead, now we get hastily contrived resolutions to the language barrier (Creb comes to Ayla in a dream and POW! she speaks Jondalar's language!), Jondalar getting a hard on nearly every other time he sees Ayla (along with groin pains, which tells me he needs to see someone about his urinary tract infection), Ayla wanting Jondalar to sex her up, but Jondalar not doing so because he thinks she is in healing training. Or something. Oh, yeah, and also during this whole time, Jondalar hardly talks about his dead brother and when he finds out it was Ayla's cave lion that killed Thonalan (and she chased the cave lion away), he is like, "Wow, you must be a spirit to have such control over animals".

(Did you know that Broud's organ created Durk? Ayla isn't totally sure, but she thinks it is a man's organ that makes a baby, not a fight between totems.)

When the two FINALLY talk it over, Jondalar initially can't get past his "Ew, she had sex with a flathead! Flathead cooties!" But this doesn't last too long...Ayla is the PERFECT woman, with the perfect breasts, perfect lips, perfect hair, perfect ba-donka-donk. Jondalar is pretty sure we wouldn't remember this or figure it out for ourselves, so he makes sure to remind us. OFTEN.

After a few more sex scenes that get repetitive to the max (which is NUTS, yes, there have been about 6 in this book, but I wouldn't think the sex would get repetitive THAT fast), Jondalar says he is going away...and a dream changes his mind. He declares his TWOO LURVE to Ayla, and Ayla reciprocates. They talk endlessly about wanting to pleasure each other, Ayla suddenly learns how to deep throat, and the book ends with a hint about meeting the Mammoth Hunters.

The Clan of the Cave Bear was unique, interesting, and captivating. The characters were well created, the story was fantastic, the setting filled with great details (although at times, these got to be a little excessive). It's become one of my favorite books.

THIS book, however, is a disgrace. It took all the things I loved about The Clan of the Cave Bear, set them on fire, and chucked them over a cliff. The characters become obnoxious, the story becomes a standard, not well-written or interesting romance, research is presented for the sake of research, and sex replaces good character moments and character growth. The best parts of this book are the Ayla chapters in the first half. They are solid, well-constructed and bear the most similarity to the first book. Once Jondalar enters the story full-time, the story's quality drops drastically.

Normally, I would give up on this series right here, but I have a death wish. This book has, oddly enough, been a delight to listen to, mostly because of the heaps of WTFery in it. Therefore, I am going to continue my journey with The Mammoth Hunters and keep my fingers crossed that it is better (and secretly hope it is not!).

ADDENDUM: I've rated this three stars, mostly because I want to see how "The Mammoth Hunters" is before putting a solid rating in place...and YOU thought I was going to take this time and tell you how it was Broud's organ that created Durk! HAH!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,635 followers
April 7, 2022
I changed my original from 5 star and favorites to a 3 and I’ve decided to trade in my beautiful mass market paperbacks. I’ve had them for a few years now and I’ve decided I’m not interested in finishing the series and if I change my mind I’ll do it through the library. I still love the animals and Ayla, I’m just not into it anymore. I don’t want to read about certain things.

The end ….

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,242 followers
May 30, 2020
She walks away alone a figure in the vast, savage, uncaring, desolate almost empty region of what is now the Ukraine, expelled by her adopted Neanderthal cave dwelling band Ayla at 14, is forced to leaves her small beloved child Durc, behind cursed by the only people the Cro -Magnon girl can remember into the unknown, what the young fearful woman, believes will be a final, fatal, fleeting journey. With a few belongings the prehistoric teenager has, told by the female who raised her to find her own kind the "Others", and advised to go north but the scattered tribes are so rare that it is almost impossible to encounter them. An unseen spot in the steppes, the object slowly travels in the glacial cold for weeks, then a blizzard strikes hard the despairing human almost welcomes the freezing end...Yet somehow Ayla survives, but it doesn't matter her destruction is near predators roam by looking for a kill until finding salvation, a beautiful hidden valley that protects the wanderer from most of the deadly elements and feeds the girl, plants, trees, fruit, game, fish, the experienced, able hunter will not starve and a herd of gentle magnificent horses, already live there, their running about is thrilling in this paradise, a river meanders by its sparkling waters beckons and a safe place discovered, a small cozy cave above the stream a hole -in -the -wall, that a warm fire will make habitable, reached by climbing a steep slope...Survival is not living though, the abandoned girl has many dreams and nightmares, she needs human companionship but her only friends are a mare she raised from a foal Whinney, ( how she got her name is obvious) and a Cave Lion cub Baby, (why that alias is easy also to understand) the animal eventually will grow to be a gigantic male 800 lbs. Years pass, Ayla, prospers all the tools, clothes, shelter and food she wants are available, still not quite happy, the now woman will have to leave her safe, comfortable home to meet her own species if the sad girl can ever get out into the hostile world, and take a big chance but her pet friends have grown, left to follow their new mates, seldom come back to visit... Two devoted brothers with the same mother, but not father, unexpectedly arrive in the area from a faraway cave to the west, the adventurous men, went in a primitive boat down to the sea, on The Great Mother River, ( the Danube) a hazardous lengthy trip, just to see where it concludes... Jondalar 21, at six feet, six inches tall towers over everyone, blond hair blue eyes, handsome face women are always looking up to and falling in love with, and a few inches shorter Thonolan, 18, different color eyes and hair, still almost equal to his sibling in charm and features, the now morose man has suffered a devastating loss...Ayla and Jondalar , have great feelings for each other when they meet yet hide them, showing little apparent emotion, not trusting, both recently acquainted, strangers really ....The second in the very popular, Earth's Children series, is almost as good as the first The Clan of the Cave Bear, while the magic cannot quite duplicate the level of the original, because of its unique aspects, this one does deliver what fans of these books want, entertainment in an exotic setting a place and time that no one today will ever experience, or maybe even wish to either.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
December 26, 2017
Ouch. I’ve never known a series to go so downhill in the second book!
When I read The Clan of the Cave Bear I was swept up into a prehistoric world filled with spirits, survival and a wonderfully intricate belief system. After the end of that book Ayla is out on her own, battling the elements, wild animals and her own loneliness. It sounded so promising.
But parallel to following Ayla, we also follow two men - Jondalar and his brother Thonolan, unsure of how they will fit in to Ayla’s tale.
What disappointed me with this sequel were two main things:

