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THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Jean M. Auel
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,173 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description


BONUS: This edition contains a reading guide and an interview with Jean M. Auel.
In this, the extraordinary conclusion of the ice-age epic series, Earth’s Children®, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte to a spiritual leader and begins arduous training tasks.
Whatever obstacles she faces, Ayla finds inventive ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life, searching for wild edibles to make meals and experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandonii must take while honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And there are the Sacred Caves that Ayla’s mentor takes her to see. They are filled with remarkable paintings of mammoths, lions, and bears, and their mystical aura at times overwhelms Ayla.
But all the time Ayla has spent in training rituals has caused Jondalar to drift away from her. The rituals themselves bring her close to death, but through them Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change her world.
Sixth in the acclaimed Earth’s Children® series.

Books In This Series (6 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    Thirty thousand years in the making and 31 years in the writing, Auel's overlong and underplotted sixth and final volume in the Earth's Children series (The Clan of the Cave Bear; etc.) finds Cro-Magnon Ayla; her mate, Jondalar; and their infant daughter, Jonayla, settling in with the clan of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonaii. Animal whisperer and medicine woman Ayla is an acolyte in training to become a full-fledged Zelandoni (shaman) of the clan, but all is not rosy in this Ice Age setting; there are wild animals to face and earthquakes to survive, as well as a hunter named Balderan, who has targeted Ayla for death, and a potential cave-wrecker named Marona. While gazing on an elaborate cave painting (presumably, the Lascaux caverns in France), Ayla has an epiphany and invents the concept of art appreciation, and after she overdoses on a hallucinogenic root, Ayla and Jondalar come to understand how much they mean to one another, thus giving birth to another concept—monogamy. Otherwise, not much of dramatic interest happens, and Ayla, for all her superwomanish ways, remains unfortunately flat. Nevertheless, readers who enjoyed the previous volumes will relish the opportunity to re-enter pre-history one last time. (Mar.)
    (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

    From Booklist

    What began 30 years ago with Auel�s best-seller The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), namely the phenomenally popular Ice Age�era Earth�s Children series, comes to an end in the sixth installment. Now a wife and mother, Ayla lives among the Zelandoni, the people of her mate, Jondalar, but she hasn�t forgotten the ways of the people who raised her. Ayla is training to become a spiritual leader, and her devotion to this calling takes its toll on her union with Jondalar. On their journeys, Ayla and her friends contend with earthquakes, a band of marauding rapists, and even an outbreak of prehistoric chicken pox. When Ayla and Jondalar get wistful for the days when they were alone with their animals, readers might find themselves feeling similarly. As was the case with The Shelters of Stone (2002), there�s not a lot of urgency in this final volume, but the millions of readers who have been with Ayla from the start will want to once again lose themselves in the rich prehistoric world Auel conjures and see how this internationally beloved series concludes. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Auel�s novels have been record-breaking mega-best-sellers, with 45 million copies worldwide, ensuring that readers will clamor for the series finale. --Kristine Huntley

    Product Details

    • File Size: 4150 KB
    • Print Length: 770 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0517580519
    • Publisher: Bantam (March 29, 2011)
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003O2SQO8
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,894 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    724 of 741 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars An Open Letter To Jean Auel April 3, 2011
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Ms Auel,

    I get it. You didn't really want to write about Ayla and Jondalar anymore. 31 years is a long time, and all you
    really wanted to do was enjoy your golden years, touring Europe and looking at ancient caves. That's fair. But I've got to ask. If you wanted to write about old painted caves, why not just write a book about them? Your book can have a cover with a picture of a cave painting and a tagline "by the author of Clan of the Cave Bear"; I've a feeling that would help it sell. But don't take the material for that book, insert some occasional dialogue, and call it the finale to your celebrated Earth's Children series.

    My expectations of The Land of Painted Caves were not especially high, thanks to the sharp downturn in the quality of the series after The Mammoth Hunters, yet somehow it still managed to disappoint me. Should you decide to call Painted Caves a frame job and write a new final book, here's my advice:

    - Your book is some 700 pages long. I mean, OK, it makes it easier to fantasise about using it to bludgeon the characters to death for criminal idiocy once we reach Part 3, but your book only has maybe 100 pages worth of actual plot, so I'm kind of left wondering if you actually had an editor for this thing, and if so, whether they're now spending their unemployment check on hard liquor to help drown the shame.

    - I imagine there are very few people reading this who haven't read your earlier books. You really, really don't need to recap EVERYTHING that happened in them. Did the notes you had out to remind yourself of stuff somehow get mixed into the manuscript?
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    1,824 of 1,877 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Wow... SO disappointing! March 16, 2011
    Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    I am almost 50 years old, and I was in high school when the first Earth's Children book (Clan of the Cave Bear) came out. I LOVED it. I was so excited for the second book (Valley of the Horses)which came out while I was in college... and it was even better. One of my favorite books ever. The third book (Mammoth Hunters) came out a few years later and I did love it... though I thought the whole love triangle was really contrived. 5 long years went by til we got the 4th installment (Plains of Passage), I was going nuts waiting for it... and I was disappointed. It was very, very repetitive, and over-long, and detailed to the point of tedium. But there was still a plot, and some conflict inherent in a long journey, and some exciting moments. I didn't hate it. TWELVE years went by til book 5 (Shelters of Stone), and it was so boring that I never re-read it (I have re-read the first 3 probably a dozen times in the past 30 years)and honestly I barely remember what happened. So I was thrilled to see this 6th and final book, but I was also worried.

