Book 3: The Shelters of Stone

TITLE: The Shelters of Stone
AUTHOR: Jean M. Auel
STARTED: January 25, 2016
FINISHED: March 24, 2016
PAGES: 896
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: People were gathering on the limestone ledge, looking down at them warily.

SUMMARY: [From BNThe Shelters of Stone opens as Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends, Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, complete their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar’s people: the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii fascinate Ayla. Their clothes, customs, artifacts, even their homes—formed in great cliffs of vertical limestone—are a source of wonder to her. And in the woman Zelandoni, the spiritual leader of the Ninth Cave (and the one who initiated Jondalar into the Gift of Pleasure), she meets a fellow healer with whom to share her knowledge and skills. But as Ayla and Jondalar prepare for the formal mating at the Summer Meeting, there are difficulties. Not all the Zelandonii are welcoming. Some fear Ayla’s unfamiliar ways and abhor her relationship with those they call flatheads and she calls Clan. Some even oppose her mating with Jondalar, and make their displeasure known. Ayla has to call on all her skills, intelligence, knowledge, and instincts to find her way in this complicated society, to prepare for the birth of her child, and to decide whether she will accept new challenges and play a significant role in the destiny of the Zelandonii.

THOUGHTS: For a book that takes almost 200 pages to describe one day of action... nothing feels long. Auel still suffers from explaining the same thing and people, over and over again, but the general storyline and characters make that easy to overlook. This series has sort of taken on an Outlander appeal to me. It's not longer about the plot, it's about enjoying time with characters. I'm along for the ride with them, whatever that may bring. There is only one book left in the series, so we shall see what is in store for Ayla and Jondalar's last adventures together.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]