The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool
This book is a collection of stories about the southern Irish hero, Finn Mac Cool. The stories are very much in the fairy-tale style, with traditional fairy-tale heroes, princesses, giants, and the occasional otherworldly being. The tone is very different from the desperate wildness of Sutcliff’s Hound of Ulster. The book is joined together not by any central plot, but rather by its central character, Finn Mac Cool, leader of the Fianna, the heroic band of warrior comrades who defend Erin from her enemies both without and within. The stories are entertaining and at times truly touching, even if a bit predictable considering their use of many classic motifs.
Sutcliff again does not fail to use her prodigious powers as a wordsmith in this retelling of traditional material, earning yet another solid ‘A’ for her artistry. Her poetic, epic style is perfectly suited to the content of this book, as with her other myth retellings. None of these books are to be missed.