The Critique Circle Public Library

The Valley of Horses
by Jean M. Auel
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherBantam
Release Date2002-06-25 (added to CC 24 May 2009)
Amazon Sales Rank11,667
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.

Member Reviews
(4 Oct)
This is a fine book for many of the same reasons "Clan of the Cave Bear" was. In "Clan of the Cave Bear" we got to watch her grow up among Neanderthals. We got to learn about her. We got to watch her mind develop. Now we get to see the woman she has become use her impressive array of skills to survive and make a home for herself. Ayla, the main character, is likable, and Jean M. Aul has more skill than any other writer I've read the works of at making it seem like you're hearing about the fascinating lifelong journey of an old friend whenever you read books of this series. I read about Ayla when I was a kid. I was thrilled to get to learn more about her as an adult, once she became an adult.
(20 Sep 2015)
(16 Oct 2011)
(14 Oct 2009)
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