1. Nothing happens. Seriously. It’s over 500 pages and all we really see is Ayla’s preparation for season after season alone in her cave, and her adoption of a couple of wild animals. Alongside this Jondalar and Thonolan are travelling - coming across tribe after tribe, once again with no real purpose or anything to add to the overall plot.

2. So many sex scenes! Now - I’m not a prude, and I can enjoy a good sex scene when it is relevant to the story. But they are everywhere in this book! Jondalar sleeps with numerous women on his travels with his brother and then at least 5 times when he meets Ayla! I mean this is fine - have as much sex as you want; but I don’t need an in depth description every time the characters are feeling a bit horny! I’ll also briefly mention the part when Ayla actually gets turned on while watching 2 horses mate - and also has a flashback to these horses while she is getting jiggy with Jondalar.
I know right! No further comment.

I was so disappointed in this sequel - though I’d love to see how Ayla’s story pans out - there’s no way I could battle through 4 more books like this.
Profile Image for Kara.
Author 23 books73 followers
January 9, 2012

I didn’t mind that it devolved (devolved, get it? hehehe) anyway, I didn't mind that the book turned out to be porn-for-women-who-pretend-they-don’t-like-that-sort-of-thing-because-its-soooo-low-brow, but what I DID mind was that it became CLICHÉ porn.

Oooo he’s a man whose been with tons of women but never felt True Love!

Oooo she’s a woman who’s been raped in a way sanctioned by her culture and never had an orgasm!

Ahhhhh he’s a man who yearns to love a woman who is his equal!

Ahhh she’s a woman who is good at everything but good sex!

Oooooh he teaches her what real sex feels like and gets her off on the first round!

Oooooh they have simultaneous orgasms the first time they Make Love!

Ahhhh he’s so big! He hurts women with his hugeness and always has to hold back!

Ahhhh she’s the only woman who can totally fit his huge manhood!

Oooohh Aaahhhhh Oooooohh! Aahhhhhhh! YES! YES! YES!





Christ, someone get me a cigarette.

...I had way too much fun writing this...
Profile Image for Karina.
824 reviews
February 10, 2020
What in the __ was I thinking reading this series? First book was boring and now this was doubly worse... (Julie Grippo- you warned me!!) I did skim more than 60% of the book....

The whole book was porn. Good porn? Nope! Bad caveman porn! Just lots of "wetness between the slit..." barf!

There are so many things wrong with this book I'd have the longest review ever... Horrible plot. Didn't get to the point. Who were the cavemen? Who wasn't a caveman? So confused.

Burn it for firewood, throw it at someone you hate, use it for self defense, use it as a step stool, use it as a life preserver.... Just forget about using it to actually read.
Profile Image for Renee.
27 reviews
August 21, 2007
This one goes down as my all time, #1, best read. I learned SO many things and gained more strength and independence than I though possible. The story is this, Ayla is cast out from her family, leaving behind her only son, to survive in the ice age and the wilderness alone. She has the knowledge of a medicine woman, and the skills of a sling to assist her survival. But the greatest challenge is the loneliness. She teaches herself to hunt with spears, to make knives, baskets, and implements for cooking. And along with her, I learned how to do all of these things. How to test plant foods for nutritional or medicinal properties. How to survive. She adopts a horse foal after killing her dam and then adopts a baby cave lion. The three of them make a family, and they give her the only companionship the empty icy world has to offer. Until finally after 3 years of emptiness, she meets her future mate. This book got me through my divorce, and the first time I ever lived alone. My heart goes out to the Jean M. Auel who reached into my soul and helped me find what moves me.
Profile Image for Kinga.
476 reviews2,200 followers
October 2, 2017
Ayla’s adventures volume two.
The writing is as bad as it was in volume one (I detailed all the problems I had with it here : http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...) with the addition of hackneyed sex scenes. It makes me almost sad that generations of young girls had their introduction to porn literature through this crap. It’s enough to put you off of both, sex and reading.

You might wonder why I read the second volume when the first volume was so bad. It’s a good question and I’m not sure myself. I ordered it on amazon before I had the time to really think about it. I guess, my favourite parts in the first volume were the survival bits. I liked when Ayla was all alone and had to learn to manage on her own. And since the first volume ends with Ayla being kicked out of the Clan I knew there would be a lot of that there. Also I needed some closure, I needed Ayla to get some good caveman loving at last and I was told there would quite enough of that (whether it was good, however, remains debatable).

