Friday, February 28, 2014

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

Earth's Children #1 - The Clan of the Cave Bear
Earth's Children #2 - The Valley of the Horses
Earth's Children #3 - The Mammoth Hunters
Earth's Children #4 - The Plains of Passage
Earth's Children #5 - The Shelters of Stone

In the sixth and final book of the Earth's Children series, Ayla and Jondalar are living with the zelandonii of the ninth cave with their young daughter Jonayla.  Ayla has recently been accepted as a acolyte of the Zelandoni and is in training to become a spiritual leader.  Although she is fascinated by the new knowledge and power, she struggles to find a balance between being a wife, mother, and a Zelandoni.  As part of her training, Ayla journeys with her mentor to many sacred sites that include cave ancient cave paintings.  During her calling to chosen as a member of the Zelandoni, she is given a great gift of knowledge that will change the way her people see the world.

After almost ten year, Jean M. Auel finished the sixth book in her series in 2011.  There are resources on her website featuring the most recent novel, including a trailer video.  The author explains many her process of writing the series and the research that she completed over the last twenty-five years.  There are also photographs of some of the places she visited, including various cave paintings.  Here is one of my favorites:

After almost 3 1/2 months, I am finally done with the series.  I don't know if I would have made it through reading all six books (mostly because I'm very busy at the moment and they are all over seven-hundred pages!), but I definitely enjoyed listening to the audio books.  This series was a perfect combination of a narration of what life might have been like 25,000 years ago and the story of Ayla's journey to find her own people.  While there were some things that annoyed me a bit (such as repetition of information and Ayla and Jondalar's lack of ability fo communicate) I very much enjoyed the series.

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