As I recall, the point of "never seeing her son again" is driven home multiple times. Considering the überconservative nature of the Clan and the distance of Broud's (Durc's?) clan from Zelandonii lands, I think it is hardly likely. However, I do not discount the possibility that, over the 12-24 years interim, word of Ayla's clan could have traveled via Clan Gatherings. Combining this with the meet-up with Guban and Yorga would make more plausible the likelihood that word of Ayla's remarkably tall and gabby half-Clan son would make the connection out west.
I imagine that further travel in dealing with loose-ends like Laramar, Madroman, and Brukeval would open up the possibility of rubbing up against such a Clan gathering.
Ayla is not so much "perfect" - as I have seen her described - as suitably pivotal; every so often, such a person - possessed of experiences, talents, and skills resulting from their own circumstances - enters the ranks of Humanity and serves as a social, political, and developmental catalyst.
I would love to see a 7th book address any or all of these threads, 9 or 10 years later: , The Zelandonii, Lanzadonii and Losadunaii succeed in persuading the Clan to sit down with them to negotiate a truce and possible trade relations with Ayla translating. The Clan is only willing to show up because most of them have heard about Ayla, courtesy of Guban and Yorga. The chief negotiator for the clan is none other than Durc. Since he knows that his mother was cursed with death, Ayla knows that if she identifies hersef, Durc will refuse to speak with or even acknowledge her, She's forced to look him in the eye and claim that he and she are unrelated. Despite this, Ayla is actually content since she actually got to see her son once more and be reassured that he flourished in spite of Broud. . The Zelandonii are visited by a party of traders from the East, led by a man in his early 40s. He tells them that his parents were killed and he himself was badly injured many years before in an earthquake. His tribe never lost hope that his sister might still be alive, since her body was never found, When he heard about Ayla from some Mamutoi that his tribe trades with, he came west to see if this was his missing sister. When he addresses Ayla by her birth name, all of her memories from before the earthquake come flooding back. It turns out that Ayla's abilities are hereditary as her parents were husband and wife shamans. It also turns out that Ayla has one other brother, and 6 or 7 nieces and nephews. , Both Ayla and Zelandoni are pressing Jonayla to join them in the Zelandonia. However, Jonayla rebels since she has plans of her own for her life. While it hurts him to do so, Jondalar puts his foot down and sides with Jonayla. Ayla, too, is forced to side with Jonayla because as much as she loves her Calling, she does not want to see a rift in her family. She also finds herself having to stand up to Zelandoni when the latter accuses her of disloyalty to her Calling. Ayla takes the velvet gloves off and reminds her that her manipulations nearly cost Ayla her life and that Jonayla's life belongs to herself, not Ayla or Zelandoni. The two women call a truce but the rift between them mends only when Zelandonii is on her death bed. . Brukeval and Madroman travel together briefly, but Madroman robs him and leaves him for dead when Brukeval is badly injured in an earthquake. Brukeval undergoes a 180 degree change of heart towards the Clan when he's found, near death, by a hunting party and nursed back to health by the tribe's medicine woman. He takes part in a root ceremony with the Mogur and hunters of the Clan and repays them for saving his life by teaching the more advanced hunting techniques he learned as a Zelandonii to the men of the Clan. Brukeval, on returning to the Zelandonii, vigorously supports efforts to forge peace with them. His opinions carry weight as he is the only one besides Jondalar and Ayla to have had face-to-face, recent contact with them. , Some Zelandonii children find a newly-orphaned den of wolf cubs. Joharran allows them to keep the cubs on condition that they tame and train them. Ayla agrees to help them to train the cubs. She still hasn't stopped missing Wolf, who died of old age 3 years earlier, and is thrilled to have wolf cubs to train again. One of the cubs imprints on her, while the other 3 each imprint on a different Zelandonii child. . Marona has mated three more times since the end of "Land of Painted Caves" and her miserable nature shows in her face, as she now looks decidedly shopworn. In spite of this, she still thinks she can lure Jondalar back once more. When Jondalar decisively and publicly rejects her yet again, she vows revenge against Ayla. She sneaks up on Ayla, armed with a flint dagger, while Ayla is meditating and everyone else is busy. The two women engage in a fight-to-the-death, ended only when the young wolf that Ayla adopted launches himself at Marona and slashes her throat (hey, it was good enough for "Plains of Passage"). . Whinney and Racer, being over 20 years old, are no longer used as beasts of burden although Ayla and Jondalar occasionally take them out for short runs. They enjoy an honorable retirement grazing the meadows outside the Ninth Cave with the children of the Cave making frequent visits to see and pet them. Since Gray is younger, Jonayla still goes for rides on her on a regular basis. . Laramar has long since worn out his welcome at the Fifth Cave and been requested to leave. Since his only talent is for barma making, he bounces from Cave to Cave, only to have to swallow his pride and beg the Ninth Cave to take him back. Since his capacity for troublemaking has diminished, he's readmitted. Given Tremeda's promiscuity and alcoholism, she has long before now succumbed to venereal disease. As she never paid much attention to her children, who by now are grown and mated, her passing is barely noticed.
Please write "The Sacred Mountain" for us - this is the way the series should have gone. I felt that the boring and repetitive "Land of the Painted Caves" had been ghost written anyway, with an awful lot of cut-and-paste employed!
To Ms Auel, I suggest you now write a non-fiction book about the painted caves, with copious illustrations (no more "red dot" descriptions), making use of your obviously extensive research, as you have so obviously lost touch with your fictional characters.
