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The Valley of Horses

(Earth's Children #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  81,932 ratings  ·  2,537 reviews
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
Paperback, 544 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Bantam (first published 1982)
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Ellie I had to finish the book even though the descriptions go on and on and on. It's not like we are actually going to make any of the tools and pots and m…moreI had to finish the book even though the descriptions go on and on and on. It's not like we are actually going to make any of the tools and pots and medicines Ayla makes. The highly unnecessary detailed descriptions of sex make me wonder if the author is deprived--not depraved. Anyway, it is an ingenious attempt at picturing cave life. I'm going to get the next one out of the library and see if it is as good as the first one. #2 had it's moments; could have been half as long.(less)
Andr01d The book contains several detailed erotic scenes and many descriptions of violence (gore) when the characters are hunting animals. For that reason I w…moreThe book contains several detailed erotic scenes and many descriptions of violence (gore) when the characters are hunting animals. For that reason I would say the book is best for adults, but in terms of reading comprehension, it would be suitable for young adult readers. (less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  81,932 ratings  ·  2,537 reviews

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Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: 17
Dad: "'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!"
Crystal Starr Light
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I loved this book soooooo much!! Ayla is my hero! There were some things but didn't keep it from my favorites list!

I love Whinney and Baby, my heart soared so much! And when Ayla and Jondalar met I was so happy! I loved going on their journey of learning about one another while he healed. It was just awesome and I'm glad I got to read it 😊

Happy Reading Peeps!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
Henry Avila
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 o ...more
Charlotte May
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.
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pre-history

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
This book will forever be in my heart.
I wish I could read it again for the first time.

In Love

Feb 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
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 s
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 tr
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Woman who need a lil' strength
Shelves: topshelf
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 c ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pub-1982
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 : 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 mys
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you skip every page that mentions Jondalar, this is the best book ever!

Minus one star for Jondalar's existence.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 speculat ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
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-c ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing

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!
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of fiction set in prehistoric times; fans of strong heroines
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 ( ), 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 ...more
Tim The Enchanter
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. Unfortunate
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
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 o ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: can-t-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Gardner
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Amy Norris
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I kind of cringe to admit I bought this book with my babysitting money and read it when I was 14 thinking it was about a young woman and a horse. The salesclerk valiantly did try to discreetly inform my mom that it wasn't really YA reading, but failed to stress that it was because of the sex. Fortunately my mom was right in that I was mature enough to realize that while I was mature enough for the G-rated portions of the book, the intimate scenes were for adults. Granted when I read the series a ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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'
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun read! Enjoying this series.
Sarah F
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought that this was a really interesting and thought provoking book. Watching Ayla discover the nature of the world around her was genuinely exciting.
This book really made me think about the way things are. Although Ayla's world is different from ours, she too has to deal with learning new things. I've always wondered why things are the way they are- why do we speak different languages? Why do we speak at all?
Ayla does consider the first question. When Jondalar tells her that only his people
Larry Bassett
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, kindle
It didn’t really take me four months to listen to this audible book but I definitely must have misplaced or forgot about it once or twice! This is the second book of a I don’t know how many books series and my intention at this point is probably not to continue with the series. I know at least one time while I was listening I fell asleep maybe for as long as an hour. But I didn’t feel obligated to go back and listen to the part that I had missed. I thought about why that was and decided it was b ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adventure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Play Book Tag: The Valley of Horses / Jean M. Auel. 3.25 stars 10 16 May 19, 2021 09:17AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correct the name of the series 8 22 Feb 10, 2021 08:08AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Format 3 12 Apr 09, 2019 01:09PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Valley of Horses [Mar 15, 2018] 7 42 Mar 17, 2018 05:04AM  
please add the book cover 2 17 May 30, 2015 10:16PM  
Reviews say - these books are ice age pornography 82 562 Jan 21, 2014 05:13PM  

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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 receiv

Other books in the series

Earth's Children (6 books)
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1)
  • The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children #3)
  • The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4)
  • The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5)
  • The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6)

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“If you want to fall in love, you can't hold everything in. You have to open up, take that risk. You'll be hurt sometimes, but if you don't, you'll never be happy. The one you find may not be the kind of woman you expected to fall in love with, but it wont matter, you'll love her for exactly what she is.” 28 likes
“Ayla, I looked for you all my life and didn't know I was looking. You are everything I ever wanted, everything I ever dreamed of in a woman, and more. You are a fascinating enigma, a paradox. You are totally honest, open; you hide nothing: yet you are the most mysterious woman I've ever met.” 16 likes
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