The third novel in the Earth's Children series, Jean M. Auel's internationally bestselling epic of life 25,000 years ago when two kinds of human beings, Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon, shared the earth.
Leaving the valley of horses with Jondalar, the handsome man she has nursed back to health and come to love, Ayla embarks on a journey that will lead her to the Mamutoi, the Mammoth Hunters, who are Others like her.
As she settles into this new life among a people at first strange and disturbingly different, soon Ayla begins to feel at home, finally leaving her painful memories of the Clan behind and finding female friends. Yet Ayla is also drawn to Ranec, the dark-skinned, magnetic master-carver of ivory.
Ayla must choose: remain with Ranec and the Mamutoi, or follow Jondalar into the unknown . . .
Set 25,000 years in the past, yet utterly relatable today, The Mammoth Hunters is an epic tale of love, identity and the struggle to survive, rich in detail of language, culture, myth and ritual.
Praise for Jean M. Auel
'Beautiful, exciting, imaginative' New York Times
'A major bestseller . . . A remarkable work of imagination' Daily Express
The authenticity of background detail, the lilting prose rhythms and the appealing conceptual audacity that won many fans for The Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of the Horses continue to work their spell in this third installment of Auel's projected six-volume Earth's Children saga set in Ice Age Europe. The heroine, 18-year-old Ayla, cursed and pronounced dead by the "flathead'' clan that reared her, now takes her chances with the mammoth-hunting Mamutoi, attended by her faithful lover, Jondalar. Gradually overcoming the prejudice aroused by her flathead connection, Ayla wins acceptance into the new clan through her powers as a healer, her shamanistic potential, her skill with spear and slingshot and her way with animals (she rides a horse, domesticates a wolf cub, both ``firsts,'' it would seem, and even rides a lion). She also wins the heart of a bone-carving artist of ``sparkling wit'' (not much in evidence), which forces her to make a painful choice between the curiously complaisant Jondalar, her first instructor in love's delights, and this more charismatic fellow. The story is lyric rather than dramatic, and Ayla and her lovers are projections of a romantic rather than a historical imagination, but readers caught up in the charm of Auel's story probably won't care. 750,000 first printing; $300,000 ad/promo; paperback rights to Bantam; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club dual main selections; author tour. Foreign rights: Jean Naggar. December 6