Genre: Historical Fiction / Prehistoric / Romance / Adult / Fantasy
First, if you haven't yet, read my reviews of Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses, which are the first 2 books in the Earth's Children series. If you've already read those books and/or my reviews of them proceed.
This is the third book in the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel. In this book Ayla and Jondalar find themselves in a new group of people. Ayla has found a baby wolf cub which she raises, she names him Wolf. Jondalar is finding it hard to express is feelings, and Ayla is too. They've become two people of the same world, yet so separate from each other, despite their desires that everyone sees but them.
THE SWEEPING ODYSSEY CONTINUES
ONCE AGAIN, JEAN M. AUEL OPENS THE DOOR OF TIME TO REVEAL AN AGE OF WONDER AND TERROR AT THE DAWN OF HUMANITY. With all the consummate storytelling artistry and vivid authenticity she brought to The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequel, The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla. Now, with her devoted Jondalar, Ayla boldly sets forth into the land of the Mamutoi--the Mammoth Hunters, the Others she has been seeking. Though Ayla must learn their strange customs and language, it is because of her uncanny hunting and healing skills that she is adopted into the Mammoth Hearth. Here Ayla finds her first women friends, and painful memories of the Clan she left behind. Here, too, is Ranec, the dark-skinned, magnetic master carver of ivory tusks to whom Ayla is irresistibly drawn--setting Jondalar on fire with jealousy. Throughout the icy winter, Ayla is torn between her two men. But soon will come the great spring mammoth hunt, when Ayla must choose her mate and her destiny--to remain in the Hearth with Ranec, or to follow Jondalar into a far--off place and an unknown future.
I actually chose to read this for a project for my English 201: Critical Thinking Through Literature class. I don't know if having it be a project for class made it harder to read, or if it was just the content of the story that bothered me so. I think maybe it was a little of both.
I can't honestly give this more than a 3 out of 5. It had elements that I liked of course, like Mamut. I also liked the little wolf cub and Rydag. Most of the characters though, I couldn't really connect with. I did sort of like the relationship between Deegie and Ayla, but I wished there was more to it. Also, I seriously hated Ranec just about from the beginning. By the end, I practically loathed him.
If you've read the first 2 books, and aren't much for turmoil between two people who love each other, you might not enjoy this book. It's still worth reading to lead into the next book. If you've enjoyed the series so far, you should keep reading. If you enjoy Ayla's connection with animals, this will not disappoint in that aspect. She also learns a few new techniques, so if that was something you enjoyed in the past books, you will probably enjoy that in this one also.
Here are some quotes/lines I enjoyed:
She loved him, more than she could ever find words for, but this love he felt for her was not quite the same. It wasn't so much stronger, as more demanding, more insistent. As though he feared he would lose that which he had finally won.
“You weren't being punished. You were waiting for me.”
Ayla just didn't seem like a woman who was about to join and establish a new hearth with a man she loved. There was no joy, no excitement. Something was missing. Something called Jondalar.
Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.