The Shelters of Stone

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The Shelters of Stone
The Shelters of Stone cover.jpg
Author Jean M. Auel
Country United States
Language English
Series Earth's Children
Genre Historical fiction
Publisher Crown
Publication date
April 30, 2002
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 753 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-609-61059-7 (hardback)
OCLC 48892350
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3551.U36 S54 2002
Preceded by The Plains of Passage
Followed by The Land of Painted Caves

The Shelters of Stone is a historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel published in April 2002. It is the sequel to The Plains of Passage – published 12 years earlier – and fifth in the Earth's Children series. It describes the return of Jondalar to his homeland along with Ayla.

Plot summary[edit]

Central to this book is the tension created by Ayla's healing art, her pregnancy, and the acceptance of her by Jondalar's people, the Zelandonii. Ayla was raised by Clan Neanderthals, known as "flatheads" to the Zelandonii and viewed as no better than animals. For the Zelandonii to accept Ayla they must first overcome their prejudice against the Neanderthals. Luckily for Ayla and Jondalar, some of the higher-ranking Zelandonii already have doubts of this misjudgment.

Two of their number, Echozar and Brukeval, are of partial Neanderthal ancestry and are ashamed of it. Echozar at least is pacified by Ayla's own story and by his (Echozar's) own marriage to Joplaya, Jondalar's close-cousin (half-sister). Brukeval, on the other hand, rejects his heritage utterly and refuses to listen to reason.

Jondalar's first romantic interest, Zelandoni, formerly known as Zolena, has now become the First among the spiritual leaders. She supports adopting Ayla into their society, if not least for the healing arts she brings to the cave, although Ayla also must overcome the feeling that she is uncomfortable with a full connection with the spirit world. After Ayla helps a mortally injured hunter live long enough to see his mate, the First senses that Ayla needs to be brought into the fold of the Zelandonia (mystics, named after their culture so as to identify themselves with it) so that she will be accepted as a healer by all the people of the cave.

At one point, Ayla persuades the native mothers to nurse a neglected infant, on the pretext that even a "flathead" would have done so in their place. This both shames them into agreeing (as noted by Jondalar's sister-in-law, Proleva) and educates the Zelandonii in the ways of their ex-neighbors.

Ayla is drawn ever closer to an as-yet-undetermined role in the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii. Her knowledge of the healing arts as well as hunting force her to accept a role in the spiritual leadership of the group.

Through it all Jondalar is waiting for the summer meeting and matrimonial that will finally "tie the knot" for the two of them. This has been his ultimate goal since The Valley of Horses. Their daughter, Jonayla, named for her mother's belief a man's "essence" creates babies, which leads to Jondalar and Ayla each being part of the baby, not just their spirits, is born sometime after this event. Not long after the birth, Ayla finally decides to become Zelandonii's acolyte, if only so that the members of the Zelandonii will accept her as a healer.

This book is set in what is now the Vézère valley, near to Les Eyzies, in the Dordogne, southwest France. It was relatively densely populated in prehistoric times, with many open cliff-top dwellings that can still be seen, some of which have been turned into tourist attractions. The national museum of prehistory is located in this valley. Ayla also discovers the world-famous cave of Lascaux, which her adopted people subsequently paint.


Character List[edit]

Ninth cave of the Zelandonii[edit]

Ayla - of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, formerly Ayla of the Lion Camp of the Mamutoi, Daughter of the Mammoth Hearth, Chosen by the Spirit of the Cave Lion, Protected by the Cave Bear, Friend of the horses, Whinney and Racer, and the four-legged hunter, Wolf

