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The Land of Painted Caves

(Earth's Children #6)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  29,173 ratings  ·  3,401 reviews
In The land of Painted Caves, Jean M. Auel brings the ice-age epic Earth's Children series to an extraordinary conclusion. Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and above all, courage.

As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonay
Hardcover, First Edition, 828 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Random House Crown Publishers
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Kaitlyn A repetitive, slow, dull journey even worse than the previous book, culminating with a lackluster, obvious, and ultimately unsatisfying ending. Ayla f…moreA repetitive, slow, dull journey even worse than the previous book, culminating with a lackluster, obvious, and ultimately unsatisfying ending. Ayla finishes her training to become a Mary Sue, and I found myself rooting for Madroman. (less)
Elizabeth Pearce If by judging the ending of this one, although rather disappointing for me as I like a sense of finality to the ending of the books I read, it has bee…moreIf by judging the ending of this one, although rather disappointing for me as I like a sense of finality to the ending of the books I read, it has been left that if Jean M. Auel decided to write another book, she could easily pick up where she left off. It would be nice if she did write more in the series.(less)

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Crystal Starr Light
Excuse me, I have some paint I need to watch dry

Ayla trains to be a Zelandani. Ayla goes to many caves. Ayla unveils the Big Secret (that readers have known about since Book 1). The End.

*****Spoilers Abound Like Mad. Ye Have Been Warned.*****

My God. If I thought the last book was fan fiction, I have no idea what to call this piece of sh!t. “Boring”, “disappointing”, “stupid”, “mindless waste of time and paper”, and “underwhelming” all come to mind. But no words can describe how absolutely horrib
Mar 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teri Pre
Mar 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011-reads
I just read the interview with Jane Auel that came out before the book was published. It was a LOT more interesting than the book was!

While reading LOPC, I kept finding myself saying "AGAIN???" Wolf helps to find Jondular AGAIN??? You're repeating the "Mother's Song" AGAIN????? You're talking about cattails AGAIN??? Someone is jealous...AGAIN???

It seemed to me that Jondular and Ayla still hadn't gotten past the problems that they had in MH. They haven't grown as characters at all! It would have
Henry Avila
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
After three years, six books and 4,345 pages I have finished reading the Earth's Children, saga by Finnish American author Jean Auel (nee Untinen) and my first reaction is... I will miss the fabulous, persistent Ayla, her strange though quite lovable family, both human and some not so much, the beautiful loyal people there too , always impressive, and the exotic creatures ... yes... the..Wolf, ...Whinney, Racer, Gray..
horse animals.... her new mate's tribe the Zelandonii, especially the unique
Feb 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one

The Clan of the Cave Bear was a masterful character driven drama, if slightly plodding, an intensive study of both the nature of characters and relationships. The protagonist, Ayla, was a flawed and vulnerable girl possessed of genuinely admirable determination, existing in a very dangerous, brutal and unfair world which caused her to suffer real hardships and even be threatened with death on more than one occasion. The Land of Painted Caves is a poorly written, repetitive, tedious, unenjoyable
May 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody!
I can save you the trouble of attempting to plough through Ms Auel's Potteresque doorstop in a few easy sentences.

(view spoiler)
Mar 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
All right, that's finally done. Nothing like making a stomach bug feel worse by reading a very disappointing book.

First off, I will say that I do admire Ms. Auel for a couple of things: 1) She researched this like no one else. The depth and breadth of her experiences while writing all this are absolutely commendable. Above and beyond. Very few people get interested in something and go that far into learning about it. And 2) She has always said (in the few interviews I can find) that she wrote th
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
Big thanks to all the Good Reads and Amazon reviewers who have already given this one a big THUMBS DOWN. You've given me permission to stop wasting my time hoping it will get better.

I'm always afraid of being the one to burst everyone's expectation bubble without putting in a fair effort. No problem with that here. As of this writing, there are 398 ratings on Good Reads, and the average rating for all editions is 2.80! As I scroll through the first dozen reviews, ALL of them are one or two star
Apr 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
I loved these books as a kid. It's been a looong time since I read one, though. Now I'm 40% of the way through this one, complete with Part One. If you've read her previous books, you could probably skip part one and just go straight to Part Two.... unless you wanted to read and reread and reread all the major points of the previous books just for fun.

Key points you will enjoy being beaten over the head with:

1. Ayla has an accent! Everyone notices. Sometimes more than once.
2. Wolves, they are
Jul 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Herewith, the "Land of the Painted Caves" drinking game!


the text mentions Ayla's accent, DRINK!
the text called Ayla beautiful or Jondolar handsome, DRINK!
the word "vivid" is used to describe Jondolar or Jonayla's eyes, DRINK!
there is a verse of that goddess-forsaken song, DRINK!
there's a description of how much some other person adores Ayla, DRINK!
the word "uncanny" is used to describe Ayla's special abilities, DRINK!
Ayla remembers her vision quest with Creb, DRAIN YOUR GLASS!