In the Valley Of Horses we have two parallel stories. In one we have Ayla who finds a cave, tames a horse, learns horse-riding, tames a cave lion, invents a laptop, basically kills time while waiting for some 350 pages for LL Cool Jondalar to arrive and give it her good.
In the other story we learn about Jondalar, who while on some unspecified self-discovery journey is sexing his way through the prehistorical world. All the ladies love him, which is why it is taking him so long to run into Ayla. He needs to teach a couple of cavewomen “the pleasures of the Mother’s Gift”. This is all to show us that Ayla is in for a treat when LL Cool Jondalar finally finds his way to her. There are some crutch secondary characters that need to die after serving their purpose in moving the plot along so that the main two can finally meet.

Initially Ayla and Jondalar can’t communicate properly due to Ayla only speaking Neanderthal which is more of a sign language really. She eventually picks up a few words and they have very basic troglodyte-like conversations but eventually the author tires of writing it so she makes Ayla have a dream in which she suddenly remembers her original language and from then on she and Jondalar can conversely freely which is pivotal to all the romantic complications they are about to have, like who wanted to have sex with who. Ayla acts so cluelessly it’s baffling – I’d really expected a little more from someone who invented a calendar and tamed a freaking Cave Lion, you know? But all is well that ends well and finally, Jonalar can show Ayla the one skill he truly mastered, and it is not tool-making, but foreplay. They all live happily ever after, or that is until Volume 3 which I started reading and read about 30 pages before I realised what I was doing and stopped myself before I caused some serious damage to my mental health.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,886 reviews31.2k followers
May 19, 2020
Earth's Children is a unique and wonderful series about pre-historic man. The people's who created the famous cave paintings.


The story starts out with 2 different people in 2 locations. We start out seeing that Ayla was kicked out of the clan. These are another species of people that died out - the Neanderthals. She goes looking for her people and has to find a place to shelter for the winter. She finds a cave and sets up her stores to make it through the long winter on her own. She traps a horse and her foal. The mother dies. She raises the young horse and it helps her. She also tames Wolf, a baby wolf pup she finds. They find living in the valley lovely.

Eventually she finds a lion cub and she then raises that and they make for one unusual family. The lion is a cave lion so Baby gets huge, as big as the horse.

Mixed in with this, we see a village, more advanced of humans over in the region of France. Jondalar and his brother are making a trip across the continent on foot, over to the Ukraine area. The cross glaciers and meet many different tribes.

One day, they run into a cave lion and it's family. Ayla is around and it's Baby, who she let go to make a family. She stops Baby from killing Jondalar, but his brother is killed. She takes the big man home with her and heals his wounds.

Jondalar falls in love with this strange woman who can talk with animals it seems. Everything about her is amazing to him. He can't stay here, so at the end they decide to head back to his village.

There is so much more to this story. I gave the bare bones. There is so much history and how they lived. I love Ayla. There is a lot of sex too, but it's very repetitive and it's okay in this book, but by the time you get to book 4, you never want to read another sex story again. It's all the same. I mean, it feels like the same scene on repeat.

It's a masterful story, but the Mammoth Hunters is my favorite. I love how Ayla deals with life. She is strong and smart and just does what she has too. There is no choice. I would love to be more like her.
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
May 22, 2023
Although there were aspects of this book I wasn't a great fan of, a large focus of this book is Ayla raising a foal (after she killed the mother for meat, which is admittedly not the best way to adopt a horse), and eventually learning to ride. She also ends up with a pet lion, because why not?! She rides the lion too. It was a little ridiculous, but also incredibly entertaining.
And although I knew that soon enough Ayla and Jondalar would meet, I unfairly wanted this time of Ayla's life to span the entirety of the series. Perhaps she could adopt a bear or mammoth next? Still, I enjoyed it while it lasted, and Ayla's increasing resourcefulness and capability was fun, in a lonely kind of way. She was grieving her child, (separated at the end of the end of the previous book, under the impression she will never see him again, although I doubt that), so of course it was important that she eventually encounter a man to cheer her up.

Jondalar's interests include intrepid journeys across the beautiful world that they live in, accompanied by his slightly less hot (but more interesting in my opinion) brother, and initiating young women into the world of sex (this he thankfully does without his brother present). Jean M. Auel spends more time describing Jondalar's sexual conquests than I really cared for, at times making me feel like I was reading caveman themed erotica, which I enjoyed much less than the survival, hunting, cooking, discovering fire, taming horses and whatnot chapters. I gather this a focus going forward, so I guess I'll just have to get used to it, but it did get repetitive.

Despite his enjoyment of these activities, Jondalar has sadly never met a woman he truly loves. If only there was someone out there for him...

Meanwhile, Ayla, beautiful but without realising, traumatised but not damaged beyond repair, strong and capable but increasingly lonely, especially when she realises her animal family will move away from her as they find mates and have foals and cubs, longs to find her own people, but doesn't know where to begin.

After hundreds of pages of walking, camping, hunting, a marriage, deaths, broken hearts etc, Ayla saves Jondalar's life. He is stunned by her beauty, her perfection, her brilliance, but is surprised that she has apparently opted not to sleep with him. Thankfully they eventually realise there was just a miscommunication*, she remembers how to speak (probably more significant, but hey) and after a few more details that I can't remember, Jondalar does what he does best, then commits entirely to Ayla and decides to take her to meet his family.