  • Jondalar - of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, Ayla's intended mate, son of former leader, brother of leader, called Jonde by his sister Folara
  • Zelandoni - (Zolena) Current Zelandoni, former lover of Jondalar
  • Thonolan/d - Jondalar's younger brother, killed on Journey
  • Folara - Jondalar's younger sister
  • Marthona - Jondalar's mother, former leader, also mother of Joharran, Folara, Thonolan
  • Willamar - Marthona's mate, Trade Master, Traveler
  • Tivonan - Willamar's apprentice trader
  • Joconan/d - Marthona's first mate, dead, man of Joharran's hearth
  • Joharran - Jondalar's older brother, leader of Ninth Cave
  • Proleva - Joharran's mate
  • Jaradal - Proleva's son, Joharran's hearth child
  • Levela - Proleva's younger sister, Jondecam's mate
  • Jondecam - Levela's mate, nephew of Kimeran and son of Zelandoni of the Second Cave
  • Velima - mother of Proleva and Levela
  • Solaban - Hunter, adviser, and friend of Joharran
  • Ramara - Solaban's mate
  • Robenan - Ramara's son
  • Rushemar - Hunter, adviser, and friend of Joharran
  • Salova - Rushemar's mate
  • Marsola - Salova's daughter
  • Marona - Jondalar's former girlfriend
  • Wylopa - Marona's cousin
  • Portula - Marona's friend
  • Lorava - Portula's younger sister
  • Ramila - Folara's friend
  • Galeya - Folara's friend
  • Charezal - New member of Ninth Cave, stranger to Jondalar
  • Shevonar/d - Man who dies while hunting
  • Relona - Shevonar's mate
  • Ranokol - Shevonar's brother
  • Brukeval - Jondalar's distant cousin (part Clan)
  • Madroman - Formerly called Ladroman, acolyte of Fifth Cave
  • Laramar - Man who makes barma
  • Tremeda - Laramar's mate
  • Bologan - son of Tremeda, eldest, twelve
  • Lanoga - daughter of Tremeda, ten
  • Lorala - daughter of Tremeda, about six months
  • Stelona - Older woman who nurses Lorala
  • Thefona - Third Cave's best lookout, best vision
  • Thevola - Maker of rawhide panels
  • Lanidar - Boy of the Nineteenth Cave with deformed right arm
  • Mardena - Lanidar's mother
  • Denoda - Mardena's mother
  • Janida - Peridal's mate
  • Peridal - Janida's mate
  • Matagan - Young man who was gored by a woolly rhinoceros
  • Tishona - Marsheval's mate
  • Marsheval - Tishona's mate
  • Palidar - Tivonan's friend
  • Whinney - Ayla's horse, dun-yellow mare, Przwalski horse
  • Racer - Jondalar's horse, bay (brown) stallion, Cherski horse (rare)
  • Wolf - Ayla's wolf

Leaders[edit]

  • Manvelar - Leader of Third Cave, Two Rivers Rock
  • Morizan - Son of Manvelar's mate, son of his hearth
  • Kareja - Leader of Eleventh Cave, River Place
  • Dorova - Kareja's mother
  • Brameval - Leader of Fourteenth Cave, Little Valley
  • Kimeran - Leader of Second Cave of the Zelandonii, Elder Hearth, brother of
  • Zelandoni - of the Second Cave, uncle of Jondecam
  • Denanna - Leader of the three holdings of the Twenty-ninth Cave, Three Rocks, and specifically of the South Holding, Reflection Rock
  • Tormaden - Leader of the Nineteenth Cave of the Zelandonii

Zelandonia[edit]

  • Zelandoni - of the Eleventh Cave, River Place, homosexual man
  • Marolan man who is the Eleventh's friend and mate
  • Zelandoni - of the Third Cave, Two Rivers Rock, older man
  • Zelandoni - of the Fourteenth Cave, Little Valley, middle-aged woman
  • Zelandoni - of the Second Cave, Elder Hearth, older sister of Kimeran, mother of Jondecam
  • Zelandoni - of the Seventh Cave, Horsehead Rock, white-haired grandfather of Zelandoni Second, and Kimeran
  • Zelandoni - of the Nineteenth Cave, white-haired older woman
  • Zelandoni - of the Fifth Cave, Old Valley, middle-aged man
  • Zelandoni - of the Twenty-ninth Cave, Three Rocks, and mediator between the three assistant zelandonia and three leaders of the three separate locations of the Twenty-ninth Cave
    • Assistant Zelandoni of the Twenty-ninth Cave, Zelandoni of Reflection Rock (South Holding), middle-aged man
    • Assistant Zelandoni of the Twenty-ninth Cave, Zelandoni of South Face (North Holding), young man
    • Assistant Zelandoni of the Twenty-ninth Cave, Zelandoni of Summer Camp (West Holding), middle-aged woman
    • First Acolyte of the Second Cave (almost Zelandoni), young woman
    • Jonokol First Acolyte of the Ninth Cave, artist, young man
    • Mikolan Second Acolyte of the Fourteenth Cave, very young man
    • Mejera Acolyte of the Third Cave (formerly Fourteenth Cave), very young woman
    • Madroman Acolyte of the Fifth Cave (formerly Ladroman of the Ninth Cave), young man

First Cave of the Lanzadonii (Dalanar's cave)[edit]

  • Dalanar Man of Jondalar's hearth, Marthona's former mate, founder of the Lanzadonii
  • Jerika Dalanar's mate, co-founder of Lanzadonii
  • Ahnlay/d Jerika's mother, died
  • Hochaman Man of Jerika's hearth Great Traveler
  • Joplaya Jerika's daughter, daughter of Dalanar's hearth
  • Echozar Joplaya's half-Clan mate
  • Andovan/d Man who helped raise Echozar
  • Yoma/d Echozar's mother, Clan woman

External links[edit]