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Customers Also BoughtMore About The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. AuelOverviewThe highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES, is the culmination fans have been waiting for. Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago. THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES is an exquisite achievement by one of the world's most beloved authors.
Jean M. Auel is an international phenomenon. Her books have sold over 45 million copies worldwide. Her extensive research has earned her the respect of archaeologists and anthropologists around the world and she has honorary degrees from four universities and colleges. She lives with her husband, Ray, in Oregon.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-01-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Thirty thousand years in the making and 31 years in the writing, Auel's overlong and underplotted sixth and final volume in the Earth's Children series (The Clan of the Cave Bear; etc.) finds Cro-Magnon Ayla; her mate, Jondalar; and their infant daughter, Jonayla, settling in with the clan of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonaii. Animal whisperer and medicine woman Ayla is an acolyte in training to become a full-fledged Zelandoni (shaman) of the clan, but all is not rosy in this Ice Age setting; there are wild animals to face and earthquakes to survive, as well as a hunter named Balderan, who has targeted Ayla for death, and a potential cave-wrecker named Marona. While gazing on an elaborate cave painting (presumably, the Lascaux caverns in France), Ayla has an epiphany and invents the concept of art appreciation, and after she overdoses on a hallucinogenic root, Ayla and Jondalar come to understand how much they mean to one another, thus giving birth to another concept—monogamy. Otherwise, not much of dramatic interest happens, and Ayla, for all her superwomanish ways, remains unfortunately flat. Nevertheless, readers who enjoyed the previous volumes will relish the opportunity to re-enter pre-history one last time. (Mar.)BookPage Reviews
Auel's epic series continues
For more than 20 years, Jean M. Auel has enthralled readers with her prehistoric novels in the Earth’s Children series, starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear, where Auel first introduced the enigmatic outsider Ayla. The series has followed Ayla through several Ice Age European cultures, and her strange accent, animal companions and foreign knowledge have always placed her in the spotlight. The much-anticipated sixth and final book, The Land of Painted Caves, takes Ayla into a new country with her blue-eyed mate Jondalar, and she begins her training to become a Zelandoni—one of the community’s spiritual leaders and healers—to the people of Zelandonia.
The Land of Painted Caves follows Ayla as her mentor leads her across the land of Zelandonia. Their tour through the caves, which are carved and decorated by unknown ancestors, is meant to bring Ayla closer to the Great Mother Earth. Her training intensifies to near-intolerable levels, and as Ayla draws closer to the Great Mother Earth, her roles of mother, lover and Zelandoni brew a small storm in her mind. She pushes the boundaries of the Spirit world, and her revelations will set in motion a completely different world for the men and women of the land of painted caves.
Like all of Auel’s books, the research is extensive, with brilliantly re-imagined scenes of daily life and early forms of religion. The realism feels just as important as the mysticism, and the painstaking detail grounds the story with a sense of familiarity. Readers will find the people charming for their early discoveries, such as learning to count and creating glue. Those who have never read the Earth’s Children series may be a little confused, especially concerning Ayla’s extensive backstory, but will be no less entertained and touched by Auel’s careful representation of early people.