Books-treasureortrash's Reviews > The Valley of Horses

The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-novel, reviewed

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes

Ayla has been cursed by The Clan, she has been forced to leave the only family she has ever known to go out on her own. She is a young Cro-Magnon woman who was raised by Neanderthals but is now searching for her birth people. All alone, she survives through the use of her wits and her hunting abilities. She finds a sheltered valley which she calls home and where she plans to stay through the winter. Meanwhile Jondalar and his brother, two new Cro-Magnon characters, have journeyed for several years from the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, meeting people and having adventures. This novel follows both of these separate story lines following them on their journeys.

The Valley of Horses is the second of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the practical and spiritual life of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on Ayla, but at times also on Jondalar.

Ayla’s journey is well told and interesting. I really enjoyed the relationship she developed with the wild animals. The details of life during this time period is interesting and the personal interactions of each of these people as they deal with the challenges that they must face was at times heart wrenching but also heart-warming. The concept of prejudice was introduced and continues as a thread throughout the story.

This is a standalone story that alternates between Ayla and Jondalar as they move closer to each other. It continues Ayla’s story as it shows what life was like at the end of the ice age. I recommend this book as a very good read.

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