Some of the novels in the “Earth’s Children” series include “The Clan of the Cave Bear,” “The Valley of Horses” and “The Mammoth Hunters.” Written by Jean M. Auel, the series is speculative historical fiction set during the Upper Paleolithic era, around 30,000 years ago.
Released in 1980, “The Clan of the Cave Bear” is the first book in the series. The book tells the story of Ayla, a young Cro-Magnon girl orphaned during an earthquake. Adopted by a tribe of Neanderthals, Ayla grows up as an outsider, reluctantly accepted by the clan. She soon draws the hatred of Broud, the young clan member destined to become their leader, in a tale of otherness, adaptation and survival.
“The Valley of Horses,” the second book in the series, resumes with story with Ayla, now 14 years old. Broud, finally the leader of the clan, banishes Ayla, who must leave behind her loved ones and travel through a landscape filled with danger. Meeting another pair of Cro-Magnon men, Ayla is torn between her desire to live with her own kind and her fear of leaving behind everything she knows.
In “The Mammoth Hunters,” the series’ third novel, Ayla finally meets a tribe of Cro-Magnons. Quickly accepted into the clan for her superior hunting skills, she has finally found a place to belong; however, Ayla finds herself caught between her passion for Ranec, the charismatic ivory carver, and Jondalar, a man whose life she once saved.