Earth’s Children Series: The Valley of Horses Review and The Land of the Painted Caves Giveaway!

Book: The Valley of Horses
Author: Jean M. Auel
Pages: 512
Published: June 25, 2002
The first line: “She was dead.”

Me and my dad have this deal where he reads one of my favorite modern series of books (in this case, The Hunger Games) and in return, I read a favorite series of his, in my case, The Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel.

I just finished the second book, and I have to say, I am totally in love with Ayla and Jondalar! Their interaction and love is so raw, so pure, and so sincere that I can’t stop thinking about them. My only gripe was that it took about 320 pages for them to meet!

Written with the authority and rich detail that Auel is famous for, the story follows Ayla on her journey to find “The Others.”

Cast away by her adopted Clan with a death-curse, Ayla is forced to leave the only home she has ever known. As she begins exploring the glacial plains, she heeds the advice of Iza, her deceased surrogate mother, and tries to find people of her own kind.

But instead, she stumbles upon a secluded cave in a picturesque valley of horses. With her strong will to survive and fierce determination to find a mate encouraging her, Ayla hones her skills in hunting, toolmaking, and weaving, carving a space for herself within the land. She befriends many animals and forges especially close kinship with a horse, and oddly enough, a cave lion.

The novel switches between Ayla, the strong heroine, and the highly attractive traveller, Jondalar, as he embarks on a journey to the end of the “Great Mother River” with his brother, Thonolan. When fate leads Jondalar to Ayla, her entire world is changed, awakening her to an entirely new view of life. Jondalar’s chivalry, attentiveness, and overall charm is so endearing, I found myself wishing for my own 6’5” Zelandonii flint knapper! He teaches Ayla not only how to speak, how to hunt, and how to create tools, but how to love.

Beautifully written and masterfully crafted, Auel takes you on wonderful adventure through the exotic and mysterious world of prehistoric life. I will be reading the entire series for sure!

And now for the giveaway!

Auel’s 6th and final book of The Earth’s Children Series, The Land of the Painted Caves, is being published March 29, 2011 by Crown Publishing.

To enter the giveaway for a free advanced copy of The Land of the Painted Caves, click here.

There are 20 copies available, which is great. But hurry, the giveaway ends January 31, 2011. Good luck!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Earth’s Children Series: The Valley of Horses Review and The Land of the Painted Caves Giveaway!

  1. matt

    sweet website gen!

  2. What a fun tradition! I bet that’s opened both of your eyes to some really awesome books. Great review! The book sounds interesting. 🙂

    • Genna Sarnak

      Hi Penelope! Yes, the tradition has lead to my reading some of my favorite books of all time (like Lord of the Rings)!

      Thanks so much for your kind words! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Spotlight on the Wordpress.Com Book Bloggers! « Randomize ME

  4. Such a shame that this giveaway is US-only! This series happens to be one of my mum’s favourites, though I’ve never personally read any of Auel’s books myself. Your review was so glowing that I feel like I ought to give them a try. 🙂 (The Lord of the Rings books are among my all-time favourites, too!)

    • Genna Sarnak

      Shivanee– Auel’s books are definitely worth reading! They can be a bit heavy at first, especially if you’re not into paleontology, history, and long-winded descriptions of the setting, land, and plants, but you have to just keep going! The characters are so intriguing, and Ayla is motivational, you cannot help but be drawn into the story and love her. Sorry this one is US only!

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