Apr 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
I, unfortunately and with great sadness, have to give this book 1 star. I would probably give it half a star if I could.

The first 2/3 of the book were a total waste of my time. For crying out freaking loud, how many freaking times do we have to have the Mother's Song repeated? Congratulations Jean Auel. You can rhyme stuff. And clearly you are very proud of it. The rest of us DON'T CARE. Give the damn thing once, at the beginning of the book, before the first chapter even. If we need to refer ba
Jun 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
I know, I know...this series went crashingly downhill after Clan of the Cave Bear, but I still want to find out how the saga ends. I'm done. Bleah. Talk about going out with a whimper. Even though it got to be a little ridiculous about how Ayla invented everything from needles to helicopters (heh), it was at least interesting to me to read how those things *might* have been created. This book didn't have any of that. Lots of long descriptions of caves, like Auel couldn't bear to leave a
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
After waiting so long to read the "final" episode in Ayla's story, I can only say: disappointing.

You can read the other reviews to find discussions of the repetition (from previous books, from section to section within the same book, of cave painting descriptions, etc.), and in my opinion, the use of repetition was worse than usual for this author; however, what struck me was that it felt as though each section was written entirely separately as the tone was completely different for each. This w
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

FINALLY!!! I finished the series. And I have to say THANK-FUCKING-GOD! This last book has been TORTURE! If you are considering this series, I would seriously consider skipping this book. It is soooooo repetitive that I nearly went insane. I would have rated it lower even, but I invested SO MUCH TIME, I couldn't bear to think I wasted this much time on a shitty book.

There were some actual advances in the storyline, but they could have been told in about 50 pages. The rest of the book was
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Nov 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: for those who just have to finish the 6 book story so they know how it ends
I heard horrible things about this book, unfortunately, because I was so looking forward to it, and even though my expectations had a damper put on them, I was eager to complete the story. (I actually won a copy of this book from Goodreads’ First Reads program but did not shelve this on my first-reads shelf because I won an unreadable pre-publication edition that arrived a few weeks after the book had been published; I waited and read a hardcover edition borrowed from my public library.)

Very dis
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
At 13 years old Ayla was my hero when I didn't have one. She stood up for herself, endured many trials, and was a survivor (just like I was)...this was in Clan of the Cavebear. She went on to continue surviving and found the love of her life in Valley of the Horses...I learned from Ayla that love making is beautiful with the man you care about. In The Mammoth Hunters She taught me the art of caring for other humans...her adopted Mamutoi family...yes that book had much angst between Ayla and Jond ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
I don't usually write reviews, and I don't usually bother to star things that I hate, but this was god-awful. I don't know if the first five books were also this awful and I just was less discerning as a kid or what, but this was torture to get through. I guess there are spoilers? But really, there's nothing to spoil.

This is basically what happens:

People say: Ayla is foreign. She talks funny.
Ayla can read people's minds because she was raised by the Clan. Zelandoni can read people's minds becaus
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
As with everyone else, I really, really wish an editor had sat down with the author and said, "Why? Why all of the repetition? Why do you assume that your readers don't remember anything which happened in the previous books, let alone the previous chapters of this one? Why have you chosen to show such a high percentage of your action through dialogue? I'm going to take my big read pen and we're going to cut out 2/3 of this book, and your readers will thank me."

I've been reading this series for h
 ♥ Rebecca ♥
1. The Clan of the Cave Bear ★★★★★
2. The Valley of Horses ★★★★★
3. The Mammoth Hunters ★★★★
4. The Plains of Passage ★★★★★
5. The Shelters of Stone ★★★★★
6. The Land of Painted Caves ★★★★

I still love Ayla and Jondalar of course, and this whole world. But this was one of my least favourite in the series. I was so upset that Ayla was so encouraged to become Zelandonii (one who serves the mother). I almost felt like they were trying to contain her wild spirit because they were afraid of her. I really w
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Many of the criticisms levelled at this book by other reviewers have a certain amount of truth to them. To be honest not much does happen here, we get endless repetitions of the Mother's Song, lots of descriptions of cave art, and lots of mentions of the events of previous books (this last, I think, should have been edited out as, let's face it, most people aren't going to come to this book cold). Nevertheless it forms a very satisfying conclusion to the books, and I'm not sure where else Ayla c ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Other than finding out what happens to Ayla, Jondalar and Family, this was a terribly written book. It could easily have been edited down to 100-200 pages max. Endless recapping of past events, repetition of the mother's song, and mind numbing details about cave after cave after cave. So sad that such a wonderful saga had such an underwhelming finish. ...more
Apr 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Just won this on GoodReads First Reads and am looking forward to it arriving. I'm hoping it will be more like Clan of the Cave Bear and Valley of the Horses than like the following three in the series which I remember as having gotten repetitive. But I never could resist following what happens to Ayla!

