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Ayla, the heroine first introduced in The Clan of the Cave Bear, is known and loved by millions of readers. Now, in The Plains of Passage, Ayla s story continues. Ayla and Jondalar set out on horseback across the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe. To the hunter-gatherers of their world--who have never seen tame animals--Ayla and Jondalar appear enigmatic and frightening. The mystery surrounding the woman, who speaks with a strange accent and talks to animals with their own sounds, is heightened by her uncanny control of a large, powerful wolf. The tall, yellow-haired man who rides by her side is also held in awe, not only for the magnificent stallion he commands, but also for his skill as a crafter of stone tools, and for the new weapon he devises, the spear-thrower. In the course of their cross-continental odyssey, Ayla and Jondalar encounter both savage enemies and brave friends. Together they learn that the vast and unknown world can be difficult and treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful and enlightening as well. All the pain and pleasure bring them closer to their ultimate destination, for the orphaned Ayla and the wandering Jondalar must reach that place on earth they can call home. As sweeping and spectacular as the land she creates, Jean M. Auel s The Plains of Passage is an astonishing novel of discovery, danger, and love, a triumph for one of the world s most original and popular authors."
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About the Author

JEAN M. AUEL's Earth's Children(R) series includes The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, and the forthcoming The Shelters of Stone. She and her husband, Ray, live in Oregon, where she is working on the sixth volume of the series.

Reviews

YA-- Auel follows the successful formula of the other books in this series--man's emergence from primitivism to civilization. Ayla and Jondalar continue their journey, accompanied by Whinny, Racer, and Wolf, closely observing the terrain and prudently, even inventively, developing ``modern'' techniques to deal with danger and evil. Perhaps most interesting is Ayla's triumph over the matriarchal despot Attaroa; the reverberating echoes of the women's movement's attendant strengths and weaknesses lend a nice touch of irony. The love scenes are not quite as steamy as in the other books. The conclusion is too abrupt, coming just as the characters reach their destination, but The Plains of Passage is still satisfying.-- Joan L. Reynolds, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA

"Pure entertainment at its sublime, wholly exhilarating, best... Auel, a superb raconteur, has crafted a consistently engaging adventure story with a solid historical underpinning." -- Los Angeles Times "Thrilling... This magical book is rich in details of all kinds... but it it the depth of the characters' emotional lives... that gives the novel such a stranglehold." --Cosmopolitan "Gripping." --Boston Sunday Herald From the Paperback edition.

The long-awaited fourth installment of the Earth's Children series is as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu. sure fire bestseller. Auel again describes her characters' travails, a passionate interest of millions of readers, in impeccably researched detail. The continuous recitation of flora and fauna, coupled with flashbacks to events in the previous books, becomes somewhat tiresome, however. (Would that our ``memory'' were as instinctual as that of the Clan.) The saga continues the cross-continental journey of Ayla, her mate Jondalar and their menagerie to his homeland. En route, they encounter a variety of problems, yet manage to find panaceas for each. Their enlightened compilation of skills, inventions, therapies and recipes transforms the voyagers into spirit-like personas providing The Others with constant awe. A brief encounter with the Neanderthal Clan rekindles the unique charm of the first (and strongest) book. Such locutions as ``out of the cooking skin into the coals'' or ``Mother's path of milk'' for the Milky Way are coyly anachronistic. Nonetheless, this volume is as welcome as letters from a long-lost friend. A novel 1.25 million first printing; major ad/promo; first serial to Ladies' Home Journal; BOMC main selection; author tour. (Oct.)

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