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As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on the arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader. The wisdom that Ayla gained from her struggles as an orphaned child, alone in a hostile environment, strengthen her as she moves closer to leadership of the Zelandonia.
Whatever the obstacles, Ayla’s inventive spirit produces new ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life: searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals, experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandoni must take, honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And then, there are the Sacred Caves, the caves that Ayla’s mentor - the Donier, the First of the Zelandonia - takes her to see. These caves are filled with remarkable art - paintings of mammoths, lions, aurochs, rhinoceros, reindeer, bison, bear. The powerful, mystical aura within these caves sometimes overwhelms Ayla and the rituals of initiation bring her close to death. But through those rituals, Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change the world.
Spellbinding drama, meticulous research, fascinating detail, and superb narrative skill combine to make The Land of Painted Caves a captivating, utterly believable creation of a long ago civilization that serves as an astonishing end to this beloved saga.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By K on 04-02-11
Sorry but no...
I have been a fan for over 20yrs and I am sorry Jean, but you just left it too long. The story line was shallow to say the least and some bits were literally copy and pasted from other books. The narrator was fine so if like me you are a long time fan, do get it, you just can't not. But I think that like me you'll be somewhat deflated at the end of 36 hours.
94 of 94 people found this review helpful
By phillip on 03-30-11
Be careful what you wish for!
I've been in love with Ayla's story from Clan of the Cave Bear and the minute I closed the page on each and every book Ms. Auel created I was wishing for the next one. The wait was pretty long, but more than worth it every time. Except this time. I am so disappointed with book number 6 I actually had tears of frustration in my eyes while I was listening to it. As far as I can tell it breaks down into three main themes #1. Remembering old times (a nice way of saying stealing unabashedly from the other 5 books) #2 Discribing in mind numbing detail every painting in every cave that has ever had an echo in it ( I've heard of the title of a work saying it all, well this one says about 15 hours of it) #3 Action scenes that,while few and far between, are not even half hearted disguised rehashing of events from (you guessed it!) the other five books. With a minor theme in ( though it's majorly annoying ) multiple repetitions of "The Mother Song!" and no I haven't devolved into vulgarity, that's actually the name of the song. The only thing I can guess is that Ms. Auel sat looking at the 5 enormously large novels she wrote and decided enough was enough. As in new ideas, a new plot, etc...and now I am going to take an antacid and make myself a cup of tea, a cup of tea, a cup of tea, a cup of tea, a cup of tea, a cup of tea....
189 of 191 people found this review helpful