Of course more happened than that, and I shouldn't have left it months to review! It was fun, often genuinely interesting, especially anything about the environment, animals, even the hunting. I would have liked the sex scenes to a bit less prevalent, and without quite as much detail, but also they aren't my books and of course the author should write what she likes. I personally think her greatest strength is mixing in all her research about the time period into a creative novel, but maybe Jondalar will end up being a bit more interesting now that he has Ayla to challenge him? If not, at least there are the horses!

It's an interesting experience to read something that has large chunks that were a bit boring, or that I zoned out during, but that I still honestly liked overall. I didn't find this book resonated as much as the first, but there were still moments that really captured my imagination. Jondalar's travel were fascinating, as were the interactions with different groups (tribes?) and their various customs. I enjoyed the elaborate wedding ceremony, the bond between Jondalar and his brother, the depiction of Thondalan's grief, the tensions between the neanderthals and Jondalar's people, the isolation of Ayla after she is cut off from her clan, the stitches she uses when Jondalar is injured, the explanation of art, the way Ayla has certain loyalties to the clan, and her discomfort, and shock when she realises Jondalar and his people will consider her baby an abomination. I will read on at some point, as I am invested in Ayla now, and presume she will continue to make incredible discoveries and visit wonderful places. It's an undeniably good setting for a series of books, and I hope the author continued to make use of all that potential!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,093 reviews2,957 followers
January 30, 2022
4.0 Stars
I loved the continuation of this story, particularly the expansion of the worldbuilding. This series has a strong emphasis on sex, which develops into a major romance subplot in this second book. Normally, romance turns me off, but I enjoyed this one, especially the steamy scenes.
Profile Image for Werner.
Author 3 books578 followers
January 19, 2014
This second installment of Auel's massive prehistoric saga has many of the same strengths and weaknesses, IMO, as the series opener The Clan of the Cave Bear; my review of that one (www.goodreads.com/review/show/15569300 ), similarly, has content that's relevant here, and might be worth reading first. The books are definitely intended to be read in order; I'm assuming that most people reading this review have read the first book, and both this review and the pretty accurate Goodreads description may/will have spoilers vis a vis the first one.

Ayla remains the strong, intelligent, capable, and good-hearted young woman readers fell in love with in the first book. Here, however, Auel takes her out of the Clan (Neanderthal) context, and puts her on her own on the steppes of the Ice Age Ukraine. (This edition has a helpful map.) That means her major challenge is physical survival without any help, using the skills she's previously learned or observed. If you like tales of man (or in this case woman) vs. nature, this theme is handled very well. An alternating plot strand follows two young Cro-Magnon men, Jondalar and Thonolan, brothers from what is today France, traveling eastward on their Journey, a kind of cultural rite of passage similar to the walk-about of the Australian aborigines. When we first meet them, they're in the Danube area. Once they leave the habitations of other Cro-Magnon tribes behind (and that's not relatively far into the book, considering that it's pretty thick), there aren't any other human characters in the novel; so Auel doesn't have as large a cast of characters here to develop with her usual vivid brush (though a few of the Sharamudoi people are vividly drawn). We're also not much in the realm of large group interactions; our cross-cultural interactions are basically between the Clan-raised Ayla and Jondalar, who's prejudiced (like the rest of his people) against the "Flatheads." The exploration of that theme isn't less strong here; it's just put on a one-on-one basis.

As always, Auel's research is solid (and as usual, sometimes too much on display). One aspect of Cro-Magnon archaeology that she puts to use is the fact that in sites all across Ice Age Europe, from the Urals to the Atlantic, we find essentially identical figurines of a stylized pregnant female with the sexual features emphasized. From this basis, Auel infers a continent-wide shared cult of the Mother goddess, in which sex (in or out of marriage) is seen as a sacramental act that honors her. The inference, as far as it goes, is plausible; but all fertility cults actually known to anthropology connect sex with pregnancy (DUH!) In Auel's world, however, neither Neanderthals nor Cro-Magnons have figured out that connection. This is one part of her world-building that I personally consider implausible; without going into a long digression on this subject, I don't believe there ever was a human culture that was unaware of this (I've heard the claim on one TV documentary that some Australian aborigines don't know this, but I find that dubious), and I don't believe a primitive Mother goddess cult would regard sex as sacramental without that connection. But this is a key concept here and in the rest of the series.

The point above relates to two other differences from the first book. Here, Ayla gets a love interest, and he and she happen to be the only two humans around for most of the book. So romance will play a big role in the plot, though not the only one. And (both before and after Ayla and Jondalar get together) there's a LOT of explicit unmarried sex here. Like the natural history lectures, those parts can be skipped over with no loss of narrative coherence (and that's what my wife and I did), but they're a drag on the story-telling. As my four-star rating indicates, this wasn't a deal-breaker (but it cost the book a fifth star). Apart from the overly descriptive aspects, and the lack of sex-pregnancy connection awareness, though, Auel's characters are believably trying to figure out for themselves what love and commitment actually means, in the context of a culture that has no real concept of either and that glorifies sexual looseness. In that respect, they're very much like a great many modern people, which is why many modern readers probably find them so easy to relate to.

