Legendary Irish-historical novelist Morgan Llywelyn retells the story of an important Irish legend with Finn Mac Cool.
Mac Cool is a warrior/poet, a leader of the Fianna , the first Irish army, in third-century Ireland. Separated from his parents after a battle with their ancient enemies, the clan of Morna, Finn is brought up in primitive circumstances. After learning of his heritage, he determines to become the strongest man in Ireland so that he will never have to run away from anything again.
His early allegiance to Cormac MacAirt, the high king, alters with the ascension of MacAirt's son, Cairbre, who favors Finn's old enemies, the clan of Morna. In middle age, Finn recruits the legendary Diarmait, who--aided by Finn's son, Oisin--reestablishes their hold on the country.
A romantic triangle ensues, involving Finn, Diarmait and Grania, daughter of Cormac MacAirt. This is a morality play of the highest order, with trust and sincerity winning out over more basic instincts. Llywelyn, whose The Lion of Ireland was said to be a favorite of Ronald Reagan, has produced a plodding narrative that does not rise above its mythic/historical details.
New York-born author Morgan Llywelyn is one of the world's leading popular chroniclers of Celtic culture and history. A prolific storyteller, she has written more than twenty books over the past two decades. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
In the words of Judith A. Gifford of the reference publication Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, "Drawing on the history and lore that are part of her own heritage, the works of Morgan Llywelyn concern themselves with Celtic heroes and heroines, both real and mythical, bringing them and the times they inhabited to life with stunning clarity." Pauline Morgan, writing in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, has explained, "[t]he majority of Morgan Llywelyn's books may be regarded as fictional biographies. Each book takes a person, often historical or legendary, and relates the story of their life. Most of the novels with a fantasy connection rely heavily on Celtic mythology, particularly that of the Irish.
Morgan Llywelyn now lives outside of Dublin, Ireland, and has become an Irish citizen.