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Ice Age Europe is brought to life in The Mammoth Hunters.
In this, the third book in Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series, Jondalar and Ayla set off on a long journey toward his home. They won’t arrive there until the fifth novel, however. In this one, they encounter more people like themselves, called the Mamutoi, the mammoth hunters. Ayla finds friends within the Mamutoi and they adopt her as a much-loved member of their village.
It is also there that she almost loses Jondalar. Being unfamiliar with the customs of her people, she “thinks” like the clan she was raised in. As a result, and not realizing she has a choice, she accepts an invitation from “Ranec” to couple with him. She likes him and moves into his shelter away from Jondalar, the man she really loves. She doesn’t understand when Jondalar avoids her, and seems angry. I missed the love affair between Ayla and Jondalar, and would’ve preferred less time with Ranec. However, in the end she and Jondalar are reunited.
There is the usual excitement and suspense in this novel that the first two provide. I particularly enjoyed the humorous return of “Baby” the cave lion, and how shocked the Mamutoi were when Ayla climbed on his back and rode him.
Jean Auel’s fascinating Cro-Magnon exploits and details never fail to enthrall. Although this is not my favorite book in her series, it’s well worth reading. Don’t miss it, especially since it precedes the fourth and second best book in the series, The Plains of Passage.
Hardcover: 690 pages Language: English Publisher: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 0-517-55627-8 ASIN: B001GTX92A