Compared to the first book, some reviewers have complained that this book doesn't convey as strong a sense of prehistoric culture, that the characters are too modern. That's true, but I think it's an inevitable result of the fact that human nature is the same today and in the Ice Age; what differentiates us is our various cultural factors, and here Ayla and Jondalar are outside their cultural contexts, except for what baggage they have in their heads. (And Cro-Magnons are inherently more modern-like, in any era, than the backward-looking, Memories-dominated Clan.) Also, some have felt that crediting Ayla with both discovering that fire can be produced by striking rock with flint AND domesticating a horse is too much, and that her recovery of her childhood memory of verbal speech being triggered by a dream is too facile. Personally, though, I didn't have a problem with those aspects. Both of the first two achievements were the result of fortuitous accident --and believable accident, in the circumstances, IMO-- rather than Edison-like research. And nothing is ever forgotten by the subconscious, which comes out to play in dreams; being exposed to verbal speech again after so long (Clan language, in Auel's world, is mostly a matter of hand signs), to me, would seem like a very plausible trigger for such a dream. I do, however, have a degree of sympathy with critics who find Jondalar less than ideal. He's well-drawn, and he's got his good points; and he grows in the series. But he's got his flaws; there are times when I'd like to clout him upside of the head, and Auel's evident fascination with his sexual prowess can be eye-roll inducing.

A word about the rest of the series might be in order (since it's taken me this long to actually review just the first two books). The third book, The Mammoth Hunters, would get five stars from me. (That's probably a minority view.) Its sequel, The Plains of Passage, would be lucky to get two. IMO, it should have been reduced by 80% and incorporated into the following book (and probably would have been, if the publisher hadn't wanted to sell another doorstop-sized book). The Shelters of Stone, the fifth book, would have made a fine conclusion to the series. My wife read the actual concluding sixth volume, The Land of Painted Caves and almost didn't finish it, though she did and finally allowed that it was okay, though not up to standard. From her feedback, I'm not interested in reading it!
Profile Image for Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.).
483 reviews296 followers
May 21, 2010
I am reading this series for the second time now. It has been something like 8-9 years since I last read The Valley of Horses, and I still love it. I am an earth scientist by education (geologist) and profession (water resources/environmental), and I just love Ms. Auel's attention to detail when it comes to botany, animals, and the ecology of the environments that she writes about. Additionally, she is very well versed in the latest advances in anthropology, archaeology, human evolution, paleo-climatology, paleontology, and so forth. Some may find the novel's descriptions of the ice-age environments, Ayla's interest in plants, etc. to border on minutiae; but not me. I am truly fascinated with this stuff!

Reading each of these books has caused me to sit back and reflect on our own human origins. How did we actually become the species that we are today? Ms. Auel, to her great credit, gives us a 'field guide,' if you will, for a period of human history in what is now western Russia and Europe that is as plausible as any that I'm aware of.

It is not so much that you have to suspend belief and accept that her protagonists, Ayla and Jondalar, discovered everything and rewrote the course of human history; you just have to realize that the narrative that Ms. Auel has constructed is comprised of a series of monumental events that allowed anatomically modern humans to be successful; much of which has been validated through advances in archaeology and anthropological research. Her characters, Ayla, Jondalar, and others are merely representatives of those nameless individuals that did so much to ensure the survival of the human race. Someone during that period of time invented the spear-thrower (atlatl); someone probably did begin to domesticate animals like wolves or horses. Bands of humans did live together on the Ukrainian and Russian steppes hunting the great migratory herds of animals; developing sophisticated cultures and societies whilst scratching out a living in incredibly harsh conditions.

These stories that Ms. Auel has fashioned into her five novels (so far) almost have the feel of being one the great mythologies that have been handed down over time. The amazing story of young Ayla's lonely journey to her valley, her survival, her domestication of 'Whinny,' and her eventual meeting of Jondalar is just wonderful and thought-provoking; and a story that resonates and has meaning for all humans today. It is worth realizing, every once in a while, that we all, every living thing on the planet, really are the 'Earth's Children.'
695 reviews
July 27, 2009
I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but this was only partially it. Clan of the Cave Bearcertainly didn't set the bar high, literarily speaking. However, I was taken aback by the shift in tone and emphasis. Whereas Cave Bear seemed genuinely interested in being taken seriously, Valley of the Horses is more interested in titillating housewives whose macrame plant holders still boast spider plants and ferns galore. The whole book smacks of repressed seventies feminism; politics and speculative anthropological fiction make for awkward bedfellows. Or should I say bedpersons? Or should I crouch submissively at the feet of someone whose diction I admire and wait for Er to make the decision for me while simultaneously awakening in me desires and capabilities I never knew I had? No, seriously. Cave Bear was hilarious, and Valley of Horses was gross porn for women who don't want to seem like they're reading porn.

The upshot is that my cat liked this book better than I did. Either someone at the library rubbed catnip into the binding, or the aforementioned macrame housewives managed to smear so much yearning, musk, and housepet dander onto the pages that my cat went completely feral whenever this book was in the room.
Profile Image for Karen.
805 reviews1,012 followers
September 18, 2015

Written in the early 80's. I suddenly find myself addicted. LOL. This one had a much different feel than the first book. Read a bit more like a romance book... but no less appealing. Loved it. Looking forward to book 3!
Profile Image for Tim The Enchanter.
350 reviews178 followers
March 13, 2015
Thank God it is over - 2 stars

Silver Broken Gavel for Worst Book Read in 2014

Random Ramblings

I cannot recall the last time I was so happy to finish a book. I felt as if I had gone up against a ferocious beast and emerged as the winner. Having recently read, REVIEWED and loved The Clan of the Cave Bear, I fully expected another magical story set it the distant past, long before recorded history. I liked The Clan of the Cave Bear so much, it was my 7th favorite read of 2013. Unfortunately, the Valley of Horses turned into a prehistoric romance novel. I felt duped and angry with how the series had progressed. What looked to be shaping into an exciting and memorable series has turned into a series that I will not finish.

