25 Apr 2014

V is for Valley of Horses #AtoZChallenge

A few years ago I was given a (very large) book called The Clan of the Cave Bear. At first glance I probably grimaced (I wasn't particularly fond of books that could almost outweigh War and Peace - okay, okay so maybe I'm exaggerating... just a little bit) and so I shoved it to the back of my over-stuffed book case. After my friend's later asked me if I'd read it yet, I blushed and came up with some excuse. 'But you must read it... you'll not be able to put it down.'
After a little more coaxing and convincing, I picked it up and delved in. OMG... it was AMAZING. For such a big book, I soon found I'd finished it. The whole entire ginormous paperback. Gasping for more, I headed to the local charity book shop and whooped for joy when I found the sequel - The Valley of Horses.
Hard to put down, this is one of those series that leaves you desperately wanting Hollywood to make the movie. 'Oh but they did', I was told. 'Back in 1986 with Daryl Hannah'. Apparently it bombed. Such a shame. Hollywood... it's time for a grand re-make!

The Clan of the Cave Bear

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

The Valley of Horses

Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship.
One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don’t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.

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