    Sadly, I was right to be worried. This is so disappointing. I barely care about Ayla or Jondalar anymore. I feel like Jean Auel painted herself into a corner by making both of them so perfect and so good at everything and so in love.... there's no conflict unless it's forced and contrived. 'Cave Bear' had all the conflict of the Cro-Magnon girl living with the Neanderthal clan... very organic conflict. 'Horses' had the fabulous juxtaposition of the two difficult scary journeys and then Ayla and Jondalar meeting and discovering each other. Again, very organic. 'Mammoth' had some natural conflict - Ayla meeting her first group of people and admitting her background, but some forced conflict (love triangle) thrown in.
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    271 of 278 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Let's Go Southern France 15,000 BC April 16, 2011
    Hoo boy.

    To be honest, I didn't expect a next book in this series. I had thought that Jean Auel "walked the next world." But no, she's alive and kicking and has recently expelled the latest, and purportedly last, book in her Earth's Children series, The Land of Painted Caves.

    As many have said before me, this book is almost mystifyingly bad. It is as if Jean Auel had deliberately set out to dismiss every plot point of potential interest. Characterization, if I may use the term here, is slim to none. Worse, she seems to introduce potential sources of tension or plot interest only to resolve them in the least interesting manner possible. Then, when she does opt to introduce plot points, they are poorly thought out, often unresolved and largely out of character. Finally, she fails to bring any resolution to most of the burning questions present throughout the series.

    From here on, I will discuss the plot of the book, though as others have pointed out, the word "spoiler" seems silly in this context.

    First third: Ayla trains as a Zelandoni and nurses her daughter, Jonayla. A lot. Special treat: Wolf takes a dump in the cave.

    Second third: Ayla tours all the painted caves. Weirdly, the origins of the paintings are still left vague. I think it would have been funnier if someone had been like, "Oh yeah, those aurochs were painted by my hearthmate Ladida. Pretty good, right?" Jonayla starts speaking and riding horses. Of course, she's the cutest little girl ever!

    Third third: Plot! We find out that Jondalar has been boning mean girl Marona (I keep wanting to write Marthona, but that's his mom, gross) because his "needs are too strong" and he got lonely while Ayla was touring all those caves.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars The Clan of the Cave Bear was fantastic, this one really drags and I...
    The Clan of the Cave Bear was fantastic, this one really drags and I think she feels the need to fill in everyone who has not read the three previous books. Read more
    Published 13 hours ago by J. Smith
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I am enjoying reading all the detailed descriptions.
    Published 1 day ago by Sheldon Baskin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I Love Jean Auel. Her work is an important treasure.
    Published 6 days ago by Midnight Writer
    1.0 out of 5 stars Truly disappointing
    Uncharacteristically boring and repetitive. Amazed how boring it was compared to the rest! And finding out about Jondalar and Marona was so out of character! Read more
    Published 15 days ago by Redqty
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    All of them I was unable to put down I want another ayla is the. Scarlet o had a of cave s
    Published 15 days ago by debbie whatley
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
    I was not as fond of it as her previous books due to there being less character interaction. It is a personal preference. Read more
    Published 15 days ago by Gwendolyn Bauer
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Land Of Painted Caves: Earth's Children, Book 6 An excellent...
    If you enjoy a historical novel based on facts where available, and the imagination of a great author who isn't afraid of research this series of books is for you. Read more
    Published 16 days ago by mary r brown
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 16 days ago by Eddie McDonald
    5.0 out of 5 stars Ayla kicks A
    Excellent set of books
    Looking forward to reading more about Ayla
    Published 17 days ago by Richard Bingham
    4.0 out of 5 stars I still think the first book in the series is the best. I am looking...
    I found the descriptions of the cave paintings somewhat long but knowing that's what has been found archeologically makes it interesting. Read more
    Published 18 days ago by Merry
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    More About the Author

    Jean M. Auel is one of the world's most esteemed and beloved authors. Her extensive factual research has earned her the respect of renowned scientists, archaeologists and anthropologists around the globe.


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    Topic From this Discussion
    Jean Auel's seventh book "The Sacred Mountain?"
    I love your ideas! I want her to find Durc, though!
    Apr 24, 2011 by bonnye |  See all 276 posts
    Just what I feared it would be...
    @Avid Reader,

    Many years ago when I read the first of Ms. Auel's books, The Clan of the Cave Bear, I was fascinated, and couldn't wait for the next. The fascination stopped with Shelters Of Stone. I couldn't finish it. It is with sadness that I have decided not to read the last in the the... Read More
    Feb 26, 2011 by Irene |  See all 18 posts
    Repetitive use of a certain word
    I was sick of, "Have you ever felt the fur of a living wolf before?" Said the same friggin way EVERY DAMN TIME, oh and the Mother Song had me screaming!
    Apr 28, 2011 by Texas |  See all 14 posts
    Cave Lion Totem
    I think the cave lion got bored.
    May 16, 2011 by KatieKid |  See all 3 posts
    Jean Auel
    Unfortunately, anyone who loves this series will be disappointed. I was. It was too much like Shelters of Stone. Did we really need the "Mothers Song" written out 30 times? After the first time, I skipped over them. Was this just a way to make the book longer? I wanted a book... Read More
    Apr 5, 2011 by Tammy S. Blake |  See all 36 posts
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