Plot summary

Our intrepid female hero from the first book, has struck out on her own after the events at the end of Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla is forced to use all of the knowledge she has gained over the course of her short life to eek out an existence on her own. In a parallel story, we are introduced to Jondular, a male from the "others", as he and his younger brother set out on a journey of self discovery.

The Good

Despite this book, Ayla is one of most memorable characters from any book I have read. She is plucky, smart and resourceful in an environment that does not understand these traits. Up until the storylines converge, Ayla's story was interesting. I enjoyed reading about her and I felt invested in her wellbeing after the first novel. This is the only reason the book avoided a one star rating and the only reason that I read the book until the end. Had the story simply focused on her and her fight for survival, the book may have been a 4 star read.

The Bad


Seriously, I could not stand the character. In Jondular, we have a 21 year old man without a mate and without a purpose in life. He cannot commit to a woman, loves to make tools but his true calling in life is giving women their "Pleasure" (yes, it is supposed to be capitalized) with his organ/manhood/woman-maker. Seriously, at one point a wise Shaman type woman tells him that some people have the gift of making boats, or hunting or carving but he has the gift of pleasuring woman and he should not despise this. I was ready to stab myself in the eyes at this point. This guy was so torn up by the fact that he could make a woman happy in bed but no woman could make him happy in his heart..............I didn't care.

The tone of the story was far more modern. The speech, attidudes and actions of the characters would not have been out of place had the story been of a few people trying to win the game of Survivor. While the first book did a masterful job of making the reader feel as if they were in an ancient and unknown time, this book lost the mystical quality.

While Ayla's inventiveness was endearing in the first book, it seemed in the second book as if Ayla wsa to be the inventor of every great discovery of prehistoric man. In chapter after chapter she was disovering or improving on the tools and materials of the her world. As far as I could tell, the wheel had not yet been invented but I assume that Ayla will invent it in a later book.

Romance, Romance, Romance. It is simply not my cup of tea. Books focusing on the love and relationship between two characters does not interest me. Like many historical fiction novels, this falls into the trap of simply trying to convince us that love is the tie that binds the eras together. As the first book was not written with romance and relationship as a major plotline, it was disappointing that this book changed direction.

Finally, the storytelling was lazy. In the first book, we were able to watch Ayla learn and grow. When she was adopted by the Neanderthals, she had to learn their way of life, their custom and their unique language. In this book, Ayla is faced with similar circumstance but the author cheats us by cutting corners. For example,

It was dizzying how quickly this series became unpalpable. It was a huge disappointment after the first book. That said, if you like the Outlander series and you enjoyed the romance and sexual content of the first in the series, you may in fact like this series. Unfortunately, two is enough for me.

Content Advisories

It is difficult to find commentary on the sex/violence/language content of book if you are interested. I make an effort to give you the information so you can make an informed decision before reading. *Disclaimer* I do not take note or count the occurrences of adult language as I read. I am simply giving approximations.

Scale 1 - Lowest 5 - Highest

Sex - 5

I have to apologize but I lost count of the sex scenes. There were 5-7 scene that were graphic in nature. Mr. `Don Juan` Jondular was also Mr. Pleasure so he certainly took his time. The scene were far more graphic than I appreciate and they were were plentiful. Hence the 5 rating. Outside of these scenes, there was significant discussion of sex. Avoid if you are not comfortable with this type of material.

Language - 1

While some may consider sexual terms as adult language, I have included that in the rating above. As for swearing and other adult language, it was non-existed although Ayla may discover and invent the f-word in a later book

Violence - 2.5

There were several graphic scene of animal deaths that occurred as part of hunting excursions. Animals were constantly being killed for food and material. The book may not be PETA friendly. On top of this there were a couple of scene of animal attacks but none were especially graphic. There is also some non graphic discussion of rape. One such discussions was not considered rape by the character but in a modern setting, the perpetrator would most certainly be behind bars.
Profile Image for Danielle.
97 reviews6 followers
August 19, 2008
I liked this book for the story of a girl surviving on her own and her learning experiences but I thought the sex was a bit over the top. I guess I just wasn't expecting that much sex and that much detail. I mean, I really don't need to know that Ayla was turned on by watching horses mate or that Jondalar's "woman maker" was too large for most females. I was under the impression that this series of books was for the "young adult" audience, mostly because I knew lots of people who read The Clan of the Cave Bear for a class in high school. I probably would have enjoyed the sex bits a lot more in high school but now at age 30 they just kind of creeped me out. I would be creeped out knowing my high schooler was reading this (however I wouldn't stop him, I'm all for reading whatever you want). I am still giving this book 4 stars though because I thoroughly enjoyed Ayla's relationships with Whinney and Baby.
Profile Image for Lila.
531 reviews180 followers
April 5, 2022
What's more natural and wondrous than adopting a horse and a Cave Lion?

Jean Auel cleverly knitted two stories together over space and time, culminating in the end. Making great strides in the human development, Ayla decides to adopt a young filly and a small Cave Lion cub to keep her company. Her years alone in the valley are often reflective of a larger philosophical musings and show us the true meaning of life.

