Authors: Jean M. Auel
Tags: #Historical fiction
“Auel brings alive a world that has been irretrievably lost to us.”
“Thrilling … This magical book is rich in details of all kinds … but it is the depth of the characters’ emotional lives … that gives the novel such a stranglehold.”
“Pure entertainment at its sublime, wholly exhilarating, best … Auel, a superb raconteur, has crafted a consistently engaging adventure story with a solid historical underpinning.”
—Los Angeles Times
“A gripping story … A major book that truly has something for everyone and can only enhance her high reputation as a writer, storyteller, and historian.”
—Boston Sunday Herald
“An admirable job … exhilarating, exciting and believable.”
“As welcome as letters from a long-lost friend … Impeccably researched … as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu.”
“Has an ending so good I will be standing in line when book five gets here.”
This eBook version of
THE PLAINS OF PASSAGE
contains bonus content not found in the printed version.
A Sneak Preview from
THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES
Read an exciting preview from Jean M. Auel’s
The Land of Painted Caves
, on sale in hardcover in Spring 2011.
Read excerpts from each of the novels in the
Q&A with Jean M. Auel
In this special Q&A, Jean M. Auel discusses her bestselling
This edition contains the complete text
of the original hardcover edition.
NOT ONE WORD HAS BEEN OMITTED
The Plains of Passage
A Bantam Book / published by arrangement with Crown Publishers
Crown edition published 1990
Bantam export edition / October 1991
Bantam edition / November 1991
Bantam reissue / March 2002
Bantam trade edition / July 2002
is a trademark of Jean M. Auel
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1990 by Jean M. Auel
Map copyright © by Rafael Palacios after Auel
Excerpt from The Land of Painted Caves copyright 2010 by Jean M. Auel.
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This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming book The Land of Painted Caves. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.
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the last to come home,
whose namesake appears in these pages
and for MICHAEL,
who looks forward with her
and for DUSTIN JOYCE and WENDY,
Novels by Jean M. Auel
THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR
THE VALLEY OF HORSES
THE MAMMOTH HUNTERS
THE PLAINS OF PASSAGE
THE SHELTERS OF STONE
And the latest novel in the
THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES
he woman caught a glimpse of movement through the dusty haze ahead and wondered if it was the wolf she had seen loping in front of them earlier.
She glanced at her companion with a worried frown, then looked for the wolf again, straining to see through the blowing dust. “Jondalar! Look!” she said, pointing ahead.
Toward her left, the vague outlines of several conical tents could just be seen through the dry, gritty wind.
The wolf was stalking some two-legged creatures that had begun to materialize out of the dusty air, carrying spears aimed directly at them.
“I think we’ve reached the river, but I don’t think we’re the only ones who wanted to camp there, Ayla,” the man said, pulling on the lead rein to halt his horse.
The woman signaled her horse to a stop by tightening a thigh muscle, exerting a subtle pressure that was so reflexive she didn’t even think of it as controlling the animal.
Ayla heard a menacing growl from deep in the wolf’s throat and saw that his posture had shifted from a defensive stance to an aggressive one. He was ready to attack! She whistled, a sharp, distinctive sound that resembled a bird call, though not from a bird anyone had ever heard. The wolf gave up his stealthy pursuit and bounded toward the woman astride the horse.
“Wolf, stay close!” she said, signaling with her hand at the same time. The wolf trotted beside the dun yellow mare as the woman and man on horseback slowly approached the people standing between them and the tents.
A gusty, fitful wind, holding the fine loess soil in suspension, swirled around them, obscuring their view of the spear holders. Ayla lifted her leg over and slid down from the horse’s back. She knelt beside the wolf, put one arm over his back and the other across his chest, to calm him and hold him back if necessary. She could feel the snarl rumbling in his throat and the eager tautness of muscles ready to spring. She looked up at Jondalar. A light film of powdery dirt coated the shoulders and long flaxen hair of the tall man and turned the coat of his dark brown mount
to the more common dun color of the sturdy breed. She and Whinney looked the same. Though it was still early in the summer, the strong winds off the massive glacier to the north were already desiccating the steppes in a wide band south of the ice.
She felt the wolf tense and strain against her arm, then saw someone new appear from behind the spear holders, dressed as Mamut might have dressed for an important ceremony, in a mask with aurochs’s horns and in clothes painted and decorated with enigmatic symbols.
The mamut shook a staff at them vigorously and shouted, “Go away, evil spirits! Leave this place!”
Ayla thought it was a woman’s voice shouting through the mask, but she wasn’t sure; the words had been spoken in Mamutoi, though. The mamut dashed toward them shaking the staff again, while Ayla held back the wolf. Then the costumed figure began chanting and dancing, shaking the staff and high-stepping toward them quickly, then back again, as though trying to scare them off or drive them away, and succeeding, at least, in frightening the horses.