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on May 10, 2017
Great book can't put it down a great sequel to the first book can't wait to finish this one and start the next book
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on March 31, 2017
Loved the book. A interesting sequel to the Clan of the Cave bear. A must read.
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on May 15, 2017
This is very interesting story I love it
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on May 16, 2017
I'm really enjoying the series :)
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on July 7, 2004
After reading Clan of the Cave Bear, of course I had to read The Valley of Horses to find out what happened to Ayla.
Although I felt sometimes reminded of "The Island of The Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell, I found the author's descriptions of Ayla's life in the valley interesting and this is the only reason why I give this book four stars.
The story of Jondalar and his brother was often boring and towards the end of the book, I skip-read most of it. I find Mighty Hung Jon one of the most irritating characters I've ever encountered in a book. It would have done the story a lot of good if he hadn't been created as such a (physically) perfect specimAn.
The book as a whole would have profited from more thorough editing, especially the deletion of unnecessary and boring descriptions (e.g. of boat building). 100 pages less would have made a big difference!
All in all, I found it a nice, easy read for a lazy Saturday. The story is mostly predictable. No challenge whatsoever, except (sometimes) of my patience.
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on November 18, 2002
An out and out bad book. The dialogue is corny, and the scenes are quite boring especially those with Jondalar and Thonolan. I skipped a lot of pages because I couldn't bear to read through their dumb scenes. It's supposed to be prehistoric times but these two characters talk like they're in 2002 L.A. with the main goal of scoring on women. Pretty [bad]. How this book ever got good reviews from the critics is beyond me. The only interesting scenes are those with Ayla. Clan of the Cave Bear is really good but don't waste your time on this one.
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on March 20, 2004
Ayla's character is still strong and interesting. She survives years on her own in a land of beauty and danger. This part of the book is good, but the rest of the book details the travels of Jondalar, a physically perfect specimen with the mind of a 16-year old. His inner struggle with life-long prejudices and worries over social status become boring. And contrasting with the first book, this second book introduces numerous graphic sexual encounters that add nothing to the story. While the "Clan of the Cave Bears" is a wonderful book for teenagers, this one is definitely not. The best way to read it is to skip every other chapter and just follow the story of Ayla's survival.
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on January 10, 2003
Reading the recent reviews I was struck by the fact that this is fiction. It contains historical data, but it is still fiction and fiction writers can take some liberties.
The characters are well developed and the interplay between them is well written and interesting. It may very well be the best book of the series for this ellement.
Yes the book contains explicit sexual depictions although not anywhere near as distastful as some. Auel uses sex to demonstrate or cause changes in the characters, which is what any author should convey and use sex for.
I suspect the negative reviews are more a result of some people finding the material outside of their personal comfort zone, while others having found a wealth of great data about the time period forgot this was a novel and when something obviously non-historical appeared were left disappointed. This perhaps points out the series one great weakness - namely that blending history and fiction is not always an easy marriage.
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on February 24, 2002
After thoroughly enjoying the first book in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series, The Clan of the Cave Bear, I was really excited to get my hands on the second book, The Valley of Horses. This book is quite different from the first one, as Ayla is alone and we are introduced to the ways of the "Others" (the Cro-Magnons) through the experiences of traveling brothers Thonalan and Jondalar.
I did not enjoy The Valley of Horses as much as The Clan of the Cave Bear. In fact, it took me over a month to read it as opposed to the three days that it took to read the first book, because parts of Valley were plodding and didn't hold my interest. Even Ayla's survival as a loner, her hunting innovations, and her acquisition of an animal "family" grew tiresome after a while. I missed reading about her interaction with the Clan, namely Creb, Iza, and Uba. Also, Thonalan and Jondalar's journey to the end of the Great Mother River seemed to drag on, even with its inherent dangers and acceptance into the Sharamudoi clan.
The story picks up when Ayla finds Jondalar and amazes him with her beauty and many skills, and the ultimate point of The Valley of Horses is the love ignited by their chance meeting. Jondalar becomes Ayla's companion, which holds promise for the next books in the series, BUT Auel writes about their lovemaking in a very flowery and contrived manner--I could hardly read it without violently rolling my eyes.
Overall, I only finished The Valley of the Horses because I want to continue the series, especially to learn about Ayla's interaction with larger groups of Others and their possibly volatile reaction to her past with the Clan (who are called "flatheads" and regarded as filthy animals by the Others). Hopefully The Mammoth Hunters, the third in the series, will be more interesting to me.
The Valley of Horses actually receives 2 3/4 stars from me; I am rounding up to 3.
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on November 26, 2001
Earth Children Series:
The adventurous life of Ayla continues here in The Valley Of The Horses. This time she is no longer a child of 5 but 17 years old, living on her own for three years after being cursed and banished by the Clan who once adopted and accepted her. Here, we read the heart wretching moments of her loneliness, as well as her courage for survival. Although, some parts are a bit repetitive and flimsy, the experiementings, discoverings, trials and errors are an interesting read. I find Ayla's animal companions heart warming, her determination inspiring.
In this book, we are also introduce to Jondalar, a handsome & charasmatic Zelandonii, who travelled with his brother Thonolan's, searching for adventure. The brothers story have some appealing moments but it dragged on a little too much for my liking. I find myself skipping pages, anticipating the meeting of Ayla and Jondalar, which unfortunately didn't occur until the chapter 19th of this book (and 10 chapters later, the book ended. Imagine that!). For me, it took too long for both characters to finally meet up. Also, Thonolan's story seemed to distract me, perhaps I just didn't grasp the point of his story in this book. Nevertheless, Jondalar is an exciting character for Ayla. I enjoyed this book more as soon as the two met up. They not only learned about each other but from each other. After breaking the communication barrier, they shared ideas, exchange customs and experiences... then came the acceptance and love. I find their relationship a challenge, as well as intriguing.
However, I am sad to admit that this book didn't create a lasting impression on me. Compared to THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEARS, this one just didn't seem to completely move me nor did it captivated me. It is overall an average read, which I would still recommend especially to those who have started the Earth Childrens Series. I am hoping that the 3rd book of the series,THE MAMMOTH HUNTERS will be more to my liking.
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