On the other end of the continent, two brothers show us the real brotherly love and affection that goes beyond familial duty. Jondalar may be tall, blond and handsome, but he's never been in love. His younger brother Thonolan is the one who helped him make friends, with his quick smile and carefree demeanour.

It is tempting to call this story one of the greatest love stories ever. Because how will a man to whom even the Great Mother Earth cannot deny anything finally love? And will Ayla overcome her fear of meeting Others like her to finally find a place where she belongs?
Profile Image for Summer.
61 reviews1 follower
June 2, 2008
So far, many complaints. Whereas Clan of the Cave Bear kept me turning the pages, wondering where Ayla was going to toe the line next, its sequel is bland and predictable. Okay, Ayla's got hangups about men and halfway across the continent comes an obvious stud who's never been in love. Gee. I wonder what's going to happen? I honestly want to see Ayla in a better relationship but how much to I have to go through to get there?

An inordinate amount of paper was spent on rehashing events in Clan of the Cave Bear - some understandable (Ayla's worry about her son, mourning for Creb, and recalling useful knowlege) but they get tiresome after a while.

Also tiresome are Auel's tangents into geography, fauna and prehistoric life, which form speedbumps in the action and stilt the dialogue. There are places when she educates us without interrupting the story (for example, when the travelers predict the severity of the winter by the migratory habits of the wooly mammoth, Ayla's difficulty starting her first fire) but many times these expositories just break up the flow and cause me to glaze over. When she pauses to explain the migratory habits of the woolly rhino about to charge Thonolin, that really takes the cake. I was interested in the world as perceived by the characters and thought the vast historical perspective diminished them somewhat.

The sex is getting old really fast. I appreciate that this culture has very different mores, but how much sex and in how much detail do we really need? We start out with the First Rites scene: we get cultural information and establish Jondalar's studmuffinry, both real contributions to the story. Excellent. Then there's the incident where the all girls molest Jondalar. Less of a point to that, but it's amusing. But by the time we get to Serenio... how does this further the story? And I'm not even halfway through, *and* I think I've probably left someone out.

I have enough interest in the story that I'll probably finish it eventually. I want to know how Ayla reacts when she finally meets her own people, and whether the brewing trouble between her people and the neanderthal/ Clan/ 'flatheads' comes to a head. I just really wish the book was about those things, without so much prehistory lesson crammed into every random crevasse.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lee  (the Book Butcher).
257 reviews67 followers
May 8, 2023

About quarter way through, Yeah very iffy about series, hard to get over the sexual relations. Which are in depth. And a little boring to be honest. I don't think I will finish series
Profile Image for Celise.
497 reviews320 followers
October 3, 2018
Buddy read withVendi. Thank you <3

Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book, is one of my recent favourites. It's so well-imagined and unique, and completely took me out of my daily life. The second book accomplished the same, in some ways, and I really enjoyed reading it for the most part, but something was missing, and some flaws weren't easy to overlook.

The first book had very little dialogue, because the Clan (Neanderthals) didn't speak verbally. I liked their nuanced speech using hand gestures. Despite the ingrained misogyny in their species, I liked that there were clear, structured customs for Ayla (our main character) to navigate and challenge.

In this book, we still have Ayla, out on her own, as well a new character, Jondalar. They have separate POVS, and his was so different from Ayla's in the first book that it was kind of jarring at the beginning. Soon though, he became boring. All of his chapters, without fail, revolved around sex, as well as some subtle racism towards the Neanderthals. And then there's the whole

Also, you want me to believe that neither the cro magnons nor the neanderthals knew how babies are made?

I still enjoyed Auel's writing, despite it being a bit silly. She's good at conjuring up some vivid imagery, and despite much of the plot requiring some serious suspension of disbelief, the characters' emotions are believable and never fail to make me feel something.

This is probably just shy of a 4-star rating for me.
Profile Image for Lucia Nieto Navarro .
742 reviews163 followers
March 25, 2022
Segunda parte de la saga de "Los hijos de la Tierra", y esta nos va contar dos historias paralelas en el tiempo que al final de una manera u otra van acabar uniendose.
Tras el final del primer libro, la historia continua, nuestra protagonista en este caso ira en busca de los llamados "otros", pero al no estar segura acaba en un maravilloso valle, y es que Ayla, tiene mucho miedo a lo desconocido y aqui, encuentra un lugar muy tranquilo, aunque es verdad que su evolución viene al final de la novela.
Y por otro lado, tenemos la historia de nuevos personajes, Jondolar y Thonolan, dos hermanos que salen de su pueblo en busca de "aventuras". Dos personajes muy bien definidos, muy diferentes, uno atrevido y el otro tranquilo.
La primera parte de la novela, se ,me hizo super lento, casi todo el rato se nos muestra a los hermanos con ganas de aventuras, encontrándose con diferentes grupos y conociendo a gente nueva, y a Ayla con sus cosas, ella sola, aprendiendo sola, y para socializar (como todo ser humano), la autora le añade dos animales....
Durante toda la novela iremos viendo las tradiciones de los Homos del Pleistoceno, las diferencias de pensamiento con los Neandertales, la sexualidad, el pensamiento espiritual que estará presente también en esta parte,

La narrativa es sencilla, pero muy muy descriptiva, hay momentos que se hacen muy lentos ,sobretodo la primera parte, aunque según avanzas la historia se pone más interesante. Tiene partes que para mi gusto están forzadas, demasiadas escenas sexuales, que no aportan nada a la historia, o demasiadas descripciones que hace que por momentos se haga pesada.
Profile Image for Michael Gardner.
Author 21 books70 followers
May 18, 2020
I really liked The Clan of the Cave Bear. Jean Auel's research and writing brings the stone age to life, wrapping the story like a perfect mammoth skin blanket. The plot was good. The details and activities of the characters' lives were gripping. We felt Ayla's struggle, her plight and so forth. For a big book, it rocked along.

