The third book of the Earth’s Children series is another amazing adventure centring around one of the most intriguing characters that I have ever read about, Ayla. First being taken in by The Clan and learning to survive as one of them, to learning to live on her own before finally meeting someone of her, own race Ayla has exceeded all expectations. In this book, The Mammoth Hunters, she takes the next steps and meets with an entire community of people of her own race. This is an incredible feet for any woman of any day an age, but Ayla manages it with courage and grace and none of the detail is missed within these pages.
Jondalar and Ayla decide it would be good to go on a short journey to explore nearby areas not far from the cave. The last thing that they had expected was to discover there were people of the “Others”, especially so close. Met with friendly ardour, it isn’t long before Ayla is surrounded by an entire community much like the Clan of her childhood, and although the language was of a differing dialect, she is able to communicate and thus beginning another exciting new adventure with Mamatoui of the Lion Camp. The enormity of meeting many people at the same time for one such as Ayla must have seemed monumental, but she manages to make friends, and become one of them.
There is a lot of strangeness for Ayla, and these people have a lot to offer. But Ayla manages to prove her worth also, even giving Rydag, a child of mixed spirits, a way to communicate with the only people he has ever known. But this is only one of her many accomplishments. Another one of her feet’s is when, in complete “Ayla style”, she raises a young wolf cub orphaned by hunting. Wolf, becomes another animal to add to the menagerie of animals believed to be under her power as they watch them submit to her will.
Jondalar remains an integral part of Ayala’s life, but with the incorporation of more people it becomes apparent to her that he isn’t the only one able to stir feelings within her. The strange dark skinned man with laughing eyes beguiles her. But she also realised that her physical reaction doesn’t necessarily change her heart. It’s just a shame Jondalar doesn’t realise this earlier!
It is in this novel that Ayla realises that she will never see her son Durc again, no matter how she dreams it and her heart demands it. And she learns finally to let go, not ever forget but to find peace in the letting go. This another accomplishment that most modern day women wouldn’t be able to follow through.
The Mammoth Hunters is a fantastic novel, in which as with previous tittle’s, has had me pouring over the pages for hours nonstop. I would recommend this book again to anyone who enjoys history and fantasy mixed together. I give it a rating of 10/10 stars.