Paxson ( The White Raven ) and Martine-Barnes invent the childhood and adolescence of the legendary (possibly third century A.D.) Irish outlaw/poet, Fionn mac Cumhal in this first of several promised volumes. Raised in hiding by the wisewoman Bodbmall and the Liath Luachra (female warrior) to save him from his murderous druid grandfather, Demne (Fionn's childhood name) is torn by his foster mothers between a life of learning and one of action. As a youth he wins the spear-toss in the festival games, is honored by High King Conn and then must flee from Clan Morna, blood enemies of his dead father, warrior Cumhal mac Trenmor. Wandering nameless through the land, gaining knowledge of the world as he works as dog boy, fire tender and then apprentice to a smith, he eventually encounters his father's discredited fian (martial band) after killing an enchanted boar. Passing the fian 's manhood tests, he is set to join them, possibly as their next leader, when he feels impelled to flee once more to avert their destruction by Clan Morna. The mythic and mundane are artfully blended in this heroic, highly satisfying coming-of-age saga. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993 Release date: 05/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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