Thursday, April 21, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: "The Valley of Horses"

The Valley of Horses
By Jean M. Auel
Copyright 1982
Crown Publishers
Adult Fiction

And this is Book 2 of the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel. I previously reviewed Book 1, Clan of the Cave Bear. This is the continuation of Ayla's journey.

As The Valley of Horses begins, Ayla is traveling alone to find people like herself, The Others. She travels far and for many days but doesn't find anyone. Instead, she finds herself in a beautiful valley where resides a herd of horses. Ayla finds a perfect cave and decides to stay for a few days, which turns into a few more, then eventually into an entire summer. As she plans for her winter stores, she faces the reality that she is still alone.

Auel, again, does a great job of explaining the intricacies of pre-historic chores like fire-starting, leather-scraping, and flint-knapping. Ayla is eventually joined in her cave by a baby horse and a baby lion. Auel creates a strong sense of family amongst the three cave dwellers.

Interspersed between the events occuring in Ayla's existence, Auel begins to tell a tale of two young men on a journey of their own. As they travel to new and exciting territories, Jondolar, and his brother Thonolan, experience adventure, love and hardship. As the days pass, they draw nearer and nearer to the valley of horses.

And, as I'm sure you can guess, Ayla finally has her first opportunity to meet someone of The Others: people like her.

This is my favorite book in the entire series. There is not a dull moment in this book as Auel does an incredible job of keeping the reader interested and anticipating what's going to happen next. I am always sorry when I get to the end of this one.

Again, this book has adult content and is not for young readers (there's a particularly "interesting" scene that starts on about page 470......*ahem*), so keep out of reach of children please!

1 comment:

  1. I'm just about to give this book a read. I hope it turns out as stupendously as the first one did...but knowing that Iza, Creb, Uba and Durc are gone...I can't help but be a little sad for Ayla, knowing she'll be in a world all alone.