The Land of Painted Caves: Earth's Children, Book Six
Jean M. Auel
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In this, the extraordinary conclusion of the ice-age epic series, Earth’s Children®, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte to a spiritual leader and begins arduous training tasks.
Whatever obstacles she faces, Ayla finds inventive ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life, searching for wild edibles to make meals and experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandonii must take while honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And there are the Sacred Caves that Ayla’s mentor takes her to see. They are filled with remarkable paintings of mammoths, lions, and bears, and their mystical aura at times overwhelms Ayla.
But all the time Ayla has spent in training rituals has caused Jondalar to drift away from her. The rituals themselves bring her close to death, but through them Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change her world.
Sixth in the acclaimed Earth’s Children® series
and was surprised at the sting of tears she fought to hold back at Levela’s willing acceptance of her. Growing up, Ayla hadn’t had many friends. Girls of the Clan mated at a young age, and Oga, the one who might have been close, had become Broud’s mate, and he wouldn’t allow her to be too friendly with the girl of the Others that he had come to hate. She loved Iza’s daughter, Uba, her Clan sister, but she was so much younger, she was more like a daughter than a friend. And while the other women
have accidents, and some people are born with worse problems. I don’t think you can let it stop you from living. Your face is not that bad, and with time the scars will fade and won’t show as much. The scars on your hands and probably your arms are worse, but you can use your hands, can’t you?” “Some. Not the way I used to.” “They will get better, too.” “How do you know so much? Who are you?” the woman said. “I am Ayla of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandoni,” Ayla said, holding out her hands in
the small stream, but when she stood up, she didn’t see him and wondered if it was her imagination. The stallion was glad to see Jondalar. The other horses were, too, but he didn’t want to take them. He was in the mood for a long run alone. When they reached the open plains, Jondalar urged the horse into a thundering gallop across the land. Racer seemed just as eager to live up to his name. Jondalar wasn’t paying much attention to where they were going, or where they were. Suddenly, he was
said. “She did it out of hurt and anger; that’s why she chose the man she did. She didn’t want Laramar, she wanted to get back at Jondalar. That doesn’t Honor the Mother, and she knows it. Neither of them is without fault, but I think both of them are trying to take all the blame on themselves, and that doesn’t help.” “No matter who takes the blame, Jondalar will still a have a harsh penalty to pay,” Marthona said. “I can’t blame Laramar for not wanting to return to the Ninth Cave, and I’m glad
imaginary cave, using both hands and feet. “The sun was shining and he was thirsty. As he headed for the river, he began to notice that something was strange. For one thing, he was seeing things from a different angle, as though he were lower to the ground. When he reached the edge of the stream, he felt the cold water on his feet as though he didn’t have any foot-coverings on. When he looked down, he didn’t see feet at all; he saw paws, the paws of a wolf. “At first he was confused. Then he