Jean Auel
The Plains of Passage
1990
With her companion, Jondolar, Ayla sets out on her most dangerous and daring journey — away from the welcoming hearth of the Mammoth Hunters, and into the unknown. Their odyssey spans a beautiful but treacherous continent, the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe, casting the bold pair among strangers. Some will become friends, intrigued by Ayla's ways of taming wild horses and wolves. Others will become fierce enemies, threatened by what they cannot understand. But always the orphaned Ayla and the wandering Jondolar will heed the voice and vision that urges them on, deeper into the dark and spectacular heart of an unmapped world. For they are driven to reach that place on earth they can call home. Together, they hold their future in their hands.

from the dustjacket of the Crown first edition:

Ayla, the heroine first introduced in The Clan of the Cave Bear, is known and beloved by millions of readers. The Earth's Children™ series is a national literary phenomenon. As fresh and new as the young earth itself, Jean M. Auel's brilliant epic transforms readers into passionate and devoted followers. Now, in The Plains of Passage, Ayla's story continues.

Ayla and Jondalar set out on horseback across the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe. To the hunter-gatherers of their world — who have never seen tame animals — Ayla and Jondalar appear enigmatic and frightening. The mystery surrounding the woman, who speaks with a strange accent and talks to animals with their own sounds, is heightened by her uncanny control of a large, powerful wolf. The tall, yellow-haired man who rides by her side is also held in awe, not only for the magnificent stallion he commands, but for his skill as a crafter of stone tools, and for the new weapon he devises, the spear-thrower.

In the course of their cross-continental odyssey, Ayla and Jondalar encounter both savage enemies and brave friends. Together they learn that the vast and unknown world can be difficult and treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful and enlightening as well. All the pain and pleasure bring them closer to their ultimate destination, for the orphaned Ayla and the wandering Jondalar must reach that place on earth they can call home.

As sweeping and spectacular as the land she creates, Jean M. Auel's The Plains of Passage is an astonishing novel of discovery, danger, and love, a triumph for one of the world's most original and popular authors.


JEAN M. AUEL lives in Oregon, where she is currently engaged in researching and writing the fifth novel in the Earth's Children™ series.