Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Land of Painted Caves - new Jean M Auel novel in the pipeline

The final instalment in one of the best selling and most beloved historical fiction series has been announced. The Land of Painted Caves will be the sixth and last novel in the Earth’s Children series by Jean M Auel and publication date for this widely anticipated book will be on March 29, 2011, by Hodder & Stoughton.

The book will be simultaneously published worldwide, including the UK, Italy, Sweden, Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Serbia, Croatia, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Japan.
The Land of Painted Caves will continue the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, as Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni – one of the Ninth Cave community’s spiritual leaders and healers. Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago, rendering the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs, creativity and daily lives of Ice Age Europeans as real to the reader as today’s news.

The Earth’s Children series has staggering worldwide sales - more than 45 million copies, including nearly 22 million copies in the United States alone - showing the immense popularity of this prehistoric series. It has consistently made publishing history, beginning with the groundbreaking first novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), and continuing with The Valley of Horses (1982); The Mammoth Hunters (1985), which was the first hardcover to achieve a first printing of more than a million copies; The Plains of Passage (1990); and The Shelters of Stone (2002), which debuted at Number 1 on sixteen international bestsellers lists.

I know this series immensely popular here in New Zealand as well and I am in no doubt it will top the best seller list here when it is released. Are you a fan of this series? What is it that appeals so greatly to you? Are you looking forward to this final instalment in the series? I must admit I have tried and failed to get into this series, so go ahead and try and sway me to give it another try :)


Lee said...

These books are phenomenally deep, well researched and illustrated. I have read and reread the series too many times to count. I have fallen in love with the characters, and feel that I know them intimately.
Though I very seldom turn a book down, there are very few that I find myself willing to read over and over again. Despite my frustration in terms of how long it has taken for the series to reach completion, I have had to replace this series twice, the pages so well loved that they fell apart.
I can hardly wait to find out what happens with Ayla and Jondalar, and to get to know her new baby jonayla.
I would give this series some serious effort. Though it is true that there are many areas which I struggled to get through, there are many others where they pages seem to turn themselves. There are times I laugh out lound, and times I cry real tears. I can see everything that happens in perfect detail.
Don't give up on these books, ones of this caliber don't come along often. In fact, I would compare Diana Gabaldons series. There are only three series that have well respected homes on my beloved book shelves, books so well read that I could flip to any page in any book and know what has happened already, what is yet to come.

Cassandra said...

When I first found out, I almost screamed! I've been waiting for the last one to come out ever since I first started the books (maybe 5 years ago). I actually just got the chance to BUY the series, and I'm missing the first and last book. I'm reading it again right now, and I can't WAIT for the last one to finally come out!
I will be very sad though, to finish the series, because it'll finally be done. :(

Jessica said...

This series is very addictive. It compiles good research with a fantasy story.

If you cannot get into this series I would suggest starting with The Mammoth Hunters. This is the most upfront book in the series. The others have long descriptive scenes and can be challenging to read through. Once you've read that you can decide to go back to the first book, or move on through the rest of the series!

Anonymous said...

Clan of the Cave Bear was very enjoyable, though the plot’s weakness shows at the end when the author resorts to impossibly childish plot complications to save herself as when Ayla and Creb "have difficulties" and can't reconcile. Every succeeding novel just gets more and more childish. There are certain sections that I like and re-read, but there are vast swathes of the pages that that are pretty much virgin. To read a hunted mammoth described as "bellowing behemoth" and "plunging pachyderm" in the same sentence gives you a slight flavor of what I mean. "Jondalar loved too much.... nobody could accept the size of his love..." is that a comment on his penis, which was apparently celebrated in 5 cultures and on two continents, or his temper tantrums? I adore reading about how Ayla and J invent fire, funeral bouquets, sewing, pet cats, pet dogs, horseback riding, sledding, going down on one knee to propose, genetics and conception, bras, you name it, it started wtih them. Auel is clever sometimes working these cultural landmarks into her plot. Most of the time, it's been led up to for so long it's a shaggy dog story by the time you get to the punch line. Hey, maybe Ayla invented shaggy dog stories too!

Anonymous said...

As God is my witness, until today, I thought Shelters of Stone was the book that ended the series. lol. By the way, our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand as you deal with the aftermath of the earthquake. Prayers and best wishes and please feel free to ask for ANY help you need from your friend, we in the United States.

Anonymous said...

I have read and reread this series so many times that I'm on my third set.

The language can get... tedious, but the growth of the characters, the story line and the incredible research really make it worth it.

I've been reading these books since I was 11 (probably too young, ha!) and I've read them at least once a year since then. I've already requested to have March 29 off work.

I cannot wait!

Emily said...

I think that beauty of this series is actually that they are so childish. I have a real fondness for humourless trash and I really think that this series delivers. I find it hysterical that Ayla has invented every object that is current in our culture and am fully expecting her to have invented the internet by the end of the series. The stroppiness of jondalar feeds the fourteen year old in me who wants to experience unrequited love and heartbreaking misunderstandings. I can't say that I'd date Jondalar and I find Ayla's nymphimania frankly unhealthy but the deadpan earnestness of them as characters really does make me grin. Could do without the 'erotica' however - how is exhaustive description about the technicalities of cunnilingus sexy? And the descriptions of drooling mammoth sex ...?

H.Scope said...

The Earths Children Series of Books had me spellbound. I cannot wait until Tuesday.

Linda said...

You know what? When Clan of the Cave Bear first came out, I did the same. I read about 1/4 of the book, and put it aside...for about 8 years.

I had foot surgery on BOTH feet, and was laid up, and decided to give it another try. I wanted to see what all of the hoopla was about.

So, I started all over, since it was so long since I started it before. At about the same spot (I believe) I started to want to read something else, but kept on.

At about 1/2 of the way through, I was hooked. I had to read more. I also had the next 2 books on the shelf, and when I finished the first, I plowed right into the second and the third. I then had to hunt down the 4th one.

All I can say is that after the 4th one, I looked all over the internet to find out if there was another, because there were too many loose ends.

I called her publisher in New York, to get information. I was told that she had gotten sick, and couldn't work on it now. That all of the research was done, but that she had to put it all together.

She is phenomenal. All of the research she does to have things correct. Very vivid stories. I am not crazy about the sex scenes, I tend to fast-forward them.

But the reason I personally have followed Ayla, is that I can relate to her. Many of the things that happened to Ayla, happened to me. I love reading a story with a strong woman in it. Not overbearing, but that she can handle life, and what it throws at her.

You will not be sorry, but hang in there, keep reading. It just might change the way you look at some things, especially our past.

I love Ayla so much, that I use the username: Ayla at any club I join. If it is already taken, then I get creative, my main username is: ArcticAyla.

My family knows how much I follow Ayla, and my granddaughter named her first daughter after me....sorta....yup, you guessed it, AYLA.

I told my granddaughter that she can tell Ayla that her name has a history, and 6 books about the original Ayla.

Well, I guess I have talked enough. But if you want more convincing, contact me at:, I am sure I can find a way to convince you!