Book: The Valley of Horses (Book #2 in Earth’s Children Series)
Author: Jean M. Auel
Who should read this book: Lovers of historical fiction, romance lovers, and anyone who read Clan of the Cave Bear.
The Valley of Waiting
This is book 2 in a 5 part series called Earth’s Children. I wrote a review of book 1 Clan of the Cave Bear which you can read here. SPOILER WARNING. FYI. This review will also contain spoilers but they aren’t too crazy so heads up.
At the end of book 1, Ayla has been banished from her Clan by the evil Broud. The Valley of Horses is where she ends up after searching for many months for the Others. Aka. the homo sapiens that look like her. She doesn’t find anyone. But she does find a really good cave to hole up in for the winter and because she is a survivalist, she hunkers down. Ayla stays there for a few years collecting animal companions and living off the land.
Throughout the book we are flipping back and forth between the story of what Ayla is up to and this new collection of characters of which Jondalar is at the center. It’s told to us quite clearly that the handsome, lonely homo sapiens Jondalar is looking for a particular type of woman, which when described is definitely Ayla. SO thank you for the foreshadowing Auel but it took forever for them to meet!!!
Guys, I got so excited that Ayla was finally going to find some love from this hunk and experience sex with pleasure instead of just being a vessel for a man to relieve himself. But then I was waiting and waiting for their story lines to converge! I’m talking the last quarter of the book. The anticipation was killing me. Get to the sexy stuff!!
They finally meet after Ayla rescues him from death by lion. She heals him up with her medicine woman skills and they discover they can’t talk to each other. Jondalar is very intrigued by this mysterious women that is all alone, can heal serious wounds, and has a crazy connection with all the animals around. Plus she hunts like a badass which totally floats his boat.
He first teaches her to speak his language so they can communicate and she picks it up quickly. But even though Jondalar frequently pops UP if you know what I mean, they can’t figure out how to communicate about sex. Jondalar comes from a place where women have a say in their sexual partners and both parties experience pleasure from it. Whereas Ayla only knows sex as something painful that must be tolerated because men are in charge and they need to relieve themselves in any women they want. So whenever Jondalar gets a boner, Ayla waits for him to signal his need to use her vagina. But Jondalar thinks that Ayla is a medicine women that practices celibacy so he gets all embarrassed and tries to hide the big thing every time. So they are confused.
When they finally get it on, it’s definitely worth the wait and they fall in love and do it all the time at the end of the book, so thank you Jean M. Auel. 10/10 rating for the sex scenes. Also I cried real tears when they declared their love for each other, so extra points for that.
The book ends with them travelling and meeting some more of the Others. They are a pair now and I’m excited to see what they get up to in the next book.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, these books are really good. Though I complain about the lack of sex, the writing style and details given by Auel are fantastic. It’s definitely a book that can help you escape from reality for a while and feel excited about what this badass girl can do.
PS. Ayla is 17 at the end of this book and she’s already done more in her life than I probably ever will.