Got through it! I have read very few Advanced Reading Editions of books and I can only hope that some hardcore editing is/was done before the book is released. The repetition is inexcusable and dr
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Boy, was I dissapointed with this one. This was in solid 1 to 2 star territory until Part 3, which is really where all the action takes place. That final 250 pages brings back old friends and presents new challenges while wrapping up the series with a satisfying ending. That being said, the first 500 pages are overly wordy, repetitive (not repetitive from earlier books in the series, repetitive within those 500 pages) and, quite frankly, a bit boring. There are only so many descriptions of paint ...more
Sarah Martinez
Mar 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
A heartbreaking disappointment. This wasn't a work of literature, as much as a tiresome example of the copy/paste function. Page after page after page of repetitious descriptions and rehash of facts loyal fans already know. (And are irrelevant to new readers being introduced to the series through this book.) Absolutely no character development of the beloved heroine, Ayla. No conflict--or true plot for that matter--until the final third of the book. And, sadly, the story line that finally emerge ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, galleys-arcs

With thirty years in the making, this series ends with quiet dignity. There is no one huge reveal; nothing terribly unexpected to fans, but many smaller reveals. These are the type that the lovers of this series have come to know and to expect. As usual, we have a wonderful narrative, albeit, somewhat repetitive as with the other books. This is neither the heart-shattering conclusion I had somewhat expected nor does it really tie anything up in a neat little bow. It sim
Sandy Vaughan
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
The end of my marathon listening is both happy and sad. Happy to see what Ayla and her family are up to but sad because at the end, I want more. I want to know more of their adventures. Yes, there is an end but I love them and want to see them go on having adventures and grandchildren...ok, I'm greedy!

I've tried to come up with a good summary without giving away too much. Finally, I decided to share a bit of a publishers summary:

"...Whatever the obstacles, Ayla’s inventive spirit produces new w
Jan 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Wow. So, I know I'm going to do a full Trashy Tuesday write up on this one in a few weeks, but I feel the need to jot down some thoughts on it while this...whatever it was is fresh in my mind.

First off, I'd like to say that I give MAD props to Jean M Auel for finishing this series at her age. HOWEVER, and I feel kind of bad saying this, but part of me wishes that she'd not finished.

I remember the feeling I had when Stephen King got hit by that van, thinking Roland was going to die with him. I s
Vanessa Murakami
Jul 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ayla and Jondalar visit a cave. Ayla is awesome.

Ayla and Jondalar visit a cave. Ayla is awesome.

Ayla and Jondalar visit a cave. Ayla is awesome.

Ayla and Jondalar visit another cave. Did I mention how awesome Ayla was?

Ayla and Jondalar visit yet another cave. Guess who kicks ass? That's right: Ayla!!!

Ayla and Jondalar visit... wait for it... wait... wait.... ANOTHER CAVE, YAY!!!! Oh, and by the way, Ayla is awesome.

Ayla and Jondalar v
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Who was not disappointed by The Land of Painted Caves ? 32 501 Jan 10, 2020 01:02PM  
What do you think about the newest book in the Earth's Children Series? 46 252 Dec 03, 2015 09:52PM  
I LIKED IT! 4 53 Oct 01, 2015 03:21AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel 2 20 May 11, 2015 02:49PM  
From the beginning of Part 3 10 104 Dec 01, 2013 05:47PM  
La Stamberga dei ...: La terra delle caverne dipinte di Jean M. Auel 1 4 Oct 25, 2013 09:35AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correct non-goodreads author "Jean M Auel" 2 27 Jul 20, 2013 07:52PM  

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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 Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2)
  • The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children #3)
  • The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4)
  • The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5)

Articles featuring this book

Prehistoric fiction fans have waited three decades for The Land of Painted Caves, the conclusion to the epic Earth Children series set 25,000 years...
66 likes · 52 comments
“Once I got over feeling sick in the morning, I’ve been feeling good,” Levela said. “Vigorous and strong. Although, lately, I get tired easily. I want to sleep late and take naps in the day, and sometimes if I stand for a long time, my back hurts.” “Sounds about right, wouldn’t you say,” Velima said, smiling at her daughter. “Just the way you are supposed to feel.” 3 likes
“It was the first time he had spoken. What Gift could Ayla give in return to the Mother that would be of equal value?” There was silence as everyone looked at Ayla. “I gave Her my baby,” she said, knowing in her heart that the child she had lost was one started by Jondalar, that it was her and Jondalar’s child. Will I ever have another baby that will be Jondalar’s, too? she wondered. “The Mother was honored deeply when that baby was started. It was a baby I wanted, wanted more than I can tell you. Even now, my arms ache with the emptiness of that loss. I may have another child someday, but I will never have that child.” 3 likes
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