This second outing to the distant B.C. grinds along like Ayla is dragging a big stone block behind her. Sure there's plenty of interest to be had in survival stories, but for the length of the book, it felt pretty padded.

Then, quite out of the blue, it turns into a caveman blue movie. Did the critics of The Clan of the Cave Bear say something like, "Great book, Ms Auel, but there weren't any explicit sex scenes. Please try harder next time. Perhaps also throw in one that involves horses."

She did.

Where it really loses its way is when it stops being Ayla-centric. As soon as Jondalar takes the prehistoric stage, the book becomes a soap opera. He's just a bit too amazing for words. He's all man. In fact, he's such a man, he's more man than Ayla can take.

And of course, now we get inside Jondalar's head... Dear Lord, please help me finish this review... we discover Ayla is also perfectly proportioned... and he develops groin pains. It ain't kidney stones and the only cure is for him to go at it hammer and tongs with the newly discovered catwalk model Ayla.

I suppose you could argue that Jondalar has to be amazing because he got all the good family genes. His brother Thonolan is monumentally dumb. Chasing a cave lion that stole your meat is worthy of a Darwin Award. The early death this book delivers to the series probably does too.
Profile Image for Tara.
35 reviews56 followers
August 5, 2009
Jondalar is a boring, annoying Gary Stu. Reading about him and Thonolan bored me to tears.

Ayla is still sometimes interesting, but her feats are becoming absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, being the first person to tame a horse, create a cart (without wheels, but still), create fire with stone sparks, tame a cave lion (sure, he was a baby, and close to death, but why wouldn't he have eaten her when he got a little older? Don't believe it), and use stitches on a wound? Her sudden grasp of Jondalar's language was stupid as well, like the author said, 'well, I'm getting bored with all these language barrier issues, so Ayla's just going to get it now.'

And the sex? Totally unnecessary. I don't consider myself a prude, but I like my novels to be mostly sex free, because it's really hard to write good sex (and this was not good sex). Jondalar the Sex God seems to be the author's fantasy man, and why in the world would Ayla, who's only every had sex with one man before, and only every had one child, be able to take his huge p*nis more easily than all the older, more experienced women he'd had before then? I understand now why the reviews I read before starting the series called it caveman porn. And it's all Jondalar's fault - hate that irritating character.
Profile Image for Efka.
454 reviews253 followers
May 17, 2018
"Arklių slėnis", antroji ciklo dalis, mane šiek tiek nuvylė. Nuvylė ne taip smarkiai, kad vertinčiau šią knygą kaip meh - ji man visvien patiko - bet sumoje aš iš jos tikėjausi daugiau.

Visų pirma, šioje knygoje nebeliko to, kas mane labiausiai sužavėjo pirmojoje - neandertaliečių, jų papročių, jų gyvenimo būdo. Vietoj to, gavom trečdalį knygos apie tai, kaip Aila gyvena viena, medžioja viena, renka žoleles viena, trečdalį knygos apie Jondalarą, kaip jis keliauja, keliauja, keliauja, keliauja, ir tada lieka paskutinis trečdalis knygos - jie susitinka ir, well, kaip čia tiksliau išsireiškus, užsiima meile. Kas ir užima visą trečdalį knygos. Aišku, turiu atiduoti duoklę autorei - iš jos,manau, išeitų visai nebloga erotinių romanų rašytoja, tačiau kažkaip tie 200 puslapių nuolatinio sekso ar įžangos buvo kažkaip ne laiku ir ne vietoj.

Bendrai paėmus, aišku, visai neblogai ši knyga susiskaitė, bet dingus jau minėtam wow faktoriui, ji nebeatrodo tokia gera. Kita vertus, ji vistiek yra pakankamai gera, kad norėčiau skaityti ir trečią dalį. Žodžiu, gavosi kažkoks šiek tiek padrikas mano review - visai kaip ši knyga. 3* yra lygiai tiek, kiek norėčiau jai duoti - 6/10.
Profile Image for Tania.
1,202 reviews271 followers
September 12, 2014
Unfortunately this was not as good as it's predecessor, The Clan of the Cave Bear, there was a lot less showing and a lot more telling. I still liked Ayla, even though she was perfect in almost every way (and I don't mean that in a good sense), her emotions where very real. I am totally fascinated by this era, and I'm so glad I was introduced to it by Jean M. Auel. Even though I probably won't read more of this series, I have already added some similar titles to my to read list.
The Story: Ayla shares a lonely valley with a herd of steppe ponies, harnesses their power, and discovers speech and love with Jondalar, a member of her own race.
Profile Image for Amy Norris.
118 reviews20 followers
July 7, 2018
This is one of those books where I recognise that the writing is not stellar but there’s just something about the story that makes me love it. The first half of this book did drag a bit with things being over explained. I’m really never going to build a canoe and I don’t need a step by step guide on how to do that. Once the middle of the book came I breezed through it. Loving the interactions between the characters. Onto the next!!
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