The fifth book in the hugely successful Earth's Children series.
Ayla and Jondalar have reached home: the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, the old stone age settlement in the region known today as south-west France. Ayla has much to learn from the Zelandonii as well as much to teach them. Jondalar's family are initially wary of the beautiful young woman he has brought back, with her strange accent and her tame wolf and horses. She is delighted when she meets Zelandoni, the spiritual leader of her people, a fellow healer with whom she can share her medicinal skills.
After the rigours and dangers that have characterised her extraordinary life, Ayla yearns for peace and tranquillity; to be Jondalar's mate and to have children. But her unique spiritual gifts cannot be ignored, and even as she gives birth to their eagerly-awaited child, she is coming to accept that she has a greater role to play in the destiny of the Zelandonii.
©2002 Jean M. Auel (P)2004 AudioGO Ltd
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"I liked it but..."
I was very disappointed in Rowena for changing her pronounciation of Zelandonii. In Valley of the Horses, it was established that it was pronounced Zelandonyee, but in this book (where it's repeated a hundred times!) she changes it to Zelandonee-eye. Soooo frustrating. There were a few other things that got on my nerves: The River she pronounces as Thee River, more often than not. I think this is more an error on Jean's part, though. It is extremely distracting and very unnecessary. This is the last book I care for in the series. The final book is not to my taste at all and I have no desire to purchase the audible version, having already read the printed version.
"Not the best in the series but worth a shot."
Not the best of the series in my opinion but it's still a decent listen.
As in some of the other books it's been a little repetitive on occasions, although this can be put down to laying down background for first time readers/listeners who haven't followed the series.
The story seems to benefit from hinting at how things may have come about, the invention of the needle, the use of horses, dogs (wolves) etc. These things, and many others, may have come about over a longer period of time, but stories can't be expected to last for that long.
All in all... It's worth a shot.
I could listen to this story so many times. Having already read it, but now finding reading difficult due to failing eyesight, I have rediscovered these old friends anew and am delighting in the pleasure of the stories.
In my view there is no other book which can compare with this. The whole Clan of the Cave Bear Saga is a one-off and is so delightful in its development in the life of the young woman, Ayla.
My favourite scene was when Ayla and Jondalar finally reached the land of the Zelandoni and she met Jondalar's family, at long last becoming a respected person in her own right.
I could not stop listening to this, and unfortunately fell asleep on several occasions so that I had to rewind. In order to rectify this, I resorted to listening while in the bath - a most leisurely and much recommended way to have a long soak in a bath.
One of the best series of stories to have been produced in the modern day.
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