Finn the half-Great is a wonderfully intelligent and captivating read. The reader is immersed into a magical world of childhood dreams. I think this book is excellent for young adults, but it is a Finn the Half-Great.
Finn the half-Great | Quill and Quire
Theo Caldwell. The story of a time when giants roamed the earth. Its ruby eyes flashed with fearless wisdom. Over time, we learn, they dispersed over the earth, with some coming to settle in Ireland. However, the fiercest giants, the Fomorians, were driven out of Ireland to settle in the North lands ,and under their chief they become the enemies of their Irish enemies and Finn's father.
Over time, the Irish giants married human women and had children although the wives did not survive childbirth. Our hero, Finn was the offspring of such a marriage.
Irish mythology is violent, and, in its true form, much of it is all about revenge. While there will always be children who read mythology and the exploits of epic heroes, Irish mythology is not very well known outside of Ireland, and the problem with this book is that many of the allusions will only be known to people of Celtic origins.
Caldwell has a website about the book and Finn which explains all the allusions to mythology chapter by chapter.
Natural wonders that exist now, such as the Giant's Causeway, a feat of building by the half giant, Finn, in the book are explained. Other problems with the book are with the tone and dialect that the author uses. The Irish tone, or lilt, pervades the book, and a reader with an average vocabulary might lose patience with such embroidered language as these phrases, "mortal imps," "scant talk," "king's cackles" and "unfurled scroll.
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Suspension of disbelief is an art, and this book fails in that respect. Young readers will feel that they are learning the history of Irish mythology instead of escaping into a fantasy world. Finn MacCool, the hero, is less interesting than his companions.
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