I love Ayla. This whole series is a test of a her strength and courage as she fights to survive in a dangerous new world.
Book 1 – Clan of the Cave Bear
The mixture of prehistoric setting and scientific language is kind of jarring at first but the style of the book; the colour and beauty of it more than makes up for it.
In the beginning, she is a scared little girl but without really knowing it, she understands she is meant for bigger things, despite always being pulled in the opposite direction by people she loves and the man who hates her.
The subtle ways they push her down and try to make her one of them only works to make her a stronger character, bound for great things.
Book 2 – The Valley of Horses
By the end of book 1, the ways of her clan are ingrained in her mind but is forces to go out on her own. Her survival now depends on her changing her ways to suit her new lifestyle.
On the flip side, I like how Auel weaves in Jondolar’s story and right from the beginning you know they are perfect for each other. She complements him and he relishes in her strength and independence.
This is the first time I’ve read books from a prehistoric perspective and the whole series is amazingly done. Auel’s discussions of the roles of women and men and notions of the spirit world paints a colourful picture of a growing society as they discover new things.