2011 1st edition; Crown Publishers, New York; large hardbound in ivory and ochre boards with author signature embossed on front cover; very good condition, appears unread; dust jacket very good; a wonderful book (see pics).
The Land of Painted Caves is a historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel published in March 2011. It is the sequel to The Shelters of Stone – published 9 years earlier – and is the sixth and final book in the Earth's Children series. It describes Ayla's life among the Zelandonii, and her training to become one of their spiritual leaders.
In this three-part book, Ayla is 20 (in part 1), about 23 (in part 2) and 26 (in part 3) and is training to become a spiritual leader for the Zelandonii. Most of the first and second parts of the book involve Ayla's acolyte training to become Zelandoni. The third part of the book contains most of the action of the story and plot line.
In the first part, Ayla is at a Summer Meeting and she begins to learn what an acolyte does. Ayla and the First decide to start Ayla's Donier Tour - a tour of the sacred caves in the wider region. Jondalar, Jonayla, their animals and many others decide to travel. The second part is mainly about the caves they visit. In many of the Sacred caves the Ancients, the people before the Zelandonii, left drawings. Ayla meets many other Zelandoni and one of them gives her a pouch of dried herbs smelling faintly of mint. Ayla also discovers that the Clan visit some of the sacred caves as well.
In the third part of the book, Ayla is marking the passage of the sun and moon's phases as part of her training as an acolyte. One night she is distracted...