Hasn't anyone here ever heard of fanfic?@!? WRITE your fics and POST them on the fanfic sites!! Well, that's my advice, anyway... Many people are already doing so, and yes, it's legal as "literary parody"-- the principle was established in court about ten years ago (Alice Randall's *The Wind Done Gone.*) Gwmmbm `s amazing *Journey to Refuge* is a good example of an alternate sixth book. (And no, I'm not the author! I write in the HP world exclusively. ;)
I basically hang out at the FIA forum (I'm a longtime mod there), but I used to be a FictionAlley mod. Um... I spoke at two cons... (you've got to cling to the little things sometimes. :) And to keep this on topic, PC sucked!!! Ahem.
I agree with Anise about the fanfics. Over at ECfans (an EC site not just a fanfic site) there is a fanfic section that has many good stories, some of which have become legends among the ECfans community. There are two in particular which were written even before Shelters of Stone was published and which each, in their own way, achieved resolutions more satisfying than the last two books in the canon series.
Oh, great! That's all I need.... to start reading in another FF community... ;) But I don't have any doubt at ALL that there are wonderful fics that found much better endings than did canon. All fanfic negotiates some aspect of the created world which the author feels could have been explored differently in some way, whether this is based on plot, characters, themes, ships, etc., etc., etc. There's always going to be something that someone will feel could have been improved upon.
The difference here is that LoPC failed so spectacularly on so many levels that quite honestly, I don't think I've ever really seen anything like it in a published series. There are some issues that are just.... I don't think they can really even be disputed. It's like something you'd use as Exhibit A in a court case about incredibly bad writing. And it's really sad.
I have not yet read L of PC - but I have read the first 5 books countless times. I once attended a lecture by Jean Auel, between Mammoth Hunters and Plains of Passage. I paid extra for the "private reception" with the author after the main event (for years I had an inscribed wine glass to prove it till it was lost in a move) at which all attendees got to ask her a question. I asked two - one, how did she think up the characters' names? and far more importantly, question # two: Will Ayla ever see Durc again?
To a completely hushed audience (it was THE question of the evening) Jean Auel enigmatically replied (and this is verbatim, I remember it as if it were 5 minutes ago): Ayla will see Durc, but Durc will not see Ayla.
She explained, Durc's memories of his beautiful smiling laughing mother will remain intact and sacred, they must not be tarnished by any kind of reality. Ayla however will see Druc from afar and she that he has grown up into a healthy young man.
SO: To read that she didn't find Durc is SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT. I have been waiting all these years to read about what Jean Auel told me in person!!!!!
I will still buy the book at some point just to complete my collection. I do have a signed copy of Mammoth Hunters.
Don't. PLEASE don't... unless you plan to buy it and never read it... (which I don't really think is possible.) I never would have thought I'd be giving that advice, but the book really is that heartbreakingly destructive to our memories of the rest of the series. Please, PLEASE do not read LoPC.
Now, that having been said, I don't think that anyone could have dissuaded me from reading it anyway. But it really is just as horrible as you've heard, and worse. Reading reviews honestly can't prepare you, because the problem is so much more than just a badly written book. Or rather, that's the essential problem with the first part of the book, and by the last part, I think that we all found ourselves wishing that bad writing was the worst thing we'd found. There is SUCH violence done to the characters we loved. Maybe you could buy the book and then stop reading at the critical point... I'm sure somebody knows exactly what page it started on; I listened to it on CD's, so I'm not sure (that also meant I couldn't skim ANYTHING!!!)
I'm working on chapter 40 now, with one or two chapters still to go. Then I have to proof read and edit the whole thing. Hopefully my wife will help with that, then I'm going to put the book up on the internet.
The title will be "Book Seven: The Sacred Mountain." When it's all done I'll put a notice up in this discussion group with the address. It has been fun writing it. I started this back in April and probably won't have it done until around April 2012, but that's about 10 years quicker than the originals were completed, but then I have tried NOT to repeat myself too much.
I have a better idea - why don't YOU write the book? From the reviews I've seen of "The Land of Painted Caves" it would have to be better coming from you and maybe you could redeem Jondalar's and Ayla's characters, too. Please do this or find someone who will! Anybody but JA!
DUDE! I just read your last post - fantastic! I can't wait to read the book!
I think it'll be great. :) Unfortunately, it's the same old thing... fanfic can never be published "officially" or for profit, as we know... the closest anyone came to it recently that I know of was Alice Randall. *The Wind Done Gone* (published in 1996, I think) was finally ruled a literary parody of GWTW (which was obviously still under copyright.) But it was a near thing, and finally did have to go to court. I've read it, and I would agree that's what it is, but I can also see why a judge ended up having to rule on the case.
As I write this follow-up almost a year later, I'd like to offer anyone following this discussion a link to the FanFic novel I wrote as an alternative to the last book in the series, the title of which is called, "Book 7: The Sacred Mountain".
Use this link http://www.petproductsalesforce.com/novel.htm to download a PDF version of the book.
I wish the file had allowed me to edit it... the spellcheck editing job has been driving me nuts! XD I have been absolutely rivetted, Andy; this has been a very good effort on your part. Thank you. Thank you.
I read your Book 7 last night, couldn't put it down. It was a page-turner, and it was wonderful to spend more quality time with the characters I have loved for so long. What a talented writer and storyteller you are! Great adventures, and I do love how the culture shifted as the years passed and the new practices were spread and amplified. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. I never had heard of fanfiction before, and am now a huge fan.
I hope to see more of your work...and next time do write something from which you can earn some monetary rewards, and keep us posted so we can follow you.