Friday, November 4, 2011

The Land of Painted Caves-Jean M. Auel

The Land of Painted Caves

Jean M. Auel

Bantam, Nov 11 2011, $17.00

ISBN: 9780553383201

Ayla and Jondalar live with their baby daughter Jonayla amidst his people in the clan of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonaii. A healer, she is in training to become a Zelandonaii, which keeps Ayla apart from her mate and their infant. However, not all are pleased with her being chosen as a shaman in training. Balderan the hunter wants Ayla dead and Marona wants her removed any which way including death from the cave.

Over time her training proves difficult but she finds solace in the cave paintings she sees as the First escorts the acolytes on a tour. Ayla also misses Jondalar and vows to have no other man while she hopes she can persuade her beloved to do likewise.

The final return to the prehistoric world of Earth’s Children (see The Shelters of Stone) is an engaging societal tale that dramatically could have been reduced by a few less tours of cave paintings. Ayla is a fascinating protagonist who comes across as the Da Vinci of the cave dwellers with her inventing a horde of ideas. Although the action is somewhat limited with the profound look at the prehistoric society being the prime venue, fans of the saga will want to read the last visit to the world of Ayla.

Harriet Klausner

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