1990 "First Edition" stated; Crown Publishers, New York; large hardbound in fawn and rust colored boards with gilt lettering on spine; "Jean M. Auel" signature embossed on cover; good condition with unmarked pages, slight list to binding; dust jacket has sun fading on spine (see pic).
The Plains of Passage is an historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel published in 1990. It is the sequel to The Mammoth Hunters and fourth in the Earth's Children series.
The Plains of Passage describes the journey of Ayla and Jondalar west along the Great Mother River (the Danube), from the home of The Mammoth Hunters (roughly modern Ukraine) to Jondalar's homeland (close to Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France). During this journey, Ayla meets the various peoples who live along their line of march. These meetings, the attitudes and beliefs of these groups, and Ayla's response form an essential part of the story.
Characters range in description from innocent to bloodthirsty, from serious to comical, from noble to corrupt, from found to lost, and from peaceful to violent. All of these adjectives apply in some way to either Jondalar or Ayla. Ayla (and to some extent Jondalar) is often viewed by her new friends as mystic or supernatural, partially due to her friendships with the world's first known domesticated horses and wolf, but also due to her generous natureand wisdom.
As they encounter people Jondalar and his brother met on their journey eastward they have a hard time leaving them, especially after an offer to become joined with a high-ranking Sharamudoi couple. Jondalar declines the offer, giving as excuse his desire to have the lead mystic of his people search for and help his deceased brother cross over to the other side.
It concludes with Ayla and Jondalar's successful return to the Zelandoni, and Ayla's stated pregnancy, and Whinney's definite pregnancy.
The Plains of Passage is one of the longer books in the Earth's Children series. It was followed by The Shelters of Stone.