The Critique Circle Public Library

The Mammoth Hunters
by Jean M. Auel
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherBantam
Release Date2002-06-25 (added to CC 1 Oct 2009)
Amazon Sales Rank95,053
Once again Jean M. Auel opens the door of a time long past to reveal an age of wonder and danger at the dawn of the modern human race. With all the consummate storytelling artistry and vivid authenticity she brought to The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequel, The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla.

Riding Whinney with Jondalar, the man she loves, and followed by the mare’s colt, Ayla ventures into the land of the Mamutoi--the Mammoth Hunters. She has finally found the Others she has been seeking. Though Ayla must learn their different customs and language, she is adopted because of her remarkable hunting ability, singular healing skills, and uncanny fire-making technique. Bringing back the single pup of a lone wolf she has killed, Ayla shows the way she tames animals. She finds women friends and painful memories of the Clan she left behind, and meets Ranec, the dark-skinned, magnetic master carver of ivory, whom she cannot refuse--inciting Jondalar to a fierce jealousy that he tries to control by avoiding her. Unfamiliar with the ways of the Others, Ayla misunderstands, and thinking Jondalar no longer loves her, she turns more to Ranec. Throughout the icy winter the tension mounts, but warming weather will bring the great mammoth hunt and the mating rituals of the Summer Meeting, when Ayla must choose to remain with Ranec and the Mamutoi, or to follow Jondalar on a long journey into an unknown future.

Member Reviews
(4 Oct)
The third book of Jean M. Aul's series that began with "Clan of the Cave Bear." After a lifetime of living with Neanderthals, and then living by herself in a valley for several years, she finally discovers a tribe of her fellow Homo Sapiens. I liked this book as much as the first two, "Clan of the Cave Bear" and "The Valley of Horses." It's an important part of the series because you get to see how she interacts with her own kind. It is, however, partly a romance novel in addition to being a well-researched, creative depiction of the ancient world. Some people will like this book primarily for the romance/love/mushy stuff/lovemaking scenes. Other readers will hate that (such as myself). It's too good of a book to let that scare you away though. Just do what I do and whenever Ayla and Jondular begin making googly eyes at each other, skip the whole chapter. Jean is kind enough to quarantine most of the mushy stuff to specific areas of the book, and generally give you some forewarning. If you really dislike the romantic aspects, the next three books all have about this same amount so you not want to read them. I guess Jean found out sex sells, so good for her. She deserves to become wealthy. I read them anyway and enjoyed them, just using my strategy of skipping anything that follows Jondular and Ayla making googly eyes at each other. The book after this, there are some good adventures so think that more than makes up for the mushy stuff for people who hate sort of thing as much as I do.
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