Sweet Mercy is Nobility’s True Badge: A review of Shelters of Stone: Book 5 of the Earth’s Children Saga by Jean M. Auel

After more than a year traveling and many dangers along the way, Ayla, Jondalar, Whinney, Racer and Wolf have made it home; back to the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii. And just in time for the Summer Meeting where Jondalar and Ayla will officially mate. Best of all Ayla and Whinney are pregnant. In my opinion this is the perfect culmination of the saga. There are a few hiccups upon their arrival especially when it comes to that all important status, and Ayla’s medical skills are called into question. Yet time and time over Ayla shows her knowledge and her will to be a good Zelandonii woman.

When Jondalar’s former love humiliates her in front of the entire cave, Ayla bears it with aplomb, ignoring the stares and snickers. Using reverse psychology, Ayla saves a young baby of the cave and their family. Ayla is adopted by the Zelandonii and is very pleased to mate Jondalar. She showsh her skill as a healer on several occasions which fuels the Zelandoni of the Ninth Cave who is First Among Those Who Serve the Mother to bring Ayla into the fold. After all Ayla knows too much NOT to be part of the Zelandonia. Ayla’s fire stones (iron pyrite) and her idea that men help start babies when they use women to “relieve their needs” make her dangerous, not to mention her knowledge of contraceptive teas.

The beliefs of the entire Zelandonia are challenged when Ayla can prove to them that people of the Clan are human, and not animals.

What lengths will Zelandoni-Who-Is-First go to in order to bring Ayla under her power?


About Navah Vesper Anat Yehudit

I am an avid fan of the Ballet, am expanding my tastes in Opera and all all Classical Arts. I enjoy Japanese art, needle craft, crochet, knitting, and though my past-times are old-fashioned, and some of my ideas are, that isn't necessarily a bad thing in this age of progress for the sake of progress.
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