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Publisher's Summary

Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and, above all, courage.

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.

©2011 Jean M. Auel (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Land of Painted Caves

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

too much repetition

author repeated same information over and over in the book, how many times does wolf jump up, how many times is Jondalar favored by the mother etc etc etc.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Very redundant

Although I enjoyed finding out what had happened to Ayla and Jondalar after Ayla's agreement to begin training as a Zalandoni, this book vas mostly endless descriptions of cave visits, repetitions on past deeds as told to numerous new characters, and counless retellings of the mother song. I dont regret reading it, but didn't enjoy it as much as the rest of the series, especially the first two novels.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MLD
  • 2021-07-24

Rehash

The amount of repetition took up what it seems to be 3/4 of the book and the last quarter was disappointing. The book could have been so much better.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

Was disappointed that the story never came back to the clan. To much time spent wandering around cave to cave

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Caves, caves and ...yes, more caves!!

As always, Sandra Burr's narration brings everything described and everyone included in the last book of the epic story of the Earth's Children series, a great voice and character. So much so that she only needs to 'speak' and you know who is talking! The numerous caves come alive in one's mind too...Awesome!!

1 person found this helpful

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A real chore to read.

Want a book with either no plot, or a near exact copy of the plot you've already read in previous books on the series? Why choose?! This one has both! Super disappointed with this book. They got worse and worse as the series continued, but wow. This one plummeted so much further down than I had expected. By the end I was literally shaking my head and sighing, "are you kidding me with this garbage? Come on, at least put SOME effort into it!" As someone who doesn't like leaving things unfinished, I'm not sure which would have bothered me more - reading the book or not reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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Torture!

I stayed this series and felt obligated to finish it. Barley anything happens, they all live happily ever after. The repetition and lack of storeyline is torture. I'm so glad it's over, I how she never writes another book!

1 person found this helpful

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Not as good as the rest.

I didn't like this book as much as the rest of them it didn't have a steady plot line and I didn't like the turn some of the characters took and there wasn't really much of a conclusion.

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great book wish there was more!!

loved it.. can't believe this is the last book!!
oh I hope there is more coming..

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Wonderful


Altogether wonderful and realistic. Although some parts of the naration are repeated throughout the 6 books as well as whithin each book, it is done as reminders, or to emphasise important parts of Leila and Jondelar's lives. It is like when a teacher repeats some point so the students won't forget it. However, it never gets boring.
I had read the series many years ago and was happy to purchase all 6 audiobooks. I'm quite certain I will be listening to them again at some time in the more or less near future.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Courtney
  • 2011-04-04

Should have been titled "The Mother's Song"

I loved the first 5 books in the series, even Shelters of Stone, but this book was such an incredible let down after what, a ten year wait? My issues have to echo many of those posed by the other reviewers. I lost count of how many times "The Mother's Song" was repeated. Seriously, I found myself thinking on a number of occasions "she's not really going to make us read/listen to that again?!" I ended up fast forwarding through that annoyance on a number of occasions. I didn't mind the cave descriptions; I'm visually impaired, so a nice vivid description helps me picture what's around the characters much more.
Also, the events in the last part of the book are odd to me and seem remarkably out of character and forced. I really thought they seemed contrived, compared to the rest of the series. This book also, if it is the end of the series, ends very abruptly and I thought about going back and listening to the end again but I don't think its really worth it, if it didn't make enough of an impression on me the first time, I doubt it will the second. Plus, the "big discovery" is totally not one, though in the context of our species it is, but in the context of the story it wasn't...

I'm not saying don't read this book, just don't get your hopes up. I thought #5 had a much more tied together ending.

85 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 2011-04-02

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.

119 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • phillip
  • 2011-03-30

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....

219 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Fern
  • 2011-04-23

A Sad Disappointment

Three Great Reasons to Read This Book:
1) You loved the painful and almost dangerous love triangle of the Mammoth Hunters so much that you couldn't wait to relive it.
2) You are fascinated by cattails and their varied and numerous uses. (everything from period pads to savory side dishes)
3) You are an avid spelunker eager to vicariously explore the primitive caves of yesteryear.
Three Great Reasons NOT to Read This Book:
see above

Seriously, these characters have been a part of my life for many years. I am sad to say that I regret reading this final installment.

74 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Aunt Debbie
  • 2011-04-01

So tedious and so poorly narrated

I tried! I tried! So help me, I tried to listen to the book and enjoy it. It is sooooooooo boring, repetitive, so tedious that it repulses. The narrator is good reading straight text but poor doing characterizations. Then there's Ayla, the superwoman. She's so wonderful that it makes your teeth ache. Skip wherever you can. You won't miss much.

68 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 2011-04-05

Disappointment

After giving her readers five fantastic epic books to ponder and enjoy, Jean Auel insulted them by believing she could merely rehash what was scribed in her past writings. I was sorely disappointed that the book did not deliver what had been given in the past. If there were a way to get a refund for my money on an audible book, I would ask for one.

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • 2011-04-03

What a let down

I was so looking forward to this book. I have loved all the other books in this series. This is the first one that let me down. While it was good to read about some of the characters that were in the other books, it jumped around too much. It is almost as if there were story lines started and just left hanging. Yet some were done to death.. How many caves do we need to read about and how many times do we have to read the singing the Mother's Song? There is a part near the end of the book she could have left out. It really ticked me off. (I'll let you read it yourself!)

I do know that with so much time between books it is hard to keep somethings straight, but there were several errors that were glaring. As an end to a series this book just quit the same as the other ones. It would be nice to have if not a full novel at least a companion book to tie up the loose ends.

73 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kim G. Johnson
  • 2011-04-02

Blah Blah Blah

I normally love a LONG audio book - listen to them while out working on the farm - and I had read the other Earth's Children books but I am seriously doubtful I will finish this one. Maybe reading is a better way to go as you can skim over the so and so begat so and so in blah blah cave. Having to listen to all this dreck in the reader's rather wooden voice and cheesy accent is nearly unbearable. I am finding the dialog unrealistic ( how many times, from how many characters do we need to hear that giving water to a dead lion is a sacred tradition ) and boring. I haven't gotten very far in, hence the two stars-who knows, it may get better...but after several hundred audio books over the years, this may be the first I don't finish ( but I probably will finish it-farming is possibly even more boring than this book)!

66 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 2011-04-18

Hate Hate Hate

I was screaming at the radio, She repeated herslf so many times with no new concepts, I wanted to die. I listened to the whole thing, but I am glad it is over. I am very disappointed.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Brandi
  • 2011-04-15

This book is a waste of time...

If you read (or listened to) the first five books, you'll find this one a MAJOR disappointment. There's no real conclusion, nothing unexpectedly significant happens, and there's an annoying amout of repetition...not just explaining things that happened in previous books, but also repeating things in this one. It's as if it was written by someone else who had only the previous books to work from and was told not to develop the characters further, or writing anything unexpected or conclusive. This book is a waste of time.

17 people found this helpful