17 September 2004

Finn MAC Cool by Morgan Llywelyn

Historical fiction. Mass Market Paperback from TOR books. Published 1994. Purchased from the Oxfam used book shop in Windsor, UK.

After a stressful half hour at the bank in Windsor, I decided to take myself out to lunch before heading home. Since I was alone, I needed a book to take to lunch with me. Right across the road from my chosen lunch spot is the Oxfam shop. So, I went into their used book section to see what I could find. This book almost didn't get chosen because I was having a hard time with the silly name. But, nothing better presented itself, so I thought for a couple of quid I would just get it. Then at least I'd have something to pass the time during lunch - even if it didn't turn out to be worth reading all the way through. Turned out to be an interesting book. After a bit of research I discovered that the name Fionn Mac Cumhaill is also used for this historical/mythical character. I think I might have chosen that name to use for the title if I had been the author. But, perhaps people more familiar with Irish folklore know that name and don't think it sounds as silly as I do. (The name brings up images of the Fonz. Though perhaps I'm pronouncing it wrong.)

Publisher's Summary:
Somewhere in the shadowy borderland between myth and history lies the territory of Finn Mac Cool. Mightiest of the Irish heroes, leader of the invincible army of Fianna, he was a man of many faces: warrior, poet, lover, creator, and destroyer. Finn Mac Cool is a man taken from one of the lowest classes of Irish society, driven by ambition and strength to rise above his birth and bring new respect and status to his people.

He had it all and lost it all, but in the end he gained immortality. Finn Mac Cool is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and awesome adventure.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I had my mythology books here with me, I'd give you a researched lecture. As I don't I am giving you a link. Irish mythology is very interesting stuff. ^_^

http://celt.net/Celtic/Myths/abt_fin.html

Dr. Markus McDowell said...

I read Bard and then Druids by Llwelyn. I think she is a good writer, and she does some pretty good research (a fiction writer who inlcudes bibliographies at the end of the book impresses me). I have found that Marion Zimmer Bradleys works are not has historically accurate: more like modern New Age meets Braveheart.
I am using Druids as one of the required book in my Celtic Christianity